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Old 04-12-2003, 09:35 PM
Susan Tustain's Avatar
Susan Tustain Susan Tustain is offline
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Tauranga New Zealand
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 5
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Hot Presses paper etc

Hot Press Paper

Thank you to Uschi for mentioning my website on wetcanvas - response to it has lead me to this amazing site!
Hi! - my name is Susan Harrison-Tustain. I am a watercolor instruction book author/video presenter and teacher. I'd love to share my experiences with regard to some of the queries I have read in this column. Hope they are of help.! Right now I'd like to share my experience with Hot Pressed paper.

I use hot pressed paper exclusively. The hard surface of this paper is wonderful for describing the finest detail - but the bonus is you can also paint soft focus or texture. The whole spectrum of texture is possible! The harder surface of Hot Pressed does take a little getting used to - just as any change does.

I've developed a way of using Hot Pressed paper so you can, among other things, achieve a gentle, soft blending that is ideal for describing petals, fabrics, skin - anything that is smooth. I use what I call 'my priming method'.

1. I wet the paper with clear water. Allow it to soak in - just until the sheen has dulled.

2. Then I rewet the paper again - not TOO much water this time.

3. NOW I drop in my color.

You will be asking why - huh? The reason for this is that I want more time before the color is absorved. I may want to manoeuvre my color, or add more hues or deepen the same hues - or even lift color. My method moistens the inner layers of the paper - therefore the paper won't absorb the subsequent layers of moisture as quickly. Imagine a dry sponge - in comparsion to a moist sponge. Now you get the idea!

So, my painting technique is washing in numerous fine veils of color or color mixes, using my priming method. Each time allowing the paper to dry completely once the moisture has got to that "don't go there'' stage. The temptation is to continue once you have reached that stage - don't - it's a trap for young players! Remember the term 'bone dry' and you won't go wrong.

By building up fine veils of color upon fine veils of color, you can achieve a rich deep colour, a soft delicate hue or anything in between. By softly blending the colors and depth of color, you can achieve a realism that will give your paintings a 'presence'. Hot Pressed paper and my priming method makes it possible. I'm sure there must be other ways too - but this is what works for me.

My priming method is also great for soft edges, soft lines, blending shadows - such as allowing a subject to gently emerge from a dark background. There are many applications. So have fun!

It's also important to note that I also use only transparent colors.

Last edited by Rich : 01-15-2006 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 04-13-2003, 01:10 AM
Susan Tustain's Avatar
Susan Tustain Susan Tustain is offline
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Tauranga New Zealand
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 5
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Smile thank you!

Thank you to you all for your kind words about my work. I feel very humble!

I have been asked about the brand of paper I use:
Arches 180lbs hot pressed. One other important thing:
If you use my methods, you'll be using a lot of water. I ALWAYS stretch my paper before I begin.

Have fun - it's amazing stuff!


Last edited by Susan Tustain : 04-13-2003 at 01:25 AM.

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