Rotary Cutter or Knife
Ruler (please use a better ruler than the one shown in this tutorial, it's awful). I recommend these
Note: Usually I would use a paper cutter- a simple crafter's rotary papercutter works quite well for this. Unfortunately, I did not have access to one in Luling, so I'll show you guys how to trim paper the old fashioned way.
Step 1: Decide on the ratio you want and measure
I'm cutting 9"x12" paper into 5"x7" rectangles, so I can get two squares out of each sheet if the page is in portrait.
I measure off several ticmarks at the 7" mark going down the length of the paper, and connect them with a straight line. You want to use several tic marks, rather than just two, as it ensures a straighter line. Make sure you line up your ruler's hash marks with the edge of your paper, if possible. I recommend beginning at the 1" mark when measuring your tic marks (so aim for the 8" mark, rather than the 7", if you're doing this), as some rulers cut off part of that first inch.
Going width-wise, I mark off two 5" segments
Step 2: Trimming Your Paper
Note: Rotary tools are great for trimming large sheets of paper. Old, chewed up wooden yardsticks are not. I highly recommend using a metal straightedge if you have access to one.
I line my ruler up against the OUTSIDE edge of my 7" line (if you're going to mess up, you want to mess up in the scrap paper, not into your working area), and hold the ruler down firmly while pulling the rotary cutter across the paper. You're going to need to apply a fair amount of pressure to cut through your watercolor paper in one pass- this is where the scissors come in handy. For me, some portions are not cut through completely, so I use the scissors to snip through that.
I repeat the process at my two 5" marks.
And that's how you trim paper to size, the old fashioned way!
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