These snowy daysPosted: December 28, 2022
These snowy days are great for experimenting in studio. When the art store was out of Arches Rough paper last week I bought some assorted full sheets to play with: one sheet each of Winsor & Newton Rough, Fabriano Rough, Strathmore Gemini, and Strathmore Imperial, all 140 lb. I’ve torn them down into half sheets and quarter sheets, and since the snow is falling too quickly to paint in my car, I’ve been experimenting.
I love Montreal’s lanes and alleys in winter. You can’t really see much of them from your car, but if you park and explore on foot, you’ll find some wonderful spots. I did a bit of that yesterday and came home with some photo references to use. Today I tried Fabriano rough to paint this scene of the lane that runs between Prince Arthur and Milton in the McGill ghetto.
I’m a fan of both Fabriano cold press and soft press paper, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried this rough stock before. It’s quite pebbly and the texture reminds me of some sheets of handmade paper I bought as few years ago from Papeterie Saint-Gilles in Charlevoix. It has a surface that has a certain smoothness, despite being rough, and that makes it easy to lift and correct. Have you ever used Fabriano Rough? I’d love to hear what you think.
Update to my original post: I have been asked how I do the trees, whether I use white paint or simply leave the whites of the paper. Below is a detail so you can see. As much as possible, I try to leave the white of the paper. You can see those areas because the pencil lines are still there. But when I need more snow on branches, or to break up a dark area, I use some Titanium White watercolour. I’m sure you can spot the lines of that too.