Is it just me

I am curious to know if anyone has had the same frustration as me with some Winsor & Newton paper. I painted this bouquet on a block of Winsor & Newton 140 lb CP paper. I’ve had success on this paper before. In fact for my most recent course “Victorian Vignettes” I did all my demos on this. But for some reason, the larger block (12″ x16″) does not seem to absorb the paint the same way it did on smaller size blocks. Is it just me or have you had difficulty with this paper too?

You can see from the detail below that the paint doesn’t get absorbed into the paper unless you add multiple layers of washes. I assume that this might be an issue with the sizing. This was a difficult bouquet to paint from the start because of all the tiny flowers, but I found myself going over areas again and again because every wash seemed to disappear into the paper. Plus there are all these little white speckles that appeared even after going over the surface with a fully saturated brush. Have you used this paper and noticed this same issue? I’d love to know.


50 Comments on “Is it just me”

  1. Riseup Admin says:

    Much of my paper was accumulated several years ago and stored carefully. I only have one block of W & N that I purchased after taking your classes.  I’m not terribly fond of it, but I suspect most of the recent complaints I see about issues with various papers have a basis in “economies of manufacture.” I am yet to have any issues with the Fabriano Artistico that I continue to return to after brief forays with other brands. thank you again for all your efforts to keep your flock motivated through the pandemic. elly hobgood

    Like

    • Elly, I keep going back to Arches and Fabriano because they are so reliable. Always a pleasure to use and never an issue like this. But like you I occasionally stray, usually for reasons of economy, and I am sometimes disappointed. Thanks for writing!

      Like

  2. D says:

    i used it a few years back and was not impressed so never think about purchasing again. I prefer Fabriano and Baohong but also use Arches.

    Like

    • Interesting to hear that you are using Baohong. I tried that one too and didn’t really like it. The only way it worked for me was when I used it wet-in-wet. When the paper was really saturated it was like any other paper. I still have a few sheets left.

      Like

  3. Northern Traveller says:

    How frustrating!!!!

    I have used the W/N tiny postcard paper (3″x5″) with very good success but have never used any of their larger paper. I also try and stick to Arches & Fabriano Artistico, with Canson XL thrown in for good measure when I’m feeling cheap. I recently purchased a block of Saunders Waterford, but haven’t tried it yet.

    Like

    • Mary, it was frustrating! I think you’ll like the Saunders paper. It’s another consistently great brand. I have several fat pads of watercolour paper that I love, but it’s not easy to find here in Montreal.

      Like

  4. Barbara Beynon says:

    I haven’t used a W&N block, though a small (5″x7″) wire-bound journal, WC CP, 100% cotton with perforated pages has been quite nice. I’ve experienced changes in two papers over the years and in both cases it seemed to be the sizing. It’s frustrating that the manufacturers do this without warning or explanation, as though it makes no difference. I hope your experience was just a fluke–though one isn’t tempted to try a second time when the paper is rather pricey.

    Like

  5. dankillebrew says:

    Shari it is still a lovely painting but thank you for the tips and I so appreciate when someone of your repute confesses challenges. I love following your blogs

    Like

    • Thanks so much Dan. I figure if I have disasters, others may be having them too, so why not share the info if it can be helpful to someone. So they don’t end up wasting time and money like I did!

      Like

  6. Paul says:

    I still have older stock of Arches wc papers. Is it possible that Arches is starting to shift from gelatin to vegetable sizing!!?? I understand why that’s a good thing to do for the environment but it means we will need to adapt our approach to using previously favourite papers!

    Like

  7. cemeryposh says:

    I think W&N must be under new ownership or something because their customer service is much less accommodating than they were in the past. Nevertheless, it would be worth calling them and sending those photos. Of course at best they would send you a new block (of the same yucky product!) but maybe they would do something about factory management! Ugh!

    Like

    • Good idea. I think I may talk to the owner of the small shop where I bought the paper. He has a good relationship with all of the distributors and he may be able to get in touch with them. Thanks for the idea!

