Friday, December 2, 2011

Going larger with gallery wraps!

Hi everyone:)

So you all know I have been working on developing further the gallery wrapped paper idea for watercolours over the last 8 months or so.

In case you are new to this blog here is an example I did this summer mounted in a floater frame and HERE is the link to my post back in October which takes you through my version of the gallery wrap process

Up until now all the ones I have done, like this one, are small ones but I am now gradually trying and developing the technique for bigger gallery wraps. When I did one of the two baby duck gallery wraps which was14 by 14 inch I found that with the constant wetting of the paper (because I glaze) the foam core 'sandwich' had begun to bow a little. It was hardly noticable at this size, but it made me think about what I could do for larger paintings. I would like to get to the point when I can do a 40 by 40 inch gallery wrap. So....

.... this brings me to my current experiment. I have been sensible and not gone too big yet so I have just wrapped a 20 by 20 inch one (half the size of my goal size).

To stop the bowing/ sagging of the foam core I am trying sandwiching 2 layers of foamcore between the paper and stretcher bars. I stuck the first , as usual to the stretchers with double sided tape and then repeated this with the second layer of foamcore stuck to the first one and then wrapped over the combo. My theory is that while my top layer of foam core will still get very wet, the bottom one will stay dryer and support the top one. I like the slightly deeper more gallery style effect that the double layer of foam core gives me. I did a quick wet on wet experiment at this size and then took apart the gallery wrap to look at the foam core underneath. The experiment worked well.

I will have to think of something to paint this size now :) I'm not sure how much painting I'm going to get done this month as I am working on developing some ideas but in the New year I'm definitely going to try a bigger gallery wrap!



  1. You are so creative! I love how this looks on the wall! It's so unique and eye-catching, and very smart and elegant. Your process sounds very intriguing!

  2. Hi Katherine. Glad you like the look of these gallery wraps.


  3. What about using the regular canvas supports?


  4. Yes June, this was my line of thinking too and this is why I'm trying a 20 by 20. If this works I can then use the supports and the method I am using now in combo for the 40 by 40:)

  5. Ona: Could I suggest you consider using the wood panels that are readily available in large sizes from Studio 6, Curry's and AboveGround? Studio 6 will also custom cut.
    I have used these for mounting watercolours (already painted) that are trimmed to the exact size of the panel after mounting (using an acrylic gel), but there is no reason the painting couldn't also be wrapped prior to painting using the same procedure as with stretchers. This would avoid the problem of wet paper affecting the support.

  6. Hi Tony, there isn't that flexibility in size with the off the shelf wood panels. With the stretchers I can basically paint any size combination in whole inches as I can get stretchers from 8 inches upwards so can combine to fit the crop I want to paint. I tend to choose the crop and then size and not paint to fit a set size:)I am presuming Studio 6's custom cut would be pricy compared to the stretcher bars?

    I had considered replacing the foam core with wood if the double layer didnt work but this again would increase the cost which I would have to pass onto the purchaser and more crucially the weight which would make shipping them horrendously expensive.