Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Watercolour Paper

I have used a lot of watercolour paper as its easy to find in most stores, its a nice white paper to use and because there are so many variations in the paper both hot and cold press, I don't think you could ever run out of paper to try. I have found that a lot of watercolour paper is pretty soft so you have to be careful when it comes to scratches or marking the paper because it will show when coloured over. There are huge differences in textures between hot and cold pressed paper, and even between different companies. You can either get sheets of loose paper, bound paper in spiral books, pads that are glued together at the sides, and sketchbooks of different sizes. I prefer buying loose sheets so I can cut the paper to the size I need, but for travelling I actually prefer the glued pads over the sketchbooks as I find them more sturdy and they last longer for me. I just drew some simple shapes for examples and only am posting the paper I have examples for.
Langton watercolour paper

Daler-Rowney Langton

I have used the extra smooth hot pressed type of this paper. It has 2 sides to it, one with a slight texture to it and the other is really smooth. The smoother side works better with coloured pencils, its a little harder to blend the colours together on the other side. I can get about 8 layers of coloured pencil on this paper before it is a struggle to get more laid down, but the colours blend together easily while you can add more to the paper. A light touch is better with this paper to get the colours to blend together and so that the pencils do not dig into the paper. I really never see the need to burnish on this paper as the build up of colour gets a really smooth look on its own. If you put down watercolour before you use CPs on this paper there isn't any problems, it actually helps the coloured pencils adhere to the paper better. Its a nice smooth paper, with a good weight to it, 140lb, so can take a beating without crumpling. Using CPs over areas that have been wetted down and then dried doesn't work that well. The colours can be hard to blend together.

Yupo Paper

Yupo Paper

ahh Yupo paper. The paper that most people have no idea what to do with ;) I do know its not for CP work on the whole. It takes the pencils but the first layer can be really streaky. Any layers after that are better put down with a rounded pencil rather then a pointed one as the point leaves very obvious lines on the paper. I do like what happens after you have a few colours laid down. When you put another colour over the first few layers, it picks up the pigment from the previous layers. I thought that this would really bug me but it actually really helps blend the colours together. Its a nice white paper, but you have to be careful about fingerprints or marks as they can show up in the work (the white lines above as an example). I think for sketching this paper would be all right, but on the whole not for coloured pencil use. If anyone finds any work done with CPs on this that really blows their mind, please let me know :) I'm really interested to see what other people do with this paper (and Ingrid sent me some more to play with, which I want to do more then draw an apple on :p) I haven't tried using CPs on this paper over an area that has been wetted down, but I would imagine that any pencils that I laid down would pick up the dried colour and not blend in as there wouldn't be anything to blend into.

Winsor and Newton paper

Winsor & Newton Cotman Cold Pressed Paper

This paper has a textured surface to it. Its not so rough that the pencils have a hard time filling in the grooves but its enough of a texture to leave spots on the drawing. Its a nice heavy weight paper so can take a bit of abuse from the pencils and from you if it is dropped. You have to work a little harder to blend the colours due to the texture, either using extra layers or a heavier hand but they do blend together with a bit of work. You don't want to push too hard on the surface of the paper because it can actually make it harder to get more colour on that area. I actually lost count of the number of layers I got on this paper, more then 10 I do know that. I think if you kept a light hand you could get probably a lot of layers on this paper. I don't have problems using a wet medium and then CPs over that on this paper once the surface has been completly dried. If the paper is even a bit damp, the pencils have problems digging into the paper and blending together.

Winsor and Newton paper

Decided to burnish this with a light peach colour to see what it would do as I had never burnished anything on this paper before. It helped a bit to get rid of the white spaces but it ended up looking really fuzzy :/ I think I would just keep layering the pencil colours to get a shiny look, rather then burnish over them with one colour.

Fabriano 5 Watercolor Paper

Fabriano 5 Watercolour Paper

The watercolour paper I use the most (their site is not really working at the moment so can't link to the paper, didn't want to link to a store). Hot pressed, 140lb really white paper. Very smooth, has 2 sides but the difference between the 2 is really hard to explain without having a sheet in front of a person. One side is a bit smoother then the other, the other has a slight texture to it; if you run a finger across the 2 sides, the side with the texture feels a bit softer. The smoother side I find is the better side to use as the CPs don't end up looking really fuzzy and you can get more layers. The pencil colours blend together well on either side, but you can usually only get about half a dozen layers on the side with the texture to it. On the smooth side I have gotten about 20 layers, you could probably get more on the paper but I have never needed to. The CP colours stay bright on this paper. I would spray the finished piece with fixative to help stop the pigment from getting smudge around because it can do that if the paper is brushed up against a lot, or you don't put something under your drawing hand when working. Combining watercolour or Neocolors and CPs with this paper works all right. The pencils will go over the wetted areas, but have a habit of sticking into the paper rather then gliding over it, and you can only get a few layers of pencil down after its been wetted. If you don't need a lot of layers or its not a very detailed drawing using the wet media with the pencils will work.

Up next, random things to use coloured pencils on :)

Part One
Part Two

*edit went back to the old comment system. I started to have problems with it. I'm not having any luck with other comment systems :/*


Chrissy said...

I really do have problems with comment moderation systems myself so sympathise :(
Great posting, a nice lot of papers to have a go at here. I am quite surprised at the differences in the final finish not that i am experimenting. Whilst it doesn't aleter basic style, it can make a real difference to the overall appearance.

Shashi Nayagam said...

Thanks for giving a bit of insight into water colour paper as I have no idea about them.

Sandy said...

Just waving hi, will catch you when I got back to town in a week or so...take care.

Jennifer Rose said...

chrissy- its does make a big difference in the final product, which is why I always tell people try as many different paper as you can. Eventually you will find one that you like the look of :) I wish blogger would change their comment system, or make it so you can change it yourself easily.

shashi- your welcome :) hope its helpful

*waves* hi sandy :D Enjoy your trip!!