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About Deviant William AxtellMale/United Kingdom Group :iconmarvel-fans: marvel-fans
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Born to be a Winner by Riberry
by Riberry

Well, I don't know much about Pokemon but I do like this a lot :D ! In terms of composition, the piece demonstrates some skill, with the...

The Saga Begins by Balakov
by Balakov

Just. Wow. This is astonishing. O.K. then, let's start with the idea. It's a brilliant conceit, I just love the idea of a Stormtrooper ...

DAO commis: Ferelden's hero is celebrating victory by PiraWTH
by PiraWTH

Wow, there is a lot of life going on here - I love this picture! Well, first off the drawing and colouring standard is pretty good. The...

Oh, my stars and garters, it's the Beast! by MiguelAlt

This is terrific! The pose is traditional, being a "Determined Superhero Squat of Power" but is kept fresh with subtle variation expert...



Right, I'm officially back! Unwatched a lot of people not watching me and I'll be much more active on here, watching my friends and moderating Marvel FansCowboy Fella (Actions) .
Hi! So, I've been taking my novel writing a lot more seriously lately, trying to plan more and really think about structure, and I've been wondering about multiple POV. I'm naturally drawn to it, I enjoy how I can explore multiple characters within a situation, but I am concerned that (barring Game of Thrones) readers find it confusing even if you avoid head-hoping and all the obvious flaws. Indeed, I can't think of many if any classic novels which use multiple POV. I just wondered what anybody's take on it was - is multiple POV a great way of exploring diverse characters or a lazy way out which will leave readers unsatisfied?
My food blog is up, running and covered in a new lick of digital paint - check me out :chef:…
Hi guys, just a quick message to say that my new Journalism course is wonderful but incredibly intense! This sadly means I have had no time to even thing of blogging so I'm sorry to say there is no blog this week :( .
Hello there :wave: ! Well, I'm going to start this week with an announcement - I'm now officially in Brighton for a course in journalism! This is incredibly exciting for me but does, unfortunately, mean that I'm not going to be able to upload any good work to DA as I am shorn of a scanner :iconnoeswooplz: ! Nevertheless, I'm keeping up with the blog and will, of course, be working on stuff (in between my busy work schedule) which I will get up as soon as I can.

So, this week I want to talk paper stretching. I've just had a massive battle with it and I want to share with you my hard-won lessons.

First, why stretch the paper? Well, watercolour paper comes in three basic types; rough, cold pressed (smooth) and hot pressed (super-smooth). It also comes in a variety of thicknesses. It's great stuff as it is designed to take really wet washes without huge bleed and, as long as it's acid-free, will last a long, long time. HOWEVER, like all paper it WILL BUCKLE when wet. This is why it must be stretched before painting, especially if you like using wet, sloppy washes. Now, many sites will tell you to soak it in a tub for a set period of time depending upon the thickness of the paper - maybe 2-3 minutes for 90lbs, 5 for 140lbs/300gsm or 15 for 300lbs. This is great advice and is probably the best method. However, I have a problem with this - I have nowhere to do it!!! Of course, I could use the sink but then I hit another problem - it is imperative to keep detergents off the paper. Therefore, soaking it in a sink full of soap residue is a bad idea. So I used a wet sponge. Laying the paper on my board, I wet it both sides with a clean sponge. I really soaked it, trying to the paper to absorb as much water as possible before wiping away any puddles. I left it to get properly soggy, judiciously adding more water from time to time, until the paper was better stiff and floppy. Apparently, the perfect state is when you can bend a corner of the paper and it slowly lifts back to its original position. It neither stays bent nor springs back. Basically, if it springs back it means that the paper is still too dry while if it is completely floppy then you've probably washed all the size out of it, rendering it useless for controlled watercolours.

Once you've achieved this perfect state, the next thing you need to do is stretch it on the board. Remember, the point of stretching is to avoid your paper buckling and this is achieved by getting the paper to absorb far more water than you will apply during the painting. The more water you add, the more the paper expands and, now its wet, you want to hold it at this expanded point. This is so that any water you add with the paint will fit easily within the paper without forcing to expand still further. So, you need to attach it to a board. There are several ways of doing this. You can buy special stretching boards to pull the paper tight or you can take a regular board (more on this in a future article!) and hold the paper down with tacks, staples, clamps or tape. Personally, I favour tape as the other methods risk the paper tearing as it dries and  tries to contract. The tape you need for this is gum tape, also knows as butchers tape. I tried to used masking tape and, trust me, its useless. Gum tape works by having a water-activated glue on the back. You need to cut strips of this tape, four strips to hold the paper down on all sides. Put the paper on the board and wipe away the excess moisture with your sponge. Then, wet the tape with a different sponge or piece of towel - you do not want to get glue on the sponge you wipe all over your lovely paper as this will ruin the surface! Now, tape the paper down tightly to the board as smoothly as possible. Leave to dry, face up, for a good long while, ideally overnight. Do not place the board on a slant as all the water will run to the bottom and cause an uneven stretch. In the morning, the paper should be nice and stretched - completely smooth and yielding a nice, husky rattle if you rap your fingers lightly on the surface! So there it is, paper stretching!

However, I must add a caveat. As I stretched my paper, the water warped my board! The paper's still good, great even, but my board clearly will not take another wetting. I am currently researching the most appropriate material for a board and will let you know as soon as I've found one - see you next week Art Elves :la: !


There could only be one winner this week in my mind - check out this truly exceptional Captain America fanart by :icondleoblack: !Captain America by dleoblack
Hi guys, just a quick message to say that my new Journalism course is wonderful but incredibly intense! This sadly means I have had no time to even thing of blogging so I'm sorry to say there is no blog this week :( .


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William Axtell
United Kingdom
Hi! My name's William and I'm a passionate but friendly kinda guy - welcome to my homepage :) !

I am a mad keen history buff and I've tried to channel this love, especially my love of historical design, into crafts and paintings.

Food is also a huge passion of mine and I have a food blog where I post reviews and recipes - check it out!…

For those interested is my day to day and the cool stuff I find on the web, here are my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts.





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JSPatronus Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the faves. :)
TheStrategos Featured By Owner 5 days ago
YW :D !
justjoshin74 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the watch!
TheStrategos Featured By Owner 6 days ago
You're most welcome!
Shono Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2015  Professional General Artist
Catty Clan Girls by Shono  

Just like what WarAngel said: Thanks for the faves!

If you enjoy my comics, you can read the latest issue at

If you’re not interested, that’s cool too, I really appreciate the faves and the support!

TheStrategos Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015
You're welcome!
LordPendragonOfCaria Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015
Thanks for the llama :D
TheStrategos Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2015
You're welcome, thank you for the one you gave me :D !
Thanks for the fave :D

I also LOVE your avatar ^^
TheStrategos Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015
You're most welcome!

Thank you :D ! Yours is pretty cool too!
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