Pros and cons

Up to now I have been fortunate enough to have had a stock of Fabriano 5 to work with, that’s pretty much used up now apart from small pieces, so I have to get to grips with some new paper. So I’m going to write down my thoughts as I try out papers and I will assemble my notes or come back to this to add to it as I try out other stock.

Arches, 300gsm HP

I have been trying out Arches, I don’t think I have painted on Arches since my evening class days at RBGE, Generally it’s good, I enjoyed working on it initially, but got a bit fed up with it after working with it for a few weeks!

Painting on the watermarked side:
Nice weighty feel
Good movability of paint
Slightly soft velvety feel when you apply dry brush, also a con*
Crisp lines in some areas, but not consistently…

It’s a bit too cream coloured
Graphite can stain it once the surface has been drawn on and rubbed out a lot
*The water in my brush seems to get sucked out into the paper without the pigment, and then I have to rewet it as the pigment won’t leave the brush, so lots of rewetting
The edges seemed to bleed, so it was hard to get crisp edges

I don’t want to paint on this again


Fluid 100, 300gsm HP

An American paper, 100% cotton, one side has little subtly textured patches (very hard to define), I’ll paint on the other side

Painting on the smoother side:
Nice crisp lines, was able to paint fine details
Was able to lift and move paint quite happily
Quite white, though not as white as Fab 5

Feels kinda’ thin (although it is 300gsm)
I could see where I had rubbed out by the change in the paper surface, not too much but slightly
Seems to be slightly hard to get hold of here in the UK

I would be very happy to work with this again


Botanical Ultra Smooth, 300gsm HP

From St Cuthbert’s Mill, 50% cotton, designed to replace Fab 5

Painting on the smoother side:
Takes wet on wet really nicely
Not sure about lifting yet…
Quite white, though not as white as Fab 5
Good weight

Need to load the brush with water to get a smooth gliding line, otherwise it skims the surface and leaves a broken line…