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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Sizing Handmade PapersApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2019-08-21 10:15:45 ... Most recent comment 2019-08-23 18:21:20
    Gouache Ink Sizes and Adhesives Watercolor

    ​What would be my options for sizing an absorbent handmade paper (i.e. a Japanese paper) for a subsequent ink, watercolor and gouache painting? It would be framed under glass or plexi when finished, of course. Thanks for your thoughts, MITRA folks!

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​I have sent this to our paper expert.

    Brian Baade
    2019-08-23 14:09:47
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​There are so many sizing options that it is hard to single any one out. Some like hide glue, are part of watercolor paper and they do a great job making the paper resistant to the wicking of water and protecting the paper fibers from pollutants. Using a manufactured animal size is probably worth the cost, to avoid cooking and storing issues. Starch, is also somewhat resistant to the capillary action of water media, but it does have cooking and storage issues. Ethers of cellulose, like methyl cellulose and hydroxy propyl cellulose, Klucel G, are both non polar and non bioactive, but they may be too soluble to give the water resistance that a watercolor paper has. Here, too, the best course of actions is to make tests of different sizings to see how they resist the water and how they age in light, over at least six months.

    Hugh Phibbs

    2019-08-23 18:21:20
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Hi!  I would recommend sizing handmade, unsized paper with gelatin.  You can either surface size the paper (by brushing the sizing on with a hake brush) or tub size it (by immersing the sheets in a tray or tub of gelatin).  You can also use wheat starch paste and methylcellulose, although this is less common. 

    You can purchase gelatin for sizing from art supply or paper marking supply shops.  The Natural Pigments website has good instructions for preparing and applying the gelatin:  The Papermaker's Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Making and Using Handmade Paper by Helen Hiebert also has directions for various surface-sizing processes.

    Gillian Marcus
    2019-08-23 18:25:25
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​​Thanks so much, Brian and Gillian...much appreciated!

    2019-08-23 19:57:38

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