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View Poll Results: Which three watercolour papers do you prefer?
Ampersand 9 1.97%
Arches 332 72.49%
Bockingford 39 8.52%
Canson Montval 43 9.39%
Cotman 7 1.53%
Fabriano 188 41.05%
Kilimanjaro 30 6.55%
Lanaquarelle 24 5.24%
Magnani 2 0.44%
Richeson 6 1.31%
Saunders Waterford 113 24.67%
Strathmore 57 12.45%
Twinrocker 13 2.84%
Velke Losiny 2 0.44%
Winsor Newton 25 5.46%
Yupo 20 4.37%
Other 61 13.32%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 458. You may not vote on this poll

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  #121   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-05-2015, 07:31 PM
jpa66 jpa66 is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

OK, NOT 3 years old! I need to get the ole grey matter working a bit better...
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  #122   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-06-2015, 11:05 PM
lha lha is offline
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Posts: 75
Re: Watercolour paper poll

Originally Posted by GoldSeven
I really wonder what I'm doing wrong with Arches. I simply can't work on it. It feels like painting on a T-shirt for me. I can't draw colour out with water on Arches for the life of me.

For vivid colours and great handling, I've fallen on Canson Montval.

You aren't alone! I used fabriano hp & lanquarelle & Strathmore Aquarius for a long time, until I tried the montval student paper--what huge difference! You just simply can't scrub this paper, as you will damage it, and of course, don't NEED to scrub it, as most colors will lift off with only slight water agitation. The only thing I have found slightly better is Richeson Studio paper, which is almost identical, however, gives even more blooms and special effects. I still use fabriano hp some. I have used both saunders Waterford & Kilimanjaro and found them to both hold color too strongly, making wet into wet techniques no fun, lifting and blending much harder than it needs to be. Blooms just aren't happenin.
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:02 PM
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CharM CharM is offline
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Pinehurst, Ontario
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Originally Posted by CharM
I use Arches 140# cold pressed or rough. I like both the natural white and and their bright white. I prefer rough for most of my paintings because I like the deep tooth that allows for lots of texture. It seems to dry more slowly, also. Either the cold pressed or rough are great all purpose papers that can take a lot of abuse.

I use Saunders Waterford 200# cold pressed paper. The Centre where I teach watercolour orders this paper for our Students. It's really nice because it doesn't buckle easily. However, I'm not as much a fan of the creamy warm white colour of the paper.

I use Curry's 200# cold pressed paper, also. I think that it's manufactured by Saunders Waterford as it behaves and looks very similar.

I have a wonderful little Stonehenge pad that's velvety in texture, similar to hot press, but not quite as slick. It's great for quick sketches.

I have played with Terra Skin, which is a synthetic *paper* manufactured from pulverized stone. Yes, you read that correctly. It's considered a *green* product. It is bright white with a very slick surface that's similar to yupo but has a little more drag when you run your brush over it. You couldn't glaze anything on it even if you wanted to and colour lifts back to white very easily.

Since I participated in this poll the first time around, my choices have changed and expanded.

I bought 100 sheets of Fabriano Artistico 140# cold pressed paper because it was on sale for $2.93 per sheet. Since I offer this paper to my Home Students at my cost, it was a no brainer.

But, what I found was that it has a lovely moderate tooth, a slick surface that lifts easily and a soft texture. After introducing it to my Students, they also have come to love it.

I was able to order a sample of GarzaPapel, handmade watercolour paper, that has three different surfaces. It's a beautiful, beautiful paper. Albeit, it's expensive... but I use it to create Gift Cards in 5x7" suitable for framing.