      Like

    • ACWATERCOLORS says:

      Yep, just thought the same thing.. Their recently changes make me feel about a management orientation, regardless the artistic quality.
      Their previous paper was tones better than the new one for sure.

      Like

  8. Sherry says:

    Ok so this is a real flyer of a suggestion – but I well remember with Letraset paper and markers
    if you tried to work on the wrong side of the paper – the markers wouldn’t set up and the colours
    also speckled – could it be, – crazy I know – could it be that the paper was set in the block with wrong side up???

    Like

    • Sherry, that did occur to me too. I am going to bring it back to the store and see what they say.
      Of course I never put it in the context of Letraset but I remember that very well too. Let’s not go there!!

      Like

  9. michael battley says:

    Hi Shari, I haven’t tried W&N paper in pads – I use the W&N professional watercolour loose sheets that I get from Ken Bromley art supplies in the UK. They even provide these sheets cut to size at no extra charge, and the paper compares very well with Arches which is my particular favourite. Not the answer you wanted but maybe an alternative purchase for you?

    Beast Regards, Michael.

    Like

  10. -N- says:

    I agree with you – some papers do not seem to work consistently. I would think W&N would, given it has a reputation to uphold. However, every manufacturer can have a glitch. I think I would see how they respond to your problem – that will tell you whether they are worth using again. Like you, Fabriano and Arches are steadfast companions, but I will admit I love to use the Bee paper for play and something-or-other 100 that I cannot recall the name of, but it is consistent. My thought is give it one more try, one more pad or block. After that, well, you’ll know!

    Like

    • Thanks so much N. This was actually my second try with the block. First one was just as bad. I’m still not sure if it is a new production of paper or just a bad batch because the smaller blocks are fine. I will have to take it back to the store, along with the painting, to show my art supply dealer. I think he will agree that this is not acceptable for pricey paper like this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • -N- says:

        That is a real pity because we don’t get a lot of paper choices these days. I hope your art dealer will help you out. I wonder if others have had the same issue.

        Like

  11. Betsy says:

    Sounds like a manufacturing or formulation defect, but could a sheet possibly have been stored next to waxy paper or something else that might cause it to have areas of resist? I still love your painting!

    (Enjoyed the flower-painting online class and I feel that it has improved my skill at two things in particular – – negative-painting background darks in foliage, and setting varying pigments in a wet wash ❤ )

    Like

    • Betsy, it’s so nice to read this about the class. People did wonderful paintings and then posted them, so I got to see all the wonderful work.
      As for the paper, it is a block and this is the second sheet on it that performs badly. The first time I thought I was having an off day but now I see that the paper is off. It was definitely resisting my efforts to paint on it.
      Thanks for writing!

      Like

  12. Catherine says:

    THE OLD, DISCONTINUED W&N PAPER WAS GREAT – THE NEW ONE IS NOT…

    Please specify: Were you disappointed by the new W&N watercolor paper (blue cover) or the old, discontinued one (grey cover)?

    Most artists loved the old W&N paper, but dislike the new one.

    Jill Poyerd Fine Art did THE most thorough comparison of professional watercolor paper on YouTube: https://youtu.be/DZhswCAM32Q. The discontinued W&N paper was one of the best on the market, and the video shows why. It also showed the old discontinued Lanaquarelle was great… ( I have not tried the new Lanaquarelle, but most « new » papers are a let down.)

    See below the video, the pinned comment from Jane W., one of Jill Poyerd Fine Art subscribers who contacted W&N. They used to have three different mills manufacturing their paper, but now they only have one left (obviously not the best…) The new paper has less texture, is less absorbent, and it warps a lot more.

    Roz Stendhal published a three-part review of the new professional W&N paper:

    https://rozwoundup.com/2018/04/new-winsor-newton-watercolor-paper-part-1-professional-cold-press.html

    https://rozwoundup.com/2018/04/new-winsor-newton-watercolor-paper-part-3-professional-hot-press.html

    (Part 2 is about the new W&N classic paper – not the 100% cotton professional one.)

