Note: All reference photos used for my artwork are either my own or my sister's (used with permission, of course), unless otherwise stated.
Last Monday, I talked about the pencils I use (Click HERE to read that post). This Monday, I'll talk about my preferred papers.
First off, let me make one thing clear. I love paper almost as much as I love pencils and all their colors! I love trying new ones and I'm always carting home (or ordering) something different to try. Later on, I'll be running some blog posts and papers I'm checking out. For today, though, I'm going to talk about the tried-and-true papers that are my go-tos for my main pieces.
The majority of my artwork has been done on Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper, a paper that continues to be my favorite. It is 140 lb and I've used both the soft press and hot press. This is a wonderful paper as it is smooth enough to blend colors without difficulty and colors easily cover the paper, but it has just enough tooth to it that it accepts color readily . And it has no trouble holding up to all the layering! I always buy it 22x30 inches in size. I love putting up that big, blank piece of potential on the easel! My drawings are usually between 11x14 and 16x20 in size so this allows me to have enough space around the drawing itself to experiment with colors. And, of course, so important for professional, long-lasting art, it is 100% cotton, acid-free/pH neutral, and chlorine-free.
"Cricket", 19x25 colored pencil on hot press water color paper.
Original available, $195. Contact artist if interested.
Prints and note cards will be available soon!
Another paper that I use often is Bristol board, either vellum or plate and I purchase 2-ply or greater. Vellum has more tooth than the plate, meaning it's easier to achieve saturated colors and the heavier ply handles the work load. It is a bit less expensive than the Fabriano Artistico and the brands I purchase are 100% cotton and acid-free. And, like the rest of my paper stock, it arrives to the studio in the larger sizes.
"Caleb", worked on 9x12 board, a little smaller than usual for me, this little guy (who is not so little anymore!) was my first piece on Bristol vellum. This is one of my favorites, even though there were a few firsts on it that I would probably change if I did it now. However, it definitely got me hooked on Bristol! Original in private collection.
Lastly is the newest paper I've tried and completed pieces on, Canson Mi-Teintes drawing paper. I've found drawing on colored paper to be exciting. The colors layer and blend differently and you do things a bit backwards. It involves having to think in the 'negative', like a photo negative. Instead of shading in the dark parts on a white background, you are tinting in the whites on a dark background. And you can use the color of the paper when blending the needed colors. I find this challenging and fun! And pieces generally come together faster as I don't have to layer and mix as much. This paper is smooth on one side and a bit more textured on the other for your preferred surface. I usually work on the smoother side. All of the colors offered are acid-free and highly light-resistant. This is something very important to look for when using colored paper as you don't want paper fading or 'bleaching out' after all your hard work! The only con for me is it a lighter-weight paper than I'm used to using as it's only 98 lb. This requires gentler handling to avoid finger-dents and sensitivity when layering or making indentations with the pencil. Although the range of colors are not offered, I've discovered that it comes as a board. Guess what I'll be ordering next!
"Christmas Colt", 13x20 Colored Pencil on Canson Mi-Teintes Colored Paper.
I'm not sure which was more fun- meeting this little guy or drawing him!
Original in Private Collection.
So there you have it! A look at the papers I most commonly use and why! I'm looking forward to some future paper reviews and I'd love to hear what your favorites are!