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View Poll Results: Which three watercolour papers do you prefer?
Ampersand 9 2.59%
Arches 254 72.99%
Bockingford 33 9.48%
Canson Montval 29 8.33%
Cotman 5 1.44%
Fabriano 150 43.10%
Kilimanjaro 28 8.05%
Lanaquarelle 22 6.32%
Magnani 2 0.57%
Richeson 5 1.44%
Saunders Waterford 87 25.00%
Strathmore 46 13.22%
Twinrocker 11 3.16%
Velke Losiny 2 0.57%
Winsor Newton 18 5.17%
Yupo 15 4.31%
Other 42 12.07%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 348. You may not vote on this poll

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  #106   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-05-2014, 07:38 PM
lha lha is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Being a very loose painter who tends to change direction mid painting at whim, and exploring full range of effects and surprises, my choices wont apply to all, most especially those faint of heart. Certainly not for those who aren't ready to toss out 'this try' and start over!

Artist quality papers Fabriano soft press. Hot press never seems to give me enough surprises, rough is fun but fights me for texture. Canson 100,-- 2 different textured sides.

I also love dearly student grade papers of canson montval, and now Richeson Studio and grab for those as often as my other papers. LOVE Nujabji extra rough, looks like leather,--must be treated before painting on as it is waaaay too absorbent.

Never had luck with Saunders Waterford/Kilimanjaro as they suck the paint in and I cant make as many changes. Strathmore Aquarius synthetic blend is lovely--I can leave a painting for months, and still move the paint around when I get back to it.

I do preliminary sketches with water soluble ink and I need it to wash away when I hit it with water.

I like sizing and absorbency resistance to the point of treating my paper with a mixture of acrylic medium and watercolor ground at times. Interestingly, I find that the newer Golden Matte Fluid acrylics makes an acceptable ground for watercolors. The Matte finish has removed the plastic-y smoothness and it works more like a watercolor ground. I sound like I would love Yupo, but I don't, it's unable to be anything other than what it is,--slippery ALL the time.

A word on student grade papers above,--fantastic, but methodology is different, because they are more easily scarred, lifting is done by wetting and blotting, or light pouncing and blotting. You certainly can scrub to lift, but only once or twice before the paper pills.

all of the above: just the way I do it for fun (and profit), fully realize most people don't like this method!
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  #107   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-24-2014, 07:39 AM
tamiea tamiea is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll


Arches cold press - I like it a lot but it is expensive

Fabiano cold press- I like it use it more often. less expensive

some 140lb cheap paper for exercises with colors
Sylwia Have a nice day

"Life isn't measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away"
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  #108   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-27-2014, 10:33 AM
rajahx rajahx is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Originally Posted by CharM
Hiya... This i.s a great idea for a poll! I wish that others were commenting about their choices, though...

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.

I also discovered Curry's 200lb paper recently! wonderful stuff and its much cheaper than any equivalents in other brands.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:21 AM
Cedarita Cedarita is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Fabriano is the one I use most. I use both the cold press and soft press. Soft press is the choice when I want subtle nuances.

I use Arches, too, but don't prefer it over Fabriano. Someone recently gave me a 300 lb sheet, which is a totally new and wonderful experience. Now I want to get some Fabriano 300, too, and compare.

Once I got a magazine with a sample of Hanemuhle. I liked it very much and wish it was easily available in the US.

For a less expensive paper, Strathmore 400 is my pick. It handles much differently than the brands mentioned above, so I use it for sketching.
c&c welcome anytime

website: Robyn Jorde studio blog: no name blog
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:05 PM
briantmeyer briantmeyer is online now
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

I'm noticing that the best paper is often related to what you are doing. Susan Harrison-tustain and her priming method, and precise layers of staining lend themselves to hot press paper of at least #140. I prefer #90 to #140 cold press but am using granulating colors. I don't have her preferred paper but very cheap and thin smooth paper works better than cold press arches following her tutorials. Yet I am having to be very careful on controlling the amount of water.

I am wondering what is it that people are doing different that makes them prefer Fabriano, or perhaps this is the deeper question, what is each artist grade brand better suited for, and how should I adjust how I work. For some budget grade papers the price being cheap is the main feature, which lets me paint more, but I have to deal with much more buckling or pilling.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:38 AM
Cedarita Cedarita is offline
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Cedar Hill, Texas
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Cheap Joe's has those convenient sample packs and I got a few to try. Kilimanjaro was new to me. Colors were really bright, but glazing lifted everything. I'm striving to paint boldly without reworking or glazing, so this property might actually be a help to me....keeps me from going back and fiddling with my washes once they're down.

