One of the most important tools an artist need in order to create wonderful artwork is good quality paper. Choosing good paper is essential not only for experienced artists but also for beginners . This may be a difficult task as there are many different companies producing all sort of paper and you may have to try different ones before finding the one that works for you. I remember when I first started using watercolor I tried different brands and struggled to find the one that allowed me to achieved the best results. So I’m hoping this post will be helpful to those out there who are looking for some advice on this subject.
Recently Strathmore was kind enough to send me some of their watercolor papers to try out. If you are not familiar with this brand, it’s a U.S. based company and its products are one of the highest quality art papers available on the market.
You can find more info about Strathmore here http://www.strathmoreartist.com/
This is the Dolce & Gabbana inspired illustration I painted on their 400 Series Watercolor paper. It’s a 300 g/m2, cold press, acid free paper and it is advertised as suitable ” for watercolorists of all levels because of the fine and even washes that can be achieved using this sheet. It also has a strong surface that will allow lifting and scraping applications.”
Here is my personal opinion:
I found this paper really pleasant to work with. As you can see from the photo I chose a very detailed subject to illustrate and as I was painting I felt like watercolor pigments responded very well on the paper surface.
I liked the way watercolor performed on it and the washes I was able to achieve. This paper has good absorbency but it didn’t soak wet paint too quickly. It is also pretty resistant and it didn’t buckle. I did make a couple of mistakes here and there but I was able to scrubb it off without ruining the surface. It is an acid free paper which means that it won’t yellow and colors won’t degrade overtime.
I checked out the price on the internet (each website offers different deals) and it is not pricey at all if compared to most European brands I have tried before (I don’t know about other countries but in Italy watercolor paper in general is very expensive, even if it’s not of the best quality…). It’s not 100% cotton paper so I think that is why is so affordable but I feel like it performed well nonetheless and is totally worth the money you pay for it.
Overall I am really happy with this paper and I would definitely recommend it.
Hope you’ll find this post helpful.