Aquarius test, part two

This morning I was a spectator at the half-marathon in Lachine, so I brought along my sketch bag and passed a few hours painting until the race was over. As promised, I included a few small sheets of Strathmore Aquarius, as a follow-up to yesterday’s tests on this same paper. It was a good morning for sketching and I was able to get two quick ones in — one facing the Lachine Canal and the other one facing the finish line.

This time, I penciled in my drawing first and then moved on to paint. Aquarius is still a strange paper to me. It takes a long time to dry — longer than I am used to on a sunny day with a bit of wind — and it does absorb the pigment and lighten the values as it dries. I don’t dislike the experience of working on it, but it takes some getting used to. I can see why people make sketchbooks out of this. Thin paper that remains flat after wetting is a big advantage. Would I use it again? Probably. It has a softness that I like (great for atmospheric effects too, I bet), it’s reasonably priced, and seems to be just fine for quick sketches.

AquariusTest2AquariusTest3


18 Comments on “Aquarius test, part two”

  1. Barbara says:

    Hi Shari…..have you tried the Gemini paper by Strathmore? It comes in 120 lbs and has more of a texture of a Cold Press paper. I find that the Aquarius is more like a Hot Press as well. I am going to try the Gemini paper.

  2. Terry says:

    These are wonderful Shari..and yes, I remember the fiberglass well !!!!!

  3. tylaraduncan says:

    what is in that blue mix of the water? nice colours.

  4. TonyU says:

    Not sure quite why but for some reason these look different, more so than yesterday’s flowers … but guess it must be the paper. Presumably you were at the half marathon because you were using the paper for the second day running!

    • HI Tony,
      That is exactly why I was at the marathon! These sketches do look different. Spyro thought they had sort of a vintage feel, maybe because the paper absorbs some of the colour and gives them a faded look. It was a good test but I have a feeling I will stick with my regular paper stock for now…
      Hope you are well.

  5. Judy Sopher says:

    I especially like the second painting as I always like your paintings with buildings, people and wires. What size are these?I looked into that paper and only found it in full sheets.

    And last, do you mean that people buy full sheets and cut these down to make sketchbooks? I have been making several myself using various papers . Not that you can’t buy them but it is just fun to make them, especially as I don’t paint that large.

    • Hi Judy,
      These are about 8″ x 10″ and they are indeed from full sheets of paper that have been cut down. I think people do that as well when they make sketchbooks. I’m not sure the paper is available in pads. Are you one of those people who makes her own sketchbooks. I do admire that skill but I don’t have patience to do that. I always want to get outside to sketch!

      • Judy Sopher says:

        I probably have more free time than you as I am retired.But the truth is I love to make things as well as paint. I also buy sketchbooks tho. I’m not sure my home-made sketchbooks show much skill but I can use the paper I like in the size I like.

  6. keviv says:

    Excellent Shari.

  7. joantav says:

    Nice job on both of these! I’ve never tried the Aquarius paper, but if it takes a long time to dry I probably won’t. lol Love the people in the second one.

  8. really liked this – thank you please may I re-blog it? R


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