    She also dislikes the new paper, and regrets the discontinued one she loved. She gives an interesting explanation: According to her, the best paper is gelatin sized. But all the new mills turn to vegan sizing.

    She says: « I prefer gelatin based sizing on my watercolor paper. I find that in general the washes move more smoothly on a gelatin-sized paper. » (https://rozwoundup.com/2018/11/greens-grays-and-canson-heritage-watercolor-paper.html)

    So the new W&N, like Fabriano’s Hot Press paper and so many others is not as good as it used to be.

    It is always possible that one block of paper comes from a bad batch, but I would bet you liked the old paper, and hate the new one…

    The new W&N paper is such a let down that it is cheaper than than the discontinued one!

    Traditional paper mills are disappearing, and large companies are pressured by Vegans. Unfortunately, this means product quality is going down… For example, influencers like Irit Landgraf rave about some paper (like Khadi’s) but say they will not use it anymore because it is made with gelatin…. https://youtu.be/wXbriuhPPPQ (at 1:10 min)

    I admire the convictions of these vegan artists, but regret not finding much good paper anymore… Watercolor paper is so expensive… it has to to give good results and make painting enjoyable.

    Fortunately, it is still possible to find full sheets and some blocks of the fabulous, discontinued W&N paper . I just purchased a lot to stock up. It is excellent, and hard to replace…Like Jill Poyerd, I actually like the discontinued W&N paper much better than Arches… In Canada, it is still sold by at least two good stores, and one of them is currently undergoing their annual July blow-our sale… Yippee! (BTW, they also sell the excellent, discontinued Lanaquarelle…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • De says:

      Thank you, Catherine, for all this information! Very informative!

      Liked by 1 person

    • HI Catherine,

      Thanks for the wealth of information here. I know my readers must appreciate it too.
      In answer to your question, the paper I was painting on was the grey block.
      The two smaller blocks also had the grey cover.
      I have a feeling, and this is not based on any fact, that the defective block may be the new paper. The problem is definitely in the sizing.

      I also read Roz’s reviews of the paper, and I will watch Jill Poyerd now.
      I am going to take my block back to the store. This is my second try with it so I know it is not me having a bad day of painting. This paper is too expensive to discard.

      Of course now I am wondering who your paper supplier is, but I have a feeling I know who is having a sale now!

      Again, thanks for giving us something to read and think about.

      Like

    • Alain Crousse says:

      Fantastic review, thank you so much Catherine.
      Same here, I was a fan of the old grey cover paper, but their new paper (with a great graphic design blue cover) is so so so disappointing !!
      What an awful plasticky sizing on it..
      I am happy to see other watercolor painters having the same point of view, hope this could make WN going back on their decision and make that Classic paper again.
      It’s just crazy to think how a great company such as them could make a decision that weird…Replacing one of the best paper (actually the best “non-cotton paper in my own) by something so lower in term of quality.
      Cannot imagine the painters in their research & development department to valid that paper against the old one. It must be economical decision only. But really strange in terms of strategy, image, reputation, etc..
      I wrote them several mails to explain my frustration just after the first painting i did on that new paper. Great customer service, really gentle and aware of reviews. But what a strange and crazy decision the brandt made by diminishing the quality that way!

      Like

      • Thanks so much for writing Alain. I ended up returning my block to the store. I left it in the hands of the store owner to do the complaining by showing him the painting. I hope they listen if they hear enough voices. He will certainly have more influence than me since he buys a lot of paper from them.