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. Leonardo DaVinci
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  #124   Report Bad Post  
Old 01-08-2016, 07:07 PM
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Watercolour lover Watercolour lover is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

My original watercolour mentor, Robert Long, introduced me to Arches 300lb cold pressed in 1988 and that's all I've ever used. My late wife and I used to winter in Florida and I once bought 90 sheets from Cheap Joe at a ridiculous price if I remember. I've stayed with it ever since. When I used to teach I always insisted my students buy 300 lb. and Artists Quality colours. They would bitch about the cost but if they strayed to140 lb or lighter they would soon come back. I prefer the bright white with a non-rough surface as I tend to detail. I love the way you can lift, scrub, blot and generally manhandle this paper and it never gives up. I use 140 lb hot press for my smaller pen and ink projects and 300lb hot press for larger works needing wash. Each of us has our own personal preference and I simply got used to how Arches 300lb cold press feels and reacts to the way I like to paint.

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Old 01-15-2016, 06:42 PM
jpa66 jpa66 is offline
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Posts: 82
Re: Watercolour paper poll

I've recently tried the Saunders 140# rough, and have to say that I love it. It seems to be heavier than the typical 140# paper, handles wet-into-wet easily, and dries flat. Good stuff.
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  #126   Report Bad Post  
Old 02-21-2016, 09:38 AM
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MLHarvey MLHarvey is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

I use Arches 300# or 140# CP almost exclusively (as well as the Arches 140# CP, spiral bound field books,) but have used Fabriano and Strathmore in the past. I'm very interested to try the Saunders Waterford, seeing the results of this poll. The 200# CP may be the perfect weight.
Thanks everyone, for the input!
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:28 PM
jpa66 jpa66 is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Not to be contrary, but I've just tried Fabriano 140# CP, and absolutely hate it. It buckles like crazy, and the paint lifts like nobody's business. It's almost like painting on Yupo for me (a slight - and I mean slight - exaggeration). It's weird, because I like Fab's 300# CP. I do a lot of wet in wet, though. Not knocking the paper, but it's just not for me and the way that I paint.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:08 AM
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Jaka Jaka is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Being late in responding to this poll I read all 9 pages of responses to get the "feel" of the discussion.
For polling purposes mu vote went to Arches, Fabriano Artistico (traditional white) and Canson Montval. In that order of preference.

I started painting with watercolor in 2010 and used 230 gsm paper, rough by a Japanese firm, branded : Maruman. It performed well, luckily as it was the ONLY brand around.
In the course of 5 years Canson became available first, followed by Fabriano Artistico and another Brand : Langton Prestige. ALL in the 300 gsm or 140 lbs weight. I found they all performed well. Availability was in gummed pads for Canson and later "blocks", Arches in blocks and Fabriano in blocks too.
Prices in this part of the world (Jakarta, Indonesia) are influenced by duties and exchange rates of the US Dollar.
A block of Arches, 20 sheets, 36 X 51 cm (14X20 inches), rough bought a week ago set me back US$ 100.00 or $5.00 a sheet at current exchange rate.
Fabriano Artistico, 20 sheets, 300 gsm. 30.5 X 45.5 cm (12 X 18 inch) US$ 60.00 or $3.00 a sheet. The rest is in between.
Imperial size sheets are available 56 X 76 cm at US$ 20.00 a sheet. This is the required "exhibition size" here.

Experience in use :
Arches : First preference, mostly rough but occasionally NOT or Cold pressed. the sizing is not only on the surface but the internal sizing is significantly better than the other brands and notably in use :-)
Dry brushing on CP I found requires a thicker mix than on rough. This paper as others have mentioned does take a lot of beating and stands up to rigorous handling, like scrubbing and scratching.
I even performed minor surgery in occasional corrective moves, lightly cutting around an area to be corrected and lifting off a thin layer of the paper using a craft knife. Burnishing the area with a fingernail and it will accept a layer of paint again. This will not work on a successful wash though :-) But it beats scrubbing until it pills.
The introduction of the microfiber sponge, sold in supermarkets or as "Magic sponge" in Art stores :-) makes corrective attempts the easiest to be done on this paper. If you see pilling it is the sponge pilling, first. I have never experienced the paper to pill, so far :-)

Other brands perform equally well the way I paint so the sturdiness of Arches is what set it apart for me.

