Paper testing

I’m testing out some new paper today: Fabriano 1264 Cold Press in pad format. I ordered it because I love taking Arches CP pads out on location, and I thought these might also be good for the same reason: convenience. Sketchbooks are great but sometimes you want loose sheets and are too lazy to cut up full sheets into quarters. At least I am! So this 11″ x 15″ pad arrived today and I had to try it out immediately.

This paper is not 100% cotton (it’s wood pulp) so it doesn’t have the same texture as the best Fabriano sheets. But I do like how it behaves, and here are my first impressions:

The washes sit on the surface of the paper and don’t sink into the paper as much. That means that the puddles take longer to dry. Even after half an hour the wettest blobs were still a bit damp. But that means you can get some beautiful effects if you are using a wet brush. Look at the way the deep purple salvia wash mixes with the green. I love that!

It also lifts really well so if want to lose some edges, like I did on the glass, they are easy to lift.

Admittedly, the texture is not as nice as the cotton stock — it has less of an irregular texture than I am used to — but I quite enjoyed working on it and will use it again for quick sketches in the field. And of course more flowers.

26 Comments on “Paper testing”

  1. Bernadette says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Love the way the colors melt and merge together. Sooo nice, so nicely done.


  2. Susan Jaehn-Kreibaum says:

    This is absolutely stunning. As is most of your work.


  3. LaVerna says:

    This is so incredible. I LOVE it all especially the vase. Thanks so much for inspiring us all.


  4. Chris Rusk says:

    Hi Shari
    So delicate. Really nice effects. At times some of the pink reminds me of rose madder, but that could be my screen calibration 😉

    Not related: I am guessing this paper would accept gouache very well?


    • Hi Chris, These days I use Quin Rose instead of Rose Madder, so there is some of that mixed with a bit of Alizarin, and then dirtied up with some palette wash. As for gouache on this paper, it would be perfect!


  5. Laurie Murray says:

    This is SO good!!


  6. lois says:

    The colors in this painting are so very pretty. That pink….! You don’t use that color too much, do you? It’s a beauty.


    • Thanks Lois. That pink is just a bit of diluted Alizarin or Quin Rose, dirtied up a bit. I use those colours all the time, just not in their diluted form. I guess I don’t paint many pink subjects.


  7. Kathleen O'Donnell says:

    Interesting! Thank you for your observations .


  8. rooi says:

    Hi my Shari.. I have been thinking.. what other subjects can i suggest that can challenge you? hmmm.. tough one! Love your flowers..


    • Give me a challenge my friend. I will take it, gladly. Just don’t make it something I have to go far for (like a mountain top) because we still can’t travel. But if it something that I can get to or compose on my own, I am game. No photos please. From life challenges only. You’re on.


  9. AshleyWolff says:

    You have a lovely touch with any brush or paper!


  10. Mitch Zeissler says:

    Lovely work — I like!


  11. Iona says:

    Lovely flowers, lovely composition, lovely colours! I have ordered some of this paper, which should arrive any day now and it’s good to see your positive review on it. Thank you for this post – and – as always- your ‘technical’ explanations.


  12. deedster56 says:

    Really nice to get your take on different papers, Shari. And such a lovely outcome! Thank you for the information you gave @lois regarding the pink, so yummy! I loved this.


  13. Tracy says:

    This is beautiful! I’m always fascinated at how you convey the idea of glass with the vases.


  14. Sharon Monson says:

    Beautiful and delicate interpretation. Just curious about the pale flowers trailing on the left,what kind are they?


  15. Betsy says:

    Hi Shari, another gorgeous vase and flowers. I enjoyed your sketching flowers class over the winter!

    I can’t seem to find a brush I love. What brush did you use for this sketch?


  16. Joan Tavolott says:

    Glad the paper worked well for you. This is lovely. Great color and composition!


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