Selecting Art Paper


Hi, I’m Hillary. It’s important to know
that the paper you select can have a major
influence on your artwork. I’m going to explain
some key factors so you can choose a
paper that will give you results you’re looking for. Size is a natural or
synthetic solution that’s added to paper pulp
or to the surface of a sheet during the manufacturing
process to regulate absorbency. The more sizing added,
the less moisture is absorbed into the paper. Papers that are surface
sized give your watercolors crisp edges and allow
for lifting techniques. It also permits pencil
to be cleanly erased. High-quality papers
made specifically for watercolor and drawing are
generally well surface sized. Papers with little or no
sizing, like this kozo paper, will absorb water. So if you’re working
on watercolor, this can give your
paint a fuzzy, dull look and make dry media nearly
impossible to erase. Cold press, rough,
laid or sanded are some terms that describe
highly textured paper. These are great for
grabbing chalky media, like pastel or charcoal. High textures also give
watercolor interesting effects. Very smooth papers are referred
to as hot press or plate and are great for fine
detailed drawing in pen and ink or for painting. One other thing to keep in
mind when selecting paper is the longevity of your work. Paper made from wood pulp
containing acids and lignins will turn yellow and
deteriorate over time. You may have seen this
happen with newspaper. Certain inexpensive papers,
such as newsprint, craft paper, or construction paper,
are created specifically for short-term sketches. If you’re interested in
maintaining your artwork, make sure to look for papers
marked acid free, neutral pH, and lignin free. The highest quality, most
permanent and durable papers are made from 100% cotton,
also called cotton rag. These papers are archival and
will help preserve your work well beyond a lifetime. Please check out
the Blick website for more information on our
vast assortment of papers.

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