Strathmore paper review

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Hi guys, as you know I always enjoy trying out different kind of papers & review them for you. This time Strathmore kindly sent me their Ready Cut Watercolor Hot Press Paper. Its a 100% cotton, acid free, 300gr, professional paper.

Please bear in mind that in this review I will express my personal opinion. In the end liking one paper over another is a matter of personal preference & also depends on the type of art you do. For me, I always go for a hot pressed because it works well for detailed illustrations and I find it easier to work with.

So here is my personal opinion on this paper:

I love the fact that this paper is very resistant and even if it slightly buckled while I was painting, once it dried out the buckle disappeared.

This paper has good absorbency and I found it soaked wet paint very quickly.

I also love that Strathmore paper is cheaper then most European brands. As you know watercolour paper can be quite pricey. So perhaps if you are just getting started with watercolour you may want to check this brand out. The only thing I didn’t like about this paper is that it’s not smooth enough for me. I always use fineliners to finish my artwork and the texture of this paper made it difficult for me to achieve precise lines.

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I hope you enjoyed this review and if you’d like to know what I think about other Strathmore Papers check out this link:

Strathmore Artist Papers

You can also find more products reviewed here:

How to choose Art Supplies

xoxo

Melissa

Watercolor Paper Review

FashionSketch

Hello guys! I often get asked questions about art supplies, what type of watercolor I use and what’s the best type of paper, so I’m hoping you’ll find this review helpful. I recently had the pleasure to try DalerRowney products for the very first time. They sent me their Langton Prestige 100% cotton watercolor paper and this is the illustration I painted on it.

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So here is what I think of this paper…

The first thing I noticed as I was painting is that watercolor didn’t dry fast on this paper which is great for me because this left me enough time to blend the colors and create beautiful effects. However, the second thing I noticed is that the paper tends to buckle when wet (note that I was painting on Hot Pressed paper), so perhaps purchasing the 4 sides glued pads might avoid this problem. Overall I really liked the way watercolor performed on Langton paper especially how the smooth surface made the colors look so brilliant. I think this is actually the best quality of this product, because of all the papers I’ve tried so far this is the one that made colors look more vibrant.

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If you are interested you can find more info about Daler Rowney products on their website.

To find out more about the art supplies I use click here.

I hope you enjoyed this review!

Melissa

 

How to choose Art Supplies

artsuppliesI receive many questions on Facebook and Instagram about what kind of art supplies I use so I decided to dedicate and entire post to this subject. I know that purchasing art supplies can be intimidating at first, especially if you are just getting started. There are so many companies and products to choose from and some of them can be really expensive so I’m hoping you’ll find this review helpful. The products listed below are from brands that are well-known among artists from all over the world for the good quality of the products they offer. That said, please also keep in mind that, in the end, it all comes down to personal preference. The following list reflects my current favorite art supplies and therefore my personal taste. I costantly discover and try new art supplies so I’ll try to update this post whenever I fall in love with a new product.

cartaWhen it comes to top quality watercolor paper you’ll hear most artists naming Arches. I personally believe there are other companies out there making good quality paper, my current favorite being Hahnemühle. I have tried other brands in the past, but I must say, I wasn’t very impressed with them.  I did a full review of Hahnemühle papers which you can find here. The series of Hahnemühle watercolor paper I am currently using and loving is Cézanne 300gr, 100% cotton, hot pressed.

If you are just getting started with watercolor painting and you are looking for a more affordable paper I’d suggest you try Strathmore 400 series/best paper which I reviewed here and you can purchase here.

pennelliAs for the brushes, again you don’t need to spend a crazy amount of money on them. The ones I am currently using are from Kolibri. I both use synthetic and natural hair brushes, (the second ones being more expensive). As for the size I use relatively small sized brushes because my illustrations are pretty small and detailed. If you are just getting started you definitely don’t need to buy lots of different brushes. I started out with three of different sizes which may be different for you depending on what you are planning on painting.

Here are some of the brushes I use the most:

– synth. golden sable 5/0

– golden star kolinsky size 4

– sqi line size 2

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For watercolors you may have to invest some money to get good ones. I use Windsor & Newton The Cotman Studio set – 24 whole pans ( which my sister got me for Christmas and I just now realised that it retails for over 90$ on their website…). If you are not willing to invest that kind of money, I would suggest you go for the 12 pans set which is a lot cheaper. Another good way to save some money is purchasing from websites such as Jackson’s Art Supplies or MisterArt.com, they usually offer very good deals.

The reason why I love Windsor&Newton watercolors is because you can achieve beautiful washes. They are also very pigmented, so you don’t need to use a lot of it, which means they will last you longer. I’ve had this set for a while now and I paint almost everyday but, again, it depends on what type of illustrations you draw. However, next time I will purchase watercolor I am definitely not gonna purchase a big set like the one I am using now. The reason is that I mostly use happy colors for my illustrations (like pink, purple, red, yellow and so on…) but a third of the hues in this set are various shades of brown, umber and sienna which I don’t use very often.

finelinerLast but not least, I always like to contour my illustrations with a Staedtler black pigment liner (size 0.1). I have been using and loving their products since I was in high school. I also reviewed their triplus fineliners here.

So these are pretty much all the art supplies that I am currently using, let me know in the comments if you have a favorite brand or if there is a specific product you’d like me to try and review.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Melissa

Hahnemühle Traditional Art Papers

cartaMilan Fashion Week has just finished and of course, as usual, I couldn’t resist to the temptation of illustrating some of my favorite runway looks. As you guys know I’m always  keen on trying and experimenting with new art supplies, so this time I painted my illustrations on  Hahnemuehle watercolor papers.  If you are not familiar with this brand, it is one of the leading European paper producers. This company has a very long history as they have been on the market since 1584. The papers I am going to review in this post are all mould-made, natural white, acid free and extremely resistant to ageing.

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This Moschino inspired illustration was painted on Cézanne 300 gr, 100% cotton rag, hot pressed paper.

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This illustration inspired by Marchesa was realised on William Turner 300 gr, 100% cotton, matt paper.

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Temperley

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This Temperley London inspired illustration was painted on Hahnemühle 300 gsm, matt paper.

Here are a few things I noticed about these products…

The papers didn’t buckle when wet, thanks to their resistant surface and to the fact that the pads are glued and gauzed for this specific purpose. They have excellent absorbency so you have to work pretty quickly because the paint dries out fast. I accidentally dropped some color on the papers but I was able to scrubb it off without ruining the surface. These characteristics make them some of the best quality papers I have ever worked with.

and here is my personal opinion…

Of all three watercolor papers, Cézanne hot pressed is the one that impressed me the most.This paper has a very smooth surface which allows excellent colour flow and  makes colors look more brilliant. I really liked the way watercolor performed on it and the even washes I was able to achieve thanks to its smooth surface. Compared to Turner and  Hahnemühle matt, I found this paper easier to work with. I think it’s perfect for the type of illustrations I create and would definitely purchase more.

If you are interested you can find more info about Hahnemühle Traditional Art Papers on their website.

I hope you enjoyed this review!

Melissa

Strathmore Artist Papers

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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.

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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/

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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.”

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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.

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Hope you’ll find this post helpful.

xoxo,

Melissa