Yesterday I attended demo hosted by Daniel Smith Seattle. It was presented by Scott Bates, of Canson. He talked about drawing papers and erasers. I never knew there is so much to know about erasers. He described them as a drawing tool which can both erase pencil marks and be used as a blender.
Since Scott represents Canson, the presentation was about their papers. Canson was the first to use microperforations for easy removal of papers from the pad. They also have “true size” in which the torn out sheet is the size noted for the pad. They are the largest maker of pads. All the paper is milled in France and the sketch books assembled in USA.
He told us about a cheat some makers use to make their paper seem heavier. They use a larger sheet to calculate the pounds. It might not really be 90 pound paper if the size used as larger than standard. It is best to use grams per meter squared (gsm) to compare.
All Canson tinted papers are dyed in the pulp. Cheaper or inferior papers spray on tint. These will perform poorly, especially when erased.
Scott also showed us how a black-light can be used to detect optical brighteners. If these are used in the making of the paper it will yellow over time. Most Canson papers do not have optical brighteners. Strathmore 400 drawing paper does. Canson Artist series paper are their better papers within the line.
While he talked, Scott had us using pencil, paper and erasers. We laid down 5 different pencil lines on 6 different Canson papers. Then we erased a line with each different eraser. We were to note how each pencil felt on the paper and then how each eraser performed on the various pencil marks and the various papers.
I really don’t use pencil much at all, so I did not discern very much from the exercise. He said that experts at Canson can determine the type of paper blindfolded, just by how it feels when marking with pencil! When I was young and taking art classes, I kept a pencil sketchbook. Now I only use pencils for the 2-5 minute poses during the AFK Drink & Draw sessions!
All the ones we tested were Milan brand. DS doesn’t carry them, though there are erasers in stock that are similar. Scott advised us that every artist should have a range of erasers available that are used for different purposes. Softer erasers are better on more textured papers. I really liked the 1420 Master Gum. Of course, the kneaded eraser is my most used in the sort of sketching I do.
Before the demo, I had an interesting discussion with staffer Leslie about her experiences with 3 different Urban Sketching groups.
Justin helped me in picking out a sable brush…. my first (given the curren embargo on importation… maybe my only one). Then he gave me a sample of Daniel Smith watercolor Pearlescent Shimmer. I haven’t tried either the brush or the paint yet!