A question about paperPosted: February 16, 2016
Can watercolour paper deteriorate over time? I’m asking because I don’t know the answer to this question. I received some old Arches paper, stacks of it really, both 140 and 300 lb, cold press and rough finishes. I’ve been using it occasionally, but have never really been satisfied with the results. In fact, it made me think I didn’t like Arches paper at all, which is in fact not true. I’m not sure where the paper was stored, but I am pretty certain it was kept dry. When I take a brush to it, the texture is just not right, and the paper seems flat and seems to have lost its sharp edge, if that makes any sense.
This first sketch is one I painted on new Arches paper. When I run a dryish brush along the paper I get what I am looking for, which is a textured line. I am also happy with the way the paint granulates in the hills and valleys of the paper.
The second sketch is a detail of the same setup, painted on the old stock of Arches paper. The granulation is much less apparent and I can’t get those nice edge effects. I am curious to hear if you have had a similar experience with old paper. If this paper is no good, I am wondering why I’m letting it take up shelf space in my studio.