Birches by the lake

I tried out some Strathmore Gemini watercolour paper on the weekend, just to see what it’s like to paint on something other than Arches or Fabriano. When I do paper tests like this, I try to pick a subject that’s not too complex (no street scenes, no architecture) so that I can focus instead on how the paint reacts on the paper. I really enjoyed the experience of working on the Gemini. It’s creamy white, nicely textured for Cold Press paper (140 lb), and softer than Arches. The most important thing for me is colour vibrancy — are the colours just as bright when dry as when wet? Of course all watercolours dry a little bit lighter but if the paper soaks up the chroma and the painting looks faded, then the paper fails the test for me. After this quick test, I can say that Gemini was really easy to work on, both with a light pencil drawing and then with a brush. Definitely a paper I will be trying again.


13 Comments on “Birches by the lake”

  1. Shari, I’m curious; how do you rate Arches verses Fabriano for color vibrancy?


    • HI Holly. Both are excellent for colour vibrancy. The paper I always seem to have problems with is Canson. They have a new paper called Heritage that just sucks up all the colour, as does their Moulin du Roy. But both Arches and Fabriano are excellent. Fabriano is a bit softer so I often use it for painting flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have heard from others unhappy with Canson and i would agree. But, I had also found Fabriano much softer and had wondered if that was why my colours appeared duller or if it was the fault of my painting! I shall now assume it was a fault of my painting and not the paper. Thank you so much for sharing your observations.


  2. Bernadette says:



  3. Very nice. I really like this.


  4. sandidureice says:

    Totally gorgeous. And I didn’t know that about paper and colour vibrancy, thankyou.


  5. Monique says:

    I’ve never seen that paper..I’ll look..I see you have a workshop in Oattawa..I wish you would do one mid way know where.


  6. Monique says:

    And that would be typo..:(


  7. Hello Shari, I attended a watercolor workshop recently with Tom Lynch, as part of the 21st Annual Art Event in Burlington Vermont. He now works on Gemini paper and he is very found of it. He demonstrated to us how very easy it is to make correction on this paper. If ever we meet in an outing of Montreal USK, I will gladly talk to you about this. Your birches are absolutely gorgeous. Diane


  8. Barbara says:

    Thanks for this link Shari….beautiful birch trees. I will have to try this paper out again. Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s