Saturday, 5 July 2014

Choosing the Right Watercolour paper

 Sweet Pea in Watercolour
First Wash

Choosing the right paper in watercolour  makes all the difference to an artists work. I have experimented with many kinds of paper over the years . I have used  a number of brands, weights and surfaces to find just the right one to aid my watercolour effects, results and very importantly, my enjoyment whilst creating or experimenting.

I am completely smitten with Saunders Waterford paper.  

Why?

I love quality paper. You may think as a professional I can afford to be fussy. But if you had an insight into my experimental work you would see that I paint on both sides of pieces of paper when  I am trying out new ideas. Before I settle on the more serious compositions  specifically painted for a gallery. Cheap paper won't allow me to do this and isn't cost effective. My choice of paper has to allow my use of watercolour pigment to flow over its' surface beautifully. As pigments settle whilst drying I want them to fall beautifully into the tiny pockets of the paper surface. There should be a perfect drying time where my paper gives me enough scope to work  before the colour application is completely dry.

Some brands of watercolour paper take too long to dry while others allow pigments to dry far too quickly. Some papers are not white enough f or my floral work where I feel as though I am fighting against a dull background of the paper colour.

If you look at the image above of a sweet pea floral "first wash" you can see the difference in the paper colours. The real flowers are stood against one brand of watercolour paper. My painting is on Saunders Waterford watercolour paper and the  pigment colours are literally singing.

If I could give just one tip to new artists it would be to buy good quality paper and enjoy it.

Tip: For a fabulous alternative Bockingford 140lbs. is brilliant for floral work. Again the surface is stunning and a sheer joy to work on.

Time for me to get back to painting!


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6 comments:

Lorraine Rimmelin said...

I love using Saunders Waterford 200lb paper. I do like other papers but I like the added weight this paper gives me. Happy Painting!

Fernando Pena said...

Fully agree with you Jean,
Regards. Fernando

Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hi Lorraine, thank you for leaving a comment, Saunders Waterford is wonderful watercolour paper isn't it!

Jean Haines SWA, SFP said...

Hello Fernando, its' wonderful to see you, Thank you for leaving a comment,

Jean

artistickatt said...

I adore Saunders 200lb paper. I found it by acident a year ago and never looked back. I would have never thought about putting a sheet behind your subject. I will have to try that on my next piece. Your Sweet Pea is gorgous as just a first wash, quite inspirational.

artistickatt said...

I adore Saunders 200lb paper. I found it by acident a year ago and never looked back. I would have never thought about putting a sheet behind your subject. I will have to try that on my next piece. Your Sweet Pea is gorgous as just a first wash, quite inspirational.