In use : This, as some have already commented DOES depend on techniques employed and to what degree. Wet on dry, wet on wet or wet up to wet is how I would describe it and this leads me to believe that the water in the paper and in the mix or brush, determines the papers response.
My first response is to leave an errant stroke alone as when you progress it may not appear necessary to correct which carries the consequences of messing it up. Trying to get it right the first time the spontaneity and dynamics of strokes are preserved, even if one gets "out of line" :-)
On the second "pass" I use thicker or a lot thicker paint anyway in pulling it together.
ALL will buckle a bit if it gets really wet and I found that wetting the reverse side prior to painting does help reduce if not prevent it. I hate stretching but have done it down to 120 gsm without problems in painting.
I use half inch masking tape to tape down the paper, even when it is a block. A good placee to try out color and get a crisp edge around the painting.

On "student grade" :
I have found that much depends on the reputation and expertise of the manufacturer, be it paper or paint.
Personally I see a paradox here : assuming students have not acquired a certain skill set then "artist grade" paper will cut them some (or a lot of) slack, room for error as it were.
With an advanced skill set, artists are able to paint without problems on "student grade" paper, particularly those made by reputable firms. It is "inferior" paper made by cutting costs to keep prices very low that is to be avoided be it a student or accomplished painter or artist.

Other brands : Unfortunately the above are the only brands available locally, given the opportunity I'd love (and will) try out any alternatives like Saunders Waterford 200 Lbs that appears very attractive to me. I may look for it when I travel to Melbourne Australia on my yearly visit to see the Grandkids :-)
I found an odd pad of Canson "Aquarelle Fontenay", 300 gsm and it worked for me too. Maybe because it was rough, my favorite :-)

Just some experience sharing from the other side of the world, I have yet to come across a fellow Indonesian on Wet Canvas :-)

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Old 04-29-2016, 09:10 AM
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Triduana Triduana is online now
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

I like this thread, it's interesting to read how everyone's choices differ.

I voted here a while ago. I went for Bockingford (which I used to use a lot of), Strathmore and Saunders Waterford. Basically, it was my dad that got me interested in painting, and this is what he used and I finished off.

My most used is Daler Rowney Langton, the rough paper. It's the easiest to buy locally, which is why I use it the most, but I just love the texture.

I've recently stocked up on Saunders Waterford CP, 300g. It's beautiful paper to work with. I also have a sheet of their rough paper in a heavier weight that I'm looking forward to trying out.

I also really love the handmade Khadi paper, particularly the lighter one, 150g it might be? It obviously doesn't work very well for wet techniques but the texture is really interesting, it looks like fabric. I also like their heavier rough paper. Being handmade the sheets vary quite a bit, but I really like this about it, and the edges are beautiful
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Old 05-07-2016, 12:11 PM
Auj Auj is offline
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Northern California
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

I like Fabriano Artistico very much, but I really like Cartiera Magnani 140lb CP.
It has a lovely finish.
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Old 05-07-2016, 01:26 PM
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artdreamer1 artdreamer1 is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

It's been a long time since I first posted to this...

Still love YUPO but I don't really use it that often; My "go-to" papers would have to be Arches 140 lb. CP/HP and Fabriano 140 lb. CP/HP. I have picked up some Fab. Soft-Press but haven't had the opportunity to try it yet...
I really want to try gallery-wrapping (is that what it's called?) my paper on stretcher bars--I really HATE the cost of framing!

"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine.
--Ludwig Von Beethoven

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Old 05-09-2016, 09:34 PM
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Firefly1013 Firefly1013 is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Admittedly, I haven't tried many on the list, but so far my favorites, in order, are: Arches 140lb CP, Montval, and rough Khadi paper (not listed). Based on all the votes for Fabriano I'm curious about that one now-- will have to give it a try.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:05 AM
Janalice Janalice is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

I like Arches 140lb hot press. The surface allows for detail, and also nice washes. I have no other favorites.
Jan Alice Keeling
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