As promised here is a post about paper. I had happily been using the same type of watercolour paper since college (Saunders and Waterford, Not, 140LB) but since experimenting with other pens and watercolours, I decided to test out some other papers. Here’s the results of my tests. I started by buying a pack of sample papers, (from Lawrences Art shop) I discarded some straight away for being too textured-not what I wanted and useless with a dip pen. In case you don’t know, paper is graded into three types, HP or Hot press -very smooth, Rough is the opposite and very textured, and Not which is inbetween the two. Paper also comes in weights, which here I’ve shown in LB.
On the test sheets, I tested how it was to draw on with a dip pen and how the paint went on and dried. The sheets with fewer experiments on were discarded earlier, where as those with more needed further experiments.
Sheet 1. Arches, RWS, and Fabriano all were very nice and I came back to these later. The Bockingford papers I didn’t like painting on and RWS 425 LB was just too absorbant.Sheet 2. The two most successful were the Saunders and Waterford papers, (though bizarrely my usual paper didn’t fare so well in the test, but I ignored it a bit on experience!) The heavier S.W paper was too absorbant. Archers rough took the paint nicely, but rubbish with the pen. Fabriano and RWS HP papers, I found the paint sort of slipped off.. it didn’t really soak in and wasn’t nice to paint on.Sheet 3. I didn’t like any of these. All hotpress and didn’t take the paint well, it left marks and wasn’t smooth.Sheet 4. More indepth trials on the favourites. RWS white, Not, 300LB. Nice to draw on and the paint went on nicely, but didn’t seem to dry very flat. Arches, 300LB Not, very nice. Paint went on well and good to draw on.Sheet 5. Fabriano 300LB Not. Nice with pen though scratchy. The paint sort of floats on the surface but dries very flat, I didn’t really like how the paint went on.Sheet 6. After trying them all none seemed as good overall as the Saunders and Waterford paper. I then discovered that they do white paper , so two more tests – both 140LB, both white S and W, and there wasn’t much in it! The HP paper was lovely to draw on and took the paint better than any of the other HP papers I tried. The Not worked ok with the dip pen, lovely to paint on .The deciding fact was that the paint colour seemed denser on the Not and that swung it for me. Very happy with it.