        Like

    • ACWATERCOLORS says:

      Couldn’t manufacturers just make some “vegan paper”, with awful sizing on it, just to confort the vegans, and still continue to make the “real” gelatin sized paper for the painters who prefer that type ?
      Strange and crazy to think the vegans susceptibilities make us lost the real watercolor paper… 🤔

      Like

    • Peter says:

      I realize this post is a month old but I just bought a new stock of Winsor and Newton hot press and was also disappointed and it’s good to hear other people having a similar experience. The old hot press paper had a nice soft, fluid texture on big washes, whereas the new paper is almost like canvas–it has a sharp, gridded, tacky texture to it. Like Alain said, I can’t imagine any of their testers liked it very much. I emailed the company and they said they recently changed supplier–so hopefully they’ll change again soon.

      Like

      • Hi Peter, your comments are still relevant, even after a month. This post had so much good discussion! I’m so glad that you contacted the company. I hope that if enough people complain they will go back to the old sizing!!! I will do another post if I hear anything.

        Like

  13. Maggie Marszewski says:

    I loved my block of wn paper so purchased some sheets. Very disappointed in the quality. Different surface texture from the small blocks.

    Like

    • Catherine says:

      Do specify: could it be that you like the old, discontinued W&N paper in the small blocks WITH A GREY COVER and you dislike THE NEW PAPER you bought RECENTLY ( WITH A BLUE COVER? )

      When did you buy the one you liked and the one you do not?

      Comparing paper from from the old line with the new line could explain your problem: nobody likes the texture and sizing and warping of the new W&N paper with the blue cover.

      If the paper you do not like had a grey cover, it is from the discontinued line. Then maybe it is too old and the sizing got damaged. You have the right to complain. (Maybe you can even get a refund.) No store should sell you old stock without mentioning that it is from a discontinued line. And they should store paper adequately.Therefore it should be safe to buy. The old W&N watercolor paper is currently sold for more than the new one! And it should keep for a very long time.

      You can definitely complain to the store if they sold you discontinued paper with damaged sizing. But unfortunately, there is nothing to do if we do not like the new product because it was actually made with vegan sizing we do not enjoy instead of good old gelatin…

      We can not even complain to W&N as they are themselves very sorry to have lost the paper mill that used to make their great paper… If they can’t get good paper… what can we do besides stockpiling whatever is left of the good old stock…

      Good luck to you!

      .

      Liked by 1 person

      • More good info Catherine. Thanks again.

        Like

      • Alain Crousse says:

        Hello again Catherine, thanks so much for the great report you made here.
        What do you mean exactly by “discontinued” line ?
        Actually I love their old grey paper.

        And why WN “lost” their old mill that produced the paper?

        Thank you so much.
        Just have the same feeling about that new disapointing paper, hope they could produce the Classic again in the future.

        Like

    • Maggie, I haven’t tried the sheets either, but I will definitely report back when I try them! I hope they are from the old stock which everyone seems to like.

      Like

  14. Catherine says:

    SAUNDERS – DISCONTINUED WINSOR & NEWTON – THE BEST STORE IN CANADA…

    Saunders paper is sold in Montreal by Michael Solovyev. He also makes sketchbooks with Saunders paper:

    https://www.watercoloronline.com/watercolorbrushes

    In Canada, Delta Art sells Saunders:

    https://www.deltaart.ca/category/Waterpap/watercolor-paper.

    Delta Art also sells the discontinued W&N paper, as does Kings and Framing.

    https://www.kingsframingandartgallery.com/winsor-newton-professional-watercolour-papers/

    I love Deserres, and I want to support local stores, but Delta is the ultimate best in Canada! (Last day for the Blowout Sale!) They have the best watercolor paper selection, the best prices and a wide range of sketchbooks (including the Stillman and Birn.)

    https://www.deltaart.ca/

    Otherwise, Jackson’s (in the UK) sells Saunders. For some reason, there seems to be less duties on what I import from Jackson’s in the UK than what I buy from the USA… They also have good shipping fees.

    https://www.jacksonsart.com/en-ca/search/?q=Saunders&fq%5Bcategory%5D=Saunders%20Waterford&fq%5Bcategory_id%5D=1890

    Happy purchases!

