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iyoung
07-02-2001, 05:19 PM
Hi all.

I'd like to know how attached to your particular favorite watercolor paper you are. I'm teaching a class in the fall and am toying with the idea of making everyone use the same type of paper. It's not for beginners, it's for advanced - a portrait class. How would you react to this if you were in the course? I know how attached everyone gets to their favorite supplies.

Any responses are helpful.

Ilene

Rosebud
07-02-2001, 05:35 PM
I can see both sides.

Beginners (of course) wouldn't know what paper to use, so the instructor should choose.

Advanced students probably DO have a favorite paper and would like to use it since they could focus on the painting, not how a "new" paper responds.

On the other hand, if I were taking the class, I'll try the new paper. It could be the start of a whole new adventure !

I know this didn't help you one bit..:D :D

Rose

Javier
07-02-2001, 05:59 PM
I personally wouldn't like the idea of having to use a strange paper all term; however, being introduced to say four or five different brands of watercolor paper during the course would interest me.

j

NorahT
07-02-2001, 06:12 PM
It might be an idea to get the students to paint some of their portraits on their own favourite paper and others on one stipulated by you. This way they would get to make a comparison, which is often a good way to learn.

Personally, I am happy to go along with whatever is specified by the teacher - I like to try something new.

ameliajordan
07-02-2001, 07:27 PM
Sounds like maybe "suggest" a particularly paper but be flexible if people want to use their own. Lots of people in my class have bought 20 or so sheets and would want to use that up before investing in more.

Ivyleaf
07-02-2001, 08:04 PM
I'm fond of both Arches and WN cold pressed, though I have worked on Arches Hot Pressed and Rough before. The one thing I learned from the only watercolor class I was in, is to use the best paper you can find, in which case our instructor recommended the WN. I've found it to be a lovely paper to work on, and feel the instructor's recommendation made a HUGE difference in the way my paintings turned out. Just because it's an advanced class, doesn't mean that everyone's caught on to the idea that good paper is worth the money!!! If they are serious about learning, they are paying money for the class, they would be wasting their time not to go with the instructor's method of teaching. Tis obvious that since you are teaching a class in portraiture, you know what paper is good for portraits, or at least what you have found to be good :) . If everyone uses the same paper, you KNOW that the paper cannot be blamed for any mistakes, and you KNOW how that paper can be handled and what techniques are good on it, you won't be expecting something out of the students then that the paper can't perform. Does that make sense???

My vote is, use the same paper for everyone, then you can worry about teaching painting and not worry about fixing paper problems :D :D :D .

What paper DO you recommend by the way for portraits??? ;) :) ;)

Rod
07-03-2001, 04:57 AM
I think it depends how advanced the student is and the quality of the paper you are providing. I love using arches 300 rough, but if I turned up for a portrait class it would not be suitable.
Perhaps you could suggest and have available some suitable reasonable quality paper , but also allow the students to decide on choice of yours or theirs,
Rod.

iyoung
07-03-2001, 11:17 AM
Thanks to everyone. I'm glad to find such openmindedness. Ivy said pretty much what I was thinking - the paper I prefer for portraits (fabriano artistico 300) is much easier, to me, to work on and Arches, which almost everyone has around here, is the hardest. So if everyone has the same paper I could avoid some difficulties from my end - but it is very hard to adjust to new papers for people who are used to using the same one. I think that I will provide some of the Fabriano for everyone to try and then try to teach the class relative to all kinds of paper - though, as you probably know, Rod, with pebbly textured papers you'd have to paint a very large portrait to be able to control your line enough to get a likeness!

Thanks all. Any more opinions welcome, too. At least no one said they would turn and walk out at the thought of new paper.
Ilene

Eliz
07-05-2001, 02:50 AM
I'm curious about the handling differences between Arches and Fabriano Artistico. This winter I switched from Strathmore to Arches, and was amazed at the difference, but I've recently started thinking I should try other good papers as well.

