Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - Painting - Aqueous Paints - Transparent Watercolor

The Pigments - The Binder - Diluents - Supports & Grounds - Equipment - Care and Display

Transparent Watercolor
Care and Display

Finished work should be protected against atmosphere and direct light as much as possible. Unframed watercolor paintings can be safely stored in a portfolio. When exhibited, they must be protected by glass which should be separated from the picture by means of a mat. The mat is a cardboard, cut to provide a windowlike opening in which the picture is visible, with a continuous cardboard boarder around it. The framer fastens a second piece of cardboard to the back of the mat. This is the mount board, a cardboard cut to the same outer dimensions as the mat board and connected to it by a long gummed-paper tape hinge along its top edge. The watercolor is secured to the mount board with small paper hinges attached to the picture's back at the two upper corners. In this way the picture, fastened only along its upper edge, is freer to expand and contract in response to humidity changes without buckling excessively or tearing. The smaller tape hinges, used to fasten the picture to the mount board, should be made of acid-free gummed paper that must be moistened with water to become sticky, as does an envelope flap. Press-on tapes, such as masking tape, should never be used to hold the picture to the mount, because they stain the paper as they are and with time they harden, becoming very difficult to remove. The mat board and the backing mount board should be made of material that will not harm the watercolor. Common wood pulp mat boards and the inexpensive gray backing boards called chip board contain acid which will cause a yellow-brown stain on the picture within a number of years. Consequently both the mat board and the backing mount board for any picture of value should be made of acid-free cardboard. Such boards are sold as museum board or acid-free mounting board. [For further instructions for matting and framing pictures on paper, see the section on framing.] [Kay, Reed. The Painter's Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983. pp. 132-133]



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