Thursday, 26 July 2012

Watercolour Paper ... Fabriano test.

    As most artists I'm sure would agree with me, there is nothing more inspiring than to buy new art supplies. Usually it's a case of wanting to try everything out there that is available, often just for the thrill of it, but more importantly to find which suits us best, although I doubt this option is top of the lists :D .

    Trying out different papers is a must when we start out in painting, and especially so when using watercolour. Most of us opt for the cheapest in the beginning, before we soon learn from the abundance of valuable advice out there, to use a good quality artist Grade, and of course the advice was right.

    Using good quality paper makes such a lot of difference to the way you paint, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The pigments react on the paper entirely different, just go get yourself a few samples and try it out, the most effective way of learning is to do it and see the results for yourself.

Still to be worked on some more, but painted enough  of it so far to offer an opinion.
We all discover our favourites over time, mine?, well I fell in love with Arches, and I know it's also a favourite with many artists. Although I will admit, early on I didn't try too many other brands, once I'd found Arches I pretty much stuck with it.

Of late I've started to try a few different brands as well as other surfaces, as i've usually stayed with NOT surface up until now. I've had comments of surprise from friends about never having tried Hot Press, which is very smooth. The reason being my love of painting portraits, and am told by many that apparently for this subject, nothing beats this paper. Well I did try it recently, with thanks to my friend Ruth, and although I can see it's strong points and will probably use it again as i'm experimenting with other media, for now I still prefer a bit of texture, especially so with pure watercolour.

The main reason I tried Fabriano Artistico was mostly down to the price. Arches like most things nowadays has shot up in price, so when Great Art had an offer on and were selling Fabriano Artistico at half price, it was too good an opportunity to miss. I knew this paper was a good quality and a favourite with many friends. 

My Opinion..
     Well to keep it short and sweet, if I didn't know any better, I would almost not have known I was using another paper. The colour is a little whiter as most artist know Arches has a distinct yellow tinge, which I actually like. I also hear often artists saying they don't like the smell of Arches when it's wet, but to be honest I've never really noticed. The other important issue to lots of artists is of course the price. Even at full price Fabriano is cheaper.I need to use it a few more time before I could honestly say I would change completely.

Try it out...
     Having said all this of course, it really does come down to personal taste, as it is with many other tools of the trade. My advice is, as long as you are using a decent quality, go with what suits you best, but, you do really need to try both, different brands as well as different surfaces, most suppliers offer a sample pack, some even for free...

Next in line.. is to try are some free samples I sent for some time ago, from a lovely sounding company in Spain called Garza Papel. These papers are hand made and I must say, feel beautiful to touch, so will look forward to painting on them. I will let you know what I think. They do offer a small free sample pack of both white and ivory if you want to try too, it would be lovely to hear your views, you post them as comments here and I could use them in a follow up post later. .                            


Joanna said...

A good post Stephie, I like the Fabriano, it's not much difference with Arches when you paint on it.
I'll se the paper from Spain.


Christiane Kingsley said...

Stephi, I use both Arches and Fabriano Artistico and I now prefer the Fabriano. Do try their Soft Press (sometimes called Satin Press). It's wonderful!

Stephie Butler said...

Thanks Joanna...I have used the Spanish paper, i'll update it later...

Stephie Butler said...

Thanks for the info Christiane, i'll try that one....Interesting you have now switched, thanks for your input, much appreciated.

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

I'm with Christiane here Stephie, give Fabriano Soft Press a try, it's somewhere in between cold press and hot press and works beautifully for portraits.

Didn't know about Garza Papel, thanks for pointing at it, gotta get one of those sample packs :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Steph,

I am after smooth but thick paper to do detailed drawings on, as well as paint on the same material. I don't like drawing on regular water-colour that is a little bumpy as it tends to ruin the detail.

Do you have any recommendations? I have been researching Fabriano paper and was considering ordering a roll.

This blog is great! Thank you so much. :)


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