Liz

Gisele
07-05-2001, 07:28 AM
Ilene, it would be a good idea for a beginner's class but not for an advanced one, in my opinion.But you could propose it to your advanced students and the ones interested in trying the new paper could buy it from you.
( I personally love Gemini Sthrathmore paper as it can handle rough handling and lifting, stapling, erasing, thoothbrushes etc. I always use 140 lbs no matter what subject I am painting. I use lots of water and 300 lbs is way too thick for my taste.)
Now since most advanced students have already tried many (at least, I assume) papers they know which ones they are confortable to work with.
Still,it seems to me your best bet would be to offer it to the class and explain why it could be interesting to try this new paper and each student could decide for themselves.
Gisele

iyoung
07-05-2001, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by Gisele
Ilene, it would be a good idea for a beginner's class but not for an advanced one, in my opinion.But you could propose it to your advanced students and the ones interested in trying the new paper could buy it from you.
( I personally love Gemini Sthrathmore paper as it can handle rough handling and lifting, stapling, erasing, thoothbrushes etc. I always use 140 lbs no matter what subject I am painting. I use lots of water and 300 lbs is way too thick for my taste.)
Now since most advanced students have already tried many (at least, I assume) papers they know which ones they are confortable to work with.


True. The thing about watercolor as a medium is that it is all about the interaction between the pigments and the paper and the paper is as important to the artist as anything else. I think, as a student, I might balk at being assigned a paper I'd already tried and discarded as unsuited to me.

Arches and Fabriano papers are about as different as you can get in quality papers. Fabriano papers have a fine woven or laid type surface, even in cp, and are very heavily sized so that your washes maintain the exact intensity when dry they had when wet
and are almost completely liftable until several days set (and even then non-staining colors are liftable.) The washes, too, stay on the surface, because the paper is highly non-absorbent, so that you can work with them before they set and push them around for brush painting. What all this means to portraits is that the fine surface will take any line you wish, you can maneuver your graduated washes to achieve a likeness, and, most importantly, you won't have to redo it because of loss of chroma or value while drying. There's nothing worse than achieveing a perfectly splendid likeness and then the next day discovering that you have to reglaze it because the color faded, which happens with absorbent papers like Arches. People highly experienced in using Arches, though, can probably control for this.

In exchange for the fine brush working quality of F. papers, you give up the ability to scrub or blithely rewet already worked areas, which you can do with Arches.

My problem is that portraiture on Arches will be much more dependent on initial drawing because you don't get as much opportunity to develop your likeness during the painting part of the process with that paper and, in truth, I'm not used to that.

Is Gemini Strathmore the one that comes in tints or is that another Strathmore?
Ilene

Gisele
07-05-2001, 11:51 AM
The Gemini Strathmore I use is white. I sometimes use Arches too. Depends on the availability and my wallet! Strathmore is more expensive (here anyway) but is stronger than Arches. If I want to do an imperial size I use Strathmore as the staples will not tear at the paper's edges; Arches will.
When I do portraits, I make a carefull drawing first as I don't usually make major changes along the way. Strathmore is a "forgiving" paper as you can lift with a toothbrush, draw and erase without leaving marks as long as you don't break the fibers,etc.
I'm in an experimenting phase right now and will be for the months to come. So it is nice to have a reliable paper that I know will take a little more handling and working without letting me down.
Gisele

iyoung
07-06-2001, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by Gisele
When I do portraits, I make a carefull drawing first as I don't usually make major changes along the way.
Giselle and anyone else:
Mind if I pick your brain while you're here?:) I do a finished drawing, too, but only transfer the outline. Do you transfer the outline of your drawing or transfer a drawing of areas to fill with various values ala Jan Kunz (this is sort of the commercial artist's way of doing it)? Or do you draw on the paper?
[QUOTE]Strathmore ...
Gisele [/QUOTE

If Strathmore buckles when really wet does it dry flat easily like W & N or fight to stay kind of ripply the way Arches does?

Ilene

.

Gisele
07-06-2001, 12:45 PM
Ilene, what I usually do is make a preliminary drawing in my sketch book and when/if I'm satisfied with it I then put the drawing on my patio window (on a sunny day) and put my watercolor sheet on top of it and transfer with an ordinary pencil. I draw the major lines, lightly.

As for the paper, I soak it until it stays flat, without any buckles in it...this takes at least 10 minutes or more. I wet it on and off during all this time. When it's flat, I staple it to my 1/4 inches thick board. I know from having read comments by others on a different thread that stapling is not very popular among other WC artists but it's the only way I can have some peace of mind while I paint. Since I use a lot of water, stapling is the only way I can be sure my paper will stay put until I'm really finished.

Gisele