Friday, September 3, 2010

Playing with Paper

I recently paid a visit to one of our art supply stores in the area to pick up some open-stock Stonehenge paper. I've read on several blogs and on the Stonehenge web site as well that the paper is good for watercolors so I've been very curious to "see" and touch it for myself.

To say I was skeptical when I first handled the paper is an understatement!

Still, being a glutton for punishment (not really...I just didn't see how that many people could be wrong), I purchased a sheet of white and a sheet of gray that should be called putty as it is not gray. Not by a long shot. I purchased it with the intention of building a sketchbook. However, before I put in all the work of putting together a sketchbook I wanted to find out what the paper could or would do with regard to watercolors.

I tore down both sheets and with the scraps left over, started to play.......

Watercolor Samples on 90 lb. Stonehenge Paper
The very top sample is about .75 inches (1.905 cm) wide and is the white Stonehenge and surprise, surprise! Not only did it NOT turn to mush in my hands when I added water and pigment, it didn't bleed through nor did it warp. Yay!

Onto the gray.....these scraps were slightly wider, a little less than 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Starting on the bottom, I painted a quick pumpkin and then the tree. Again, so far, so good. Moving up to the middle strip, I painted the tree with the meadow and sky washes. Again, no warpage, no bleed, no mess. Then I moved on to pen and ink, both permanent and non-permanent. Success!

Now, the downside. This paper is very soft and the pigment seems to sit on the surface without sinking down into the fibers. Easy lifting, even of staining colors but will this be a problem with pages rubbing against each other when the book is closed? Also, this paper is not going to allow for too much correction work without getting bruised or damaged. My last concern is that I'm not sure how well it will accept erasing as I didn't use pencil on any of these samples. Sometimes (most of the time) erasing will change the surface of a paper and I don't this one will be an exception. 

I do believe this paper will be great for just about any dry media as it did great with both pens.  More testing to come. If I find any further info worth sharing, I'll post it. The main reason I decided to play with this paper is that it was recommended for making sketchbooks. The paper does not crack like some of the watercolor papers with heavy sizing on them.

Hope you a fabulous, long weekend with lots of art time and play time and rest time!

11 comments:

  1. How informative!!! Love the little jewels of paintings you have done there. The snowman is soooooo awesome!!! Hope you have a very wonderful weekend, sorry I have been missing lately. Take care.

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  2. I've not heard of this paper. I will be on the lookout for it. It would be interesting to try.

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  3. Have you tried Canson Edition paper? It is softer than cold press wc paper yet tougher than stonehenge and takes a variety of media. It's my favorite sketchbook paper to date.

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  4. Thanks, Theresa, don't worry—we all understand life has a way of getting crazy!

    Lisa, you may want to check out Ann's suggestion about the Canson as well!

    Hi, Ann, no, I haven't tried it. I'm not sure I'm even familiar with it, but I'll be looking for it now! Do you do a spiral bound sketchbook or stitched? (Oh, boy, now I have a reason to go BACK to the art store!!)

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  5. You're always good at investigating things--thanks for the reportage!

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  6. Hi Laure,
    I love Stonehenge paper for coloured pencils, it's very strong and can hold many layers.
    But I never tryed with watercolour
    Thanks for sharing!
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Suzanne

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  7. Interesting! As you can imagine, I've got tons of Stonehenge... all colors, all sizes :-) Will have to give it a try... although I'm really enjoying wc on Arches 140 lb.... which is still buckling AFTER I stretched it! Aarrgh!!

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  8. Great article, Laure, thanks for doing research on this (purely in the interest of science, of course, not for the love of exploration LOL). I love using Stonehenge for drawing, but never thought to use it for watercolor. Will have to check it out!

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  9. Laure, I stitch my sketchbooks together. Canson Edition folds just fine. Here's a sample of a watercolored page
    http://nemcoskyart.blogspot.com/2010/08/sketch-outing.html
    It was recommended to me by the owner of a small art supply store here as a good multi-media paper. It comes in various "colors" too.
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/canson-edition-papers/

    I just thought since you were trying out papers anyway...and I know I always like an excuse to shop for art supplies :-)

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  10. Great info, Laure. I took Ann's suggestion of Canson Edition paper awhile back. Love it! Doesn't buckle, takes a lot of water. I use approx 5 x 7 sheets and 10 x 7 for my sketchbooks. The only down side for me is it's a tad to textured for pointed pen calligraphy. So I just draw my fancy fonts and color them in.
    Dick Blick has the paper and it does come in a few colors. Great price too!

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  11. Thanks, Sue!

    No wonder your work is so gorgeous, Suzanne, if you're using this paper!

    T, we just never know what we have at our fingertips! Let me know what you think, if you try it!

    Krista, if you give it a try, let me know what you think!

    Thanks for the update, Ann, and the link—gorgeous, clean color! I was thinking I was going to have to check it out before....now I KNOW I am!

    Interesting info on the texture, Pam, and thanks for the info on this paper. I'll see if the independent has the paper and if not I guess I"ll just have to place an order with Dick Blick, darn it!!

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