    Like

    • Catherine, once again this is great info. Thank you so much!! I have never ordered from Delta. In Canada I order from Curry’s, Opus, Studio Six and Kings Framing. In Montreal I shop at Avenue des Arts because they have the best selection of everything. And of course I order from Jackson’s but I really dislike getting dinged for duties so I try to shop in Canada.

      Like

  15. Catherine says:

    HOW TO ORDER FROM ABROAD

    If you want to order from Jacksons’ without paying duties, place separate, less expensive orders. You will end up spending only a bit more in shipping, without ever paying duties,

    First, Customs Canada imposes an extra possible $30 tax for opening suspect packages. That is on top of regular duties! They open suspect packages.. and some of all the packages that are not actually suspect, but they have to check… It is like a nasty lottery with a surprise cost, instead of a win!

    So, it is always good to order from stores they know, which deliver boxes with the store packaging and detailed packing content information. So, there is never that additional $30 tax on packages from Amazon, because customs trust them.It is the same for Jackson’s packages.

    For some reason, customs always charges duties on what comes from the USA, but not often on what comes from England. I don’t know why… I get charged on anything above $20 that comes from the U.S, but I never get duties charged on anything worth $55 or less from Jackson’s.

    First, you must know that Jackson’s shipping for brush-only orders to Canada is free when you spend over $55. So buy brushes separately. There will be no shipping, and no duties if you do not buy for much more than $55! Then, you order the rest, placing different orders that are not too expensive. Shipping is often just a few dollars… Sometimes only $2 for shipping from the UK – when shipping within Montreal is $5 or more! https://www.jacksonsart.com/en-ca/shipping-info I

    Then, of course, if you subscribe to Jackson’s newsletter, you know when they have sales. They have them so often it is worth waiting for them to order what you want. I have once paid $52 on a $200 purchase of W &N gouache shipped by DHL. That hurt, but it was still worth it as I got all the most expensive single-pigment gouache tubes for $4… Considering how much these are in Canada, the total purchase, even with duties was worth it. But if I had to do it again, I would separate the order in 4, pay a bit more in shipping … and no duties.

    Jackson’s newsletter is worth reading anyway – not just for the sales. They have great articles on painting, art supplies, etc.

    Jackson’s offers shipping with or without tracking. As I have never had any trouble, I now choose the less expensive shipping “without tracking”. It can take two or three weeks to arrive, but it is delivered by the postman, without any hassle or extra charges.

    Jackson’s is very good at sending separate orders, even if they are for the same address and they were placed only seconds apart. I tested that and even contacted them to check. So, no worries! That would not be the case with orders from smaller stores, which would be packed together, so therefore would be subject to more duties, and could also be subject to the extra $30 “lottery” tax on top of duties.

    Ordering from Amazon.com is often cheaper than from Amazon.ca. I like to go through Amazon Smile which is Amazon.com, but donates part of the proceeds to a charity I chose. It makes me feel less guilty to buy, and to give my money to Amazon… Since it costs me the same, why not do good and give less to the big shark!

    On Amazon,com or Amazon Smile, some items will have no shipping charges. Most will have extra shipping to Canada. Others will also have an “import fees deposit” on top of shipping. But, what is interesting is that the import fees deposit is always reviewed a while after the delivery. And then you receive an email from Amazon, with a refund of part of those fees. So, ordering from Amazon.com (or better, from Amazon Smile) never brings the bad surprise of unexpected duties, it usually surprises you with a small refund.