There are still some other unknown papers in the pack to try.
c&c welcome anytime

website: Robyn Jorde studio blog: no name blog
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Old 07-10-2014, 03:31 PM
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CharM CharM is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Originally Posted by briantmeyer
...I am wondering what is it that people are doing different that makes them prefer Fabriano, or perhaps this is the deeper question, what is each artist grade brand better suited for, and how should I adjust how I work. For some budget grade papers the price being cheap is the main feature, which lets me paint more, but I have to deal with much more buckling or pilling.

DeSerres in Montreal, Quebec sold packs of Fabriano Artistico for the fabulous price of $2.93 per sheet. I couldn't resist the bargain and bought a LOT of it. It's a nice white 140# cold pressed paper. The tooth isn't as deep as I'd like, but it's ok. And there are only 2 deckle edges rather than 4. Since I prefer to tear my paper, I like the rougher edges but again at this price I can't complain.

Colour lifts easily from the surface without damage or abrasion. This ability, though, makes glazing something of a challenge. I really struggled with this for the first couple of paintings I tried, but gradually was able to lay glazes without lifting previous layers.

I also find that the paper seems to dry a little unevenly. For large washes, it's necessary to prime the surface with clear water a couple of times.

Overall, I really like it and will continue to use up everything I bought on sale. Some of my Students also took advantage of the sale and they tell me that they like working on it as well.

Frankly, I encourage my Beginners to paint on Arches 140# cold pressed. It's a good sturdy paper that can take some of the punishment that *fixing things* requires. However, I think they could manage the Fabriano just as well.

My all time favourite paper, however, is Arches 140# rough. I love the textures that can be achieved. And I've never found it difficult to work details despite the tooth.

EDIT: Noting your comment about the cheap papers... I don't recommend the department store or hobby store papers to anyone. You'll just end up frustrated with their poor performance. Practising on them really doesn't help because there's an adjustment and learning curve when we change to artist grade papers.

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. Leonardo DaVinci
Handbook Index ... Help for Newbies

Last edited by CharM : 07-10-2014 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:17 PM
parka parka is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

I love Fabriano Artistico for their fine grain Coldpress. The white also does not dull down the colours.

Haven't had the chance to use many other brands though. Waterford is too yellow and dry for me, or my type of work which includes details.
Check out some art product reviews on my blog
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Old 07-12-2014, 01:08 AM
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querin querin is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

When first started painting i liked the arche 140 hot press, for it's beenbeautiful egg shell smoothness ,recently i found this paper has changed ,it has a slight texture which i don't like for detailed work ,it's not as smooth,i also use the arche140 cold press medium as this has a slight texture can't tell if it's changed,I'm due to buy more and will see if there is any change.I mainly use hot press ,i also buy cold press iin 10 sheet pack so it lasted me a while.

I have tested the fabriano artistic hot press 140 that does have the smooth egg shell finish like arche used to be ,i do like the fabriano artistico . I find with hot press papers i need to wet the paper twice it will accept the pigment better ,especially when several layers are needed to be applied,otherwise the pigment sits on top,which is great if that's required.
The cold press i find accepts the pigment wash more readily into the paper.

.I have e-mailed canson the supplier of the arche paper queried what i found , they did respond quickly handling the query over to my local area, which responded ,was told that they would check the stock,it may have been a faulty batch i buy a pack of the10 full sheets and that i will notified,this has been going on since April been waiting a while i may never know.

Last edited by querin : 07-12-2014 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:18 PM
Neeman Neeman is offline
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Northern Galilee Hills, Israel
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Originally Posted by CharM
Brian, how did you fare with the 90 lb. paper? Did you buy a roll and what brand did you purchase? Was it more economical than buying sheets on sale?

Now a days almost all my pleine air is on 1/4 sheet 90#
Saunders HP and Rough
Fabriano HP and Rough
And Bockingford Rough

The Saunders is harder than the Fabriano
So the Fabriano HP is very fast and imprestionable and takes wonderful gestures
And the Saunders Rough holds for wet in wet
The harder Saunders HP taked pen and ink very well for the base for a painting
Fabriano Rough with Peirre Noir is good as the crayon grabs the tooth and you can controll the depth of the mark by pressure, then it takes any type of painting style so well
The Bockingford is better for Conte Peirre Noir as it is a classic drawing paper that does less well with color retention

I have 90# Cold Press in both Fabriano and Saunders, but have not used them much
And a package of Arches 90# Cold Press that I admit to never yet using

In England where is is cooler and damper, the 90# is very good for Plein air
In Israel the paper is thin where it is much warmer and the drying time are much faster
But it works fine and I spray my palette more often to keep the paints wet
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:40 PM
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Chris Robinson Chris Robinson is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

I can paint on anything except concrete, just wish I had some original hand made stuff to really let rip
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Old 10-10-2014, 03:17 AM
North North is offline
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Re: Watercolour paper poll

Good paper is incredibly expensive here so I bring back 2 years supply of 200lb CP Saunders Waterford and 140lb Fabriano CP Artistico when we make the bi-annual family visit. Returning home, my suitcase has more art stuff in it than clothes.

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