I’m still on the search for the best paper for my purposes. For the moment, I’m using Stathmore Series 500 Mixed Media. I get it in sheets and tear to fit my sketchbook. However, I’m still looking.
To that end, I went to a demo at Daniel Smith Eastside today. Store manager, Cindy, offered a hands on demo in which we put several kinds of paper through their paces. She explained about sizing and other technical terms. She recommended always doing the same tests on any new paper and then keeping the test sheet for future reference. We tested how the paper handled artist’s tape, masking fluid and pencil mark erasure. We painted and tested blending, glazing, etc. I also added fountain pen marks to see how easy it was to draw on the paper and then paint over.
I didn’t take any photos during the demo but the above are the test sheets and hand outs.
Of the several papers tested, my top three were (and they are the top three in the photo, left to right):
- Fabriano Artistico bright white 140# soft press
- Arches natural white 140# cold press
- Canson XL watercolor 140#
I didn’t buy any today. I need to check my stash to see whether I already have some! I still have several full sheets of the Series 500 Mixed Media. However, in the disc bound book I’m using now, I can easily add different papers.
In case you’re wondering, the other papers that didn’t make my cut:
Arches 90# hot press
Strathmore 400 140# cold press
Fabriano Artistico true white 140# hot press