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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019

Size Matters - Watercolor Paper

Sharing with my fellow watercolor artists some information on the business side of art - specifically selling, displaying, shipping art, etc.

First, it's most economical to cut a full sheet of watercolor paper which is 30″ x 22″, into workable sizes that will fit standard frames (without much waste) saving you and/or your customer the cost of custom mat and frame. (see first illustration).
Frame Size Mat Opening Image Size
8" x 10" 4.5" x 6.5" 5" x 7"
11" x 14" 7.5" x 9.5" 8" x 10"
16" x 20" 10.5" x 13.5" 11" x 14"
20" x 24" 15.5" x 19.5" 16" x 20"
24" x 36" 19.5" x 29.5" 20" x 30"
30" x 40" 21.5" x 31.5" 22" x 32"

Some artists use Imperial measurement and describe their painting in "A" sizes and millimeters [crossing eyes] - (see 2nd illustration). Note: these sizes require a custom mat and custom framing which can be very expensive. Watercolor paper is sold many ways, such as blocks. What I'm talking about is the individual full sheets.
Full sheet: 22″ x 30″
Half sheet: 15″ x 22″
Quarter sheet: 11″ x 15″
1/8 sheet: 7-1/2″ x 11″

When displaying and/or selling paper art (i.e. watercolor, etc.) it will typically be matted with a foam board backing and inside a Crystal Clear Bag sold online at and also on Amazon, but you may find them at some art stores. The painting will be hinged inside with special archival framer's tape (see 3rd illustration). There are videos on YouTube on how to do this yourself, but I find it easier to just let Hobby Lobby or Michaels do it, including adding the foam board back. (This whole process is a lot and if you are like me it's a challenge for us right-brainers which is why I'm sharing this!)

One online vendor for precut standard size foam board is They, as well as cheapjoes, sell complete sets/systems which include the mat, foam board back, and clear bag. Again, for me until I'm selling much more frequently, I'm opting for someone else like Hobby Lobby doing this for me - I'd rather spend my time painting!

Last, if you are mailing your art you'll need a Rigid Mailer - Stay Flat Document Mailer (available on Amazon in many sizes). It also wouldn't hurt to buy a roll of red Handle With Care - Do Not Bend stickers (1,000 for about $7 on Amazon). I was trying to mail a 12x16" today and neither the post office or FedEx stores had anything large enough. Remember to charge postage shipping cost to your customers. It can get expensive depending on size and method of shipping. Much of this was shared with me by a fellow artist and since I believe in the principle of "each one teach one", I'm passing this along. Happy painting!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Heavens Declare His Glory

 In the farthest corners of the earth 
the glorious acts of God 
shall startle everyone. 
The dawn and sunset shout for joy!
Psalm 65:8

18"x24" unframed 
Frame complete with back dust cover and picture wire included
(Inquire about price)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

(6x9) "Crimson Dream"

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

(9x6) "Grandeur"

The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it. (Nahum 1:5)

(8x10) "Peace"

Pastel with significant watercolor underpainting.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills. (Psalm 104:10)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

(6x9) "Blue Valley" (Gouache)

Repetition should never inoculate you against wonder!

G.K. Chesterton said, I don’t have God’s capacity to delight again and again at each new leaf. He keeps unfurling them—they even wave to get my attention!—but the eyes of my soul glaze over.