Divide watercolor paper

dela akvarellpapper

If you buy watercolor paper in large sheets, these must be divided before painting on them. The classic way to divide a paper is to tear it against a ruler. It is of course possible to use scissors instead, and sometimes I do. But it is easier and faster to tear the paper, the result will be nicer than if you were to cut.

This is how I tear a watercolor paper:

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  1. I use a metal ruler that has a rubber strip on the underside. The rubber strip prevents the ruler from sliding. It may sound advanced, but such rulers are quite cheap. A ruler of 50 cm is sufficient. (approximately 20 inches), it can be moved if necessary.
    Search for the ruler
  2. Place the paper on a clean surface. Make sure the front of the watercolor paper is facing up. Bend it until the short sides meet and align the paper so the halves are equal. Press at the top and bottom so that two small folds are formed. they describe where to tear.
  3. Place the ruler along the two folds
  4. Grip the paper in the far upper corner, it is important to maintain this grip throughout the tear, you should NOT change your grip during the tear. Do a small jerk to start the tear, it can be difficult to tear without an initial pull.
  5. Then lift the paper straight up, that way it is easy to tear the paper against the ruler. Most people want to fold the paper over the ruler, but it is heavy to tear that way and there is a risk of the ruler slipping. It is much easier to succeed if you just lift the paper straight up.
It is difficult to tear a paper if you fold it over the ruler
Much easier if you just lift the paper straight up.

This is the method I use most often to divide watercolor paper. It is of course possible to cut the paper with a knife or to cut it with scissors. Perhaps the advantage of cutting with scissors is that you can easily cut off a small square and keep the rest of the sheet uncut. With a ruler, you tear straight across the entire length of the paper.

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