Mmmmmm paper. I love it! Don’t you? You can do all sorts of crazy things with it when you are an artist. And the more it tells you its secrets, the more mysteries there seems to be. It draws me in deeper and deeper. I want to know where it’s from and who makes it and what the mill might look like and how much cotton it has in it and whether I can get it in large sheets with deckled edges to cut up or if it only comes in blocks or pads.
I not only love plain papers, I love scrapbook paper, patterned and textured papers, paper napkins, tissues with a print on them. You can do so much with them in the mixed media magic world.
I love old paper. Old paper that smells like a library or where a child has written their name on the inside cover of a book. Paper that has been used before is the best! Recycled ledgers, recycled office paper to make the sketch books I get from Rebound http:/http://www.reboundbooks.com/
I even recycle bits of my own art that I have done myself in the past that I might not like anymore. I just paint over the top of it.
I’ve definitely had a few favourite brands of paper since I’ve been dabbling in the mixed media arena depending on what I have been obsessed with at the time. Oh yes! From Fabriano Artistico (just LOVE that name, it sounds so fabulous. It sounds like a fashion designer name) to my current favourite Moulin du Roy (French of course) and anywhere in between. I have loved Arches and I still do but the block paper cracks a bit if folded so not that good for making an art journal. The large sheets don’t do that as much which is important when you are making an art journal. But if we are talking paper for mostly watercolour, it has to be 100% cotton or nothing for me. I have been rewarded from the start by indulging myself with good paper and it is worth it for the results I want to get now with granulating watercolour paints on cold pressed paper.
See I’m giving all my secrets away but take a look at these…..
compared to these
Can you see what I see? The bottom 2 are nice but they lack cohesion, they’re not as lush and deep as the first two Unicorns and that is because even though all of these are done on cold pressed paper, there is a difference in the texture between the front and back of the paper. Being a frugal kind of artist, I tend to use both sides especially because I am also an art journaling artist and most of my work is in books and although I like all of them, I definitely prefer the rougher side of paper life.
Plus you can make paper dolls out of it especially if it is a heavy weight paper like 300 gsm.