Art Supplies at the FWS Tradeshow

11:47 AM

Okay, finally! We're going to talk about art supplies that were demoed around at the Florida Watercolor Tradeshow.....

First up:

Fluid Watercolor Paper and the hand•book watercolor journals were spotted at nearly every vendor selling supplies. Interestingly enough, the hand•book watercolor journals are made from Fluid Watercolor paper though you won't find that info on the label. The paper has a finish similar to a laid paper finish. It is not as obvious as a true laid finish but the resemblance is there. Both the Fluid paper and the hand•book journal company is represented by Global Art Materials in the US. The web site is rather short on information about the products.

Fluid watercolor paper is a wood pulp based paper rather than a cotton rag. It has cut edges rather than deckled edges. [Life has been seriously cutting into my exploration time and] I have yet to put the paper through its paces. I did cut down one sheet to see what kind of fold I would get for bookbinding. Happy to say no cracking or tearing. Oddly, the grain ran opposite to most of the papers I have been playing with here lately.

The paper comes in 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.2 cm) sheets as well as blocks and pads, all in various sizes. It is made in the US. More on this product as I get more time to play.

The cover on the hand•book journal is absolutely gorgeous! It has a wonderful touch to it and seems quite durable. Time will tell. I've read where a number of artists have had trouble with warping of both the cover and the paper. So far, I can't make that claim. Perhaps because of the humidity in Florida? Or maybe in spite of it? I don't know, but it's been sitting in open air for over a week without the slightest of changes.

Westfield Cypress and Pond
3.5" x 8.25"
This is my first attempt at sketching, plein aire,* on this paper. Let me preface all of what I'm about to say with a disclaimer—this was not a fair test to the paper. Why? Because I was out painting in much cooler temperatures than normal with gale-force winds (not really, just breezy, but when you're trying to paint the wind seems much stronger!)

The paper seemed to be resistant in places and not in others—uneven sizing or those crazy winds? There was a good deal of buckling when I was painting, but the paper has dried fairly flat with a bit of curling to the edges. No better or worse than other papers I've tried. I didn't really notice any oddities with the pigment or settling of the granulation, but then, I was fighting with the elements more than the paper so it's hard to say if there were any issues.

Two other sizes are also available, both larger. The hand•book journals are made in India. Whereas I am not thrilled with this book so far, I will continue to experiment and play with it to see what it can and cannot do.

More art supplies to come!

*This pond is situated between a huge mall and a 10 lane interstate just beyond those trees. I could see the glint of metal as the cars flew by on the roadway. It was more than a bit disconcerting to hear the sweet song of a Red-wing Blackbird against the nearly overwhelming roar of the cars, both on the interstate and behind me as the shoppers arrived at the mall. A small piece of paradise tucked away in an unlikely spot. These days, I find my bit of paradise where I can!

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