Last week, I painted a quick sketch on Fabriano 300lb Hot Pressed paper that I was using for the first time. You can read in one of my previous posts that I was not totally enchanted by that paper. However, I will try it one of these days for a floral watercolor.
In my search for that perfect watercolor paper that would not need any taping or stapling and still would not buckle, I purchased some Arches 300 lb CP paper. Today, I redid last week's sketch of a Venetian balcony: I spent about the same amount of time on the painting and used very similar colors.
What is the verdict? Have I found the perfect paper for ME? Let's see...
The Arches 300 lb CP is very sturdy - I don't think I would have to stretch it even for my pours. It seems to be quite forgiving and allow some lifting of the wet paint without damage to the paper. I like that! This paper gives me more control over the flow of the paint than the 300 lb HP Fabriano. It reacted beautifully to the use of the salt technique....better than the Fabriano and better than the Arches 140lb CP. However, the paper is more heavily textured than the Arches 140lb...so much more that I went back and checked my bill to ensure that I had not bought Rough paper instead of the CP. This texture does have an impact on the application of the paint...drybrush effects are very easy to produce...even when that is not quite what you want to do:-)
The paint dries much lighter on this paper because of its blotting effect ....you have to use more paint.
Do I prefer this paper over my regular Arches 140lb CP? Certainly not...at least I am not used to it enough to prefer it over my old standby. I like the sturdiness of this paper, but I have not succeeded, at least in this first experiment, to achieve the luminous quality that I can sometimes get with the 140lb.
I still have over 3/4 of a sheet of this expensive 300 lb paper...I will certainly experiment some more with it. , but may not use it for my next larger painting.
Any comments about this paper and tips about the best ways to use it?