I’m going big! To tell the truth, it’s a little intimidating to dive into painting large watercolors. Everything is technically more challenging, from preparing materials to the sheer physical effort of moving larger boards and papers around. So how big am I going for? Well, right now I’m working on 36″ x 48″ as well as about 20″ x 60″ paintings, my largest ever. For this scale I’m using paper from a 51″ wide roll of Arches cold press watercolor paper. I prep the paper by flattening it, and letting it dry (overnight is best). Then I tear it down to my desired size and can press the sheets under weighted boards to flatten them more before painting. This timelapse illustrates part of my process. I’m working on a large sheet of Mighty Core foam board, which I tried as an alternative to Gator board (which it turns out I prefer for durability). Both are much lighter than plywood.

I currently live and work in a very small space with my husband (about 500 square feet, we sleep in a loft above the studio), so I’m always exploring how to use space efficiently. To dry this sheet of paper, I rigged a hanging rod with clamps and a broom pole off the staircase railing in our entry way.

hanging paper out to dry
Clamps are always handy to have around

For the next few months I’m focusing intently on studio paintings for my Imaging the Arctic project and will do my best to resurface and post updates as paintings materialize on these big sheets of paper. In the meantime, stay tuned and I appreciate encouragement!