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A Few Of My Favorite Things: Paper

A look at some of my favorite mediums, brands, and supplies.

The surface on which you create your art is just as important as your mediums! There’s like a million papers to choose from – Also I may have realized I have a small paper collection while taking photo for this 😉 There are many different papers to use for all sorts of mediums, but these are a few of my favorite papers!

Bristol paper: Bristol paper is a thick card stock like paper, it comes in Smooth or Vellum surfaces. I use both depending on what I’m drawing! I use this paper for several mediums too, including, pen, marker, graphite & charcoal. The vellum surface has a little more tooth to it and takes more layers than the smooth. We use this paper a lot in classes!

The first two pieces were creates with mixed media (watercolor, colored pencil & pen) on bristol smooth & vellum. Then graphite and charcoal both completed on bristol smooth.

Watercolor paper: When I was first introduced to watercolors they weren’t my favorite medium….then I was introduced to Arches watercolor papers and watercolors quickly became one of more favorite mediums – all because of the surface. Arches is super expensive but totally worth it! The paper holds up to washes, layering and lifting techniques like no other. It comes in hot press or Cold Press in multiple weights. I prefer 140lb in cold press for paintings like my Westside series and hot press for any paintings where I don’t want as much surface texture. As it is rather costly, when starting out with watercolors in classes and for making simple little hand made cards or quick paintings I always use Canson XL watercolor paper – it’s a great paper that holds up well with watercolors and we also often use it for color pencils & mixed media!

Watercolors completed on Arches cold press and hot press papers.

Stonehenge: Is one of my more recent discoveries. I’ve only used it with color pencils and it’s amazing how many layers this paper can take and still have a pretty smooth surface texture!

Work in progress and completed work both on Stonehenge with colored pencil.

Pastel Paper: Pastels are one of my all time favorite mediums. I started off using Canson Mi-tenis papers and still use them on occasion (this is also the paper I use in classes), however, most of my pastel work is completed on PastelMat. It’s an amazing surface that has a velvety texture and takes layers upon layers of pastels. It also holds the pastel well and comes in various colors.

Soft pastels created on Mi-Tenis and PastelMat.

These are just a few of my favorite papers to work with my favorite mediums but there are so many to choose from – what are some of your favorite surfaces?

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2 thoughts on “A Few Of My Favorite Things: Paper”

  1. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on various papers. As a beginning painter, I am still struggling with getting the results I want on various papers.

    1. Thanks! It can take awhile to find the surface that best fits you, your style, and your use of mediums! Plus there’s always new stuff to keep trying 😉

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