February 4, 2016 by smithartonline
I am experimenting with a new watercolor paper. It is handmade in Spain by the company Garzapapel. The paper comes in various sizes, including this size I found on sale: 8.27 X 11.81 inches. One beauty for me is the deckle edge running the enter border.
After soaking in water I pin the damp sheet to a frame and let it dry. No longer does the watercolor paper get stapled and taped around the edges. I like to show the edges of the papers and to celebrate the process/ritual of preparing the paper carrier by allowing the pinholes to show in the final presentation. The process is important.
I used tube watercolors to provide the blue background and the figures of the whalers and whale. The coloring was bright and intense enough to please me but, being who I am and subscribing to the theory of “go with what you know,” I went back in with my airbrush making the figures the silhouette I am accustomed to…I guess I am attracted to the intense dark form.
I added some pencil and pen work, finished by adding a few buttons to give a low relief interest. By the time I declared the painting complete it was pretty much similar to my work on muslin…so much for experimentation.
As to the paper, it is delightful to work with. It is 140# with a surface somewhere between cold press and rough (it is designated “cold press”). The paper is also “bright white,” which suggests an additive to bring out the whiteness of the paper. I know some artists who avoid papers with any additives but I have not experienced any negative results. The surface has a nice tooth and takes all the media very well. It is quite sturdy. I do not generally rework the surface of my paper pieces, but I believe this will hold up well when scrubbed and scraped. I recommend you give it a try.