    Interestingly, Amazon Smile and Amazon.com sometimes offer products from Amazon Global. Those are delivered by DHL in a day, without Import duties! I just bought the new “deep” colors of Posca pens from Amazon Smile, They were cheaper than those from America even though they were sent to me overnight from the UK, with no duties… https://www.amazon.com/Posca-Medium-Bullet-Marker-colours/dp/B08TTJ25MJ

    All this makes it cheaper to order from big companies. It is sad for the little guys. I compensate by buying as much as I can in Quebec, or at least in Canada.

    https://www.deltaart.ca/ is really nice, And the staff s amazing! They have managed to find me items impossible to get anywhere in the world. There is no shipping on online orders,but there is on phone orders. (If you ever speak to Lalainie or Nikkie, say “Catherine says you’re the best!”These girls got me through the pandemic…)

    Delta Arts has the largest selection of paper: so many brands! In sheets, blocks, pads, sketchbooks… https://www.deltaart.ca/category/Media1/media-canvas-pads-and-paper

    Their annual mid-July Blowout sale is fantastic: put it on your calendar!

    Happy purchases!

    Like

    • Once again Catherine, a wealth of information. You have this ordering stuff down to a science.
      I can’t believe it!
      There are so many good tidbits that I have to make notes.
      I knew that brushes were free from Jackson’s but I didn’t realize that the bit about suspect packages and extra charges.
      Good to know that too.
      I just ordered some paper from Delta. What a great selection! And I love Saunders so that was the sale thing I bought.
      Now I will get on their email list as well and watch for sales.
      I am on the Jackson’s list, and yes, their blog posts are excellent.
      Before Covid we visited family quite often in the US, so I always had things shipped there. Of course if you are gone for more than 48 hours you can take advantage of the exemptions. But obviously that hasn’t happened in a while.
      Anyway, I prefer to support Canadian small stores and online shops, unless there is something I can’t find.
      I hope other people get to read this. Thanks once again for helping all of us navigate the confusion of online shopping and shipping.
      And if ever you see something that you must share with me, feel free to drop me a line!!

      Like

  16. Catherine says:

    “Catherine’s Guide to Ordering Art Supplies Online”

    (Beware this information will lead to overspending!)

    HOW TO ORDER FROM ABROAD (Revised)

    To order from Jacksons’ without paying duties, place separate, less expensive orders. You will spend a bit more in shipping, with no duties,

    Customs Canada can add an extra possible $30 tax for opening suspect packages – on top of regular duties! They open suspect packages.. and some of all the packages that are not actually suspect, but they have to check… It is like a nasty lottery with a surprise cost, instead of a win!

    So, always order from well-known stores which deliver in the store packaging with detailed packing content information. There is never that additional $30 tax on packages from Amazon nor from Jackson’s, because customs trust them.

    For some reason, customs always charge duties on what comes from the USA, (except from Amazon which charges duties upfront.) But there is most often no duties charged on orders from England shipped through regular mail. I don’t know why… I get charged on anything above $20 that comes from the U.S, but I never get duties charged on anything worth $55 or less from Jackson’s – as long as it is delivered through regular mail. So, order from England, not from the States. And if you can, select regular mail instead of the big carriers.

    Shipping through carriers such as DHL, Fedex and UPS always gets you to pay duties AS WELL AS BROKERAGE FEES! . BY the way, UPS has the most expensive brokers fees (as confirmed by a UPS agent when I complained…) Therefore, if you can, use regular mail. And if carriers rob you, you can try to complain and get some money back. (I did!)

    Jackson’s shipping for brush-only orders to Canada is free when you spend over $55. So buy brushes separately. There will be no shipping, and no duties if you do not buy for much more than $55. Then, buy the rest of what you want, placing different orders that are not too expensive. Shipping is often just a few dollars… Sometimes only $2 for shipping from the UK – when shipping within Montreal is $5 or more!
    https://www.jacksonsart.com/en-ca/shipping-info I

    Then, of course, if you subscribe to Jackson’s newsletter, you know when they have sales. They have them so often it is worth waiting for them to order what you want. I have once paid $52 on a $200 purchase of W &N gouache shipped by DHL. That hurt, but it was still worth it as I got all the most expensive single-pigment gouache tubes for $4… Considering how much these are in Canada, the total purchase, even with duties was worth it. But if I had to do it again, I would separate the order in 4, pay a bit more in shipping … and no duties.

