Fuchsia on AquariusPosted: September 19, 2015
I remember some years ago that when I tried using Strathmore Aquarius paper, the experience was unpleasant. The paper had fiberglass in it, and if you made the mistake of rubbing your hand on the surface, you ended up with small, irritating fibres in your skin. How could I forget that? But the paper has changed, and when someone suggested recently that I should give it another try, I bought a sheet at the art supply store. Strathmore Aquarius II is quite a thin sheet and seems be manufactured only in this 80 lb weight, but because of the synthetic and cotton composition, it doesn’t buckle when you paint on it.
I took it out to sketch a few pots in the garden, with the dual purpose of trying the paper and using up a blob of Vermilion paint that had leaked in my palette. I really don’t know how this paper would be if I used it for a more complex (and layered) painting but for simple brush shapes like this, it worked pretty well. And I think this would be a great paper for taking out in the field. It’s smooth enough for a pen line and the colours remain pretty bright. And as advertised, the paper doesn’t buckle at all so no taping required. Would it replace Arches or Fabriano for larger paintings? No way. There’s no tooth to the paper, so forget granulation. But I have been writing for weeks about trying to find a paper that is both smooth enough for a fine pen line and textured enough for a wash. This is definitely a contender (along with Fluid 100 CP) for that.