    Jackson’s newsletter is worth reading anyway – not just for the sales. They have great articles on painting, art supplies, etc.

    Jackson’s offers shipping with or without tracking. As I have never had any trouble, I now choose the less expensive regular mail shipping “without tracking”. It is delivered by the postman, without any hassle or extra charges.

    Jackson’s is very good at sending separate orders, even if they are for the same address and they were placed only seconds apart. I tested that and even contacted them to check. So, no worries! That would not be the case with orders from smaller stores, which would be packed together, and therefore would be subject to more duties, and could also be subject to the extra $30 “lottery” tax on top of duties.

    Ordering from Amazon.com is often cheaper than from Amazon.ca. I prefer Amazon Smile which is Amazon.com, but donates part of the proceeds to a charity of your choice. It makes me feel less guilty to buy, and to give my money to Amazon… Since it costs me the same, why not do good and give less to the big shark!

    On Amazon.com or Amazon Smile, some items will have no shipping charges even to Canada. Most will have extra shipping to Canada. Others will also have an “import fees deposit” on top of shipping. What interesting is that the import fees deposit is always reviewed a while after the delivery. And then you receive an email from Amazon, with a refund of part of those fees. So, ordering from Amazon.com (or better, from Amazon Smile) never brings the bad surprise of unexpected duties, it usually surprises you with a small refund. (That is when ordering and buying from Amazon – not when buying from any company selling on the site… Purchases from smaller companies on their site can be subject to all the duties and extra fees…

    Interestingly, Amazon Smile and Amazon.com sometimes offer products from Amazon Global. Those are delivered by DHL in a day, sometimes without Import duties! I just bought the new “deep” colors of Posca pens from Amazon Smile, They were cheaper than those from America even though they were sent to me overnight from the UK, with no duties…

    All this makes it cheaper to order from big companies. It is sad for the little guys. I compensate by buying as much as I can in Quebec, or at least in Canada.

    https://www.deltaart.ca/ is really nice, And the staff s amazing! They have managed to find me items impossible to get anywhere in the world. There is no shipping on online orders,but there is on phone orders. (If you ever speak to Lalainie or Nikkie, do tell them “Catherine says you’re the best!” These girls got me through the pandemic…)

    Delta Arts has the largest selection of paper: so many brands! In sheets, blocks, pads, sketchbooks… https://www.deltaart.ca/category/Media1/media-canvas-pads-and-paper

    Their annual mid-July Blowout sale is fantastic: put it on your calendar!

    Happy purchases!

    NOTE: As there is currently talk of a strike of border agents and Customs Canada Agents, now (August 2021) is probably not the best time to order from abroad.

    Like

  17. Catherine says:

    Thanks for your kind words!

    One last thing:

    Just received an email from Winsor & Newton:

    « the discontinued paper was not gelatin sized. It was a different mill but the previous mill only used gelatin sizing on their own branded paper. The watercolor paper they made for us was a blend of synthetic and vegetable sizing. »

    Interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Alain Crousse says:

    Hi there,
    Not sure to reply exactly on your thoughts, but here my recent experience.
    I have been a big fan of the WN papers until now, their Classic paper and Professionnal were just a must. Love so much the way the paper reacts with the paikting and water, we could just feel the softness of the cotton or cellulose, it was so organic and lively. Just a master work.
    But they had just changed things recently, specially the manufacturer (it was french in the past and now italian), and the new series is really lower in quality (special the one corresponding to “Classic”, now called Watercolour). It said to be 25% cotton in it, but it doesn’t react at all we expect a cotton paper to be ; the sizing is also awful, like a plasticky varnish on the suface. When you paint in layers, the previous layer easily take off the page, the paint seems to lay on the sizing varnish and not going into to paper. Awful sensation. I wrote WN several mails about that point, they were very fine, great customer service, but so sad they changed what was a must in terms of quality, feeling and result.
    So here is my cry again : “WN, please make your Classic paper again !!”
    That new serie definitely is not as good as the previous one, which was superb.
    Must be an economy-mobile reason, but not sure this is a wise decision. Their reputation could suffer in the end. And very sad decision for us, we just lost a great paper!

    Like

    • ACWATERCOLORS says:

      The paper that just reminds me of the Classic, is the Aquapad from Clairefontaine, a very nice paper. Not as good as the Classic in all domains, but quite the same sensation when painting. Very pleasing.

      Like

      • Alain, thanks so much for contributing to the discussion. You sound like a real fan of the old paper. I had the same experience as you when painting in layers. The new paint seems to take off the layer beneath it, ending up in paler than expected results. Very weird sensation indeed. Let’s hope that enough complaints or lack of sales will get them to rethink this new stock.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Catherine says:

    On buying sketchbooks from outside of Quebec:

    Most stores from the rest of Canada do not charge PST on sketchbooks ordered online to deliver to Quebec. (Some stores do not even charge PST on orders of any art supplies to deliver to Quebec!)

    Mostly the provincial sales tax exemption is for sketchbooks, which are considered books, therefore not subject to provincial tax.) Many stores have told me that they do not charge PST on orders sent to Quebec, but they charge their walk-in customers who visit their premises in Ontario, and other provinces!

    So, when placing an order over the phone, it is important to remind the sales representative who might not be aware of the policy the same store applies online.

    I just ordered sketchbooks from Art Shack in New Brunswick, Art Noise in Ontario. Their websites did not charge PST. Same for Above Ground Art Supplies and Gwartzman’s in Toronto.

    Island Blue, and The Gallery Art Placement refunded it when I reminded them.

    And, there is no PST on my latest orders from Delta.

    Most of my purchases were for sketchbooks and paper only, but I got other supplies from Delta and from Above Ground Art Supplies. No PST!

    But in Quebec, Deserres charges PST on sketchbooks!

    I just contacted them about that and I’m ready for a fight! (I feel very “Norma Ray”…) Will keep you posted on that.

    I just placed this gazillion orders to get St-Armand Canal paper pads in bright white. As of now, it will only be available in “unbleached white” (slightly paler than Arches.)

    The St-Armand Paper Mill does not bleach their cotton, and since they are having difficulty getting supplies of naturally bright white cotton remnants, they will keep those for their hand-made paper (Dominion and St-Armand.) The machine-made Canal paper will only come in colors, and in cream as well as the new, paler, unbleached white.

    I have just discovered that this St-Armand Canal paper is a fantastic Hot Pressed 100% cotton paper, great for ink work with a lot of watercolour or gouache . Even if it is not 300 gsm, it can take a lot of water!. That’s because, just like their wonderful hand-made Dominion and St-Armand papers, it is made of rag cotton, so it is supple and does not “dent” like linters cotton paper like Arches, etc.) Rag paper can take more water, so even thinner rag paper gets good results.

    But real rag paper is quite hard to find… Pages can be rolled, a bit like like fabric, which can’t be done with crisp, more brittle linters paper like Arches, W &N, Fabriano, etc. The suppleness is even more obvious in the CP hand-made St-Armand paper. The hard size of the Dominion makes it more crisp. But all St -Armand rag papers are fabulous and made in Montreal: yeah!

    – Canal is Hot Pressed and machine-made, in colours, cream or unbleached white.
    – St-Armand is Cold Pressed, hand-made, and bright white.
    – Dominion is Smooth, CP or Rough, always hard-sized, hand-made and bright white (320gsm, 440gsm, 660gsm.)

    Definitely worth a try!

    Awaiting a call from Deserres: To the barricades!

    Like

    • Catherine says:

      No real answer from Deserres. I do not understand why many stores automatically failed to charge provincial sales tax on sketchbooks whenI bought them on Canadian websites outside of Quebec. But it was a nice (tax) break.

      Like


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