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  1. #1
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    cheap slick watercolor paper

    I'm working on a sequencials and I want to use watercolor on an 11x17 economic, slick paper. I'm going to use the watercolor for tonal inking purposes So it won't be too wash intensive aside from night scenes. I do plan on using a little wet on wet for soft edges and blending slight warm and cool indications. I like to use runny effects effects as well. But I don't plan on doing anything that would require a stretched canvas.

    I'm eyeballing some Dr. Martins Liquid Watercolor and Canson Sequencial Bristol paper or should buy the thrice as expensive Watercolor paper at the expense of producing half the work? Or if anybody can recommend anything I would greatly appreciate it.

    The reason I ask is I have to drive 60+ miles (round trip) to buy decent supplies and I'm keeping budget in mind.

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  3. #2
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    Hmm, depending what you use for inking you could consider printmaking paper?

    Pros:
    - Cheaper than Watercolor paper
    - Doesn't buckle much & flattens out easily
    - Pigments settle nicely

    Cons:
    - Fibrous paper that will clog up metal pen nibs
    - You'll have to cut the sheets down
    - Have to extra careful when working next to wet areas.
    - It's not "slick" in the shiny sense, but smooth.

    Last edited by Aphotic Phoenix; May 27th, 2009 at 08:23 PM.
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  5. #3
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    Bristol should be fine for your purposes. Get cold pressed/vellum/kid, nor hot pressed/plate, at least three ply, five would be better.


    Tristan Elwell
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  7. #4
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    I'm guessing if you're working with Bristol then you don't want to stretch it? I soaked some Bristol once and the 'Plys' came unglued.

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  9. #5
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    thanks guys. I'll try to find five ply Bristol and it sounds like print making paper comes one sheet at a time, so I'll buy one to test it out. Maybe it would be useful for covers. I have no plans on using metal nibs, just watercolor. I shouldn't need to stretch anything. I have a stock pile of shitty rough wc paper just in case.

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    From experience, I can tell you that regular bistol... 1 or 2 ply will buckle like crazy once water contacts it. And the colors can go all spotty to boot. Can't say for the thicker stuff, though I'd trust Elwell on that.

    If you're not pen inking, I'd go with hot-pressed watercolor paper... but that's just a personal preference. Heavy printmaking paper might work very well.

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  12. #7
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    Printmaking papers tend to be sized more weakly than watercolor and drawing papers, so you'd have to do a bit of experimenting to see how they take paint.


    Tristan Elwell
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  14. #8
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    I tested some watercolor dry on an piece of bristol paper that I was going to toss and it didn't work so good. It was probably hot press though. It went straight to damp and bled out. It didn't offer the opportunity to puddle up and blend and like throm mentioned the colors ere pretty spotty. It did create an interesting texture though, but the edges ranged from soft to softer. Which is not a good alternative to inking.

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    A little more info... I do a lot of combining watercolor and pencil, and for that I like hot-press watercolor paper, reasonably heavy... I think 140 lb. Hot-press watercolor paper is smooth (not "slick" but smooth) enough to take a pencil line well and still has a good surface for the color. You do lose a lot of that cool paper-texture effect though... for me that's a decent trade-off for being able to draw over the painting. I usually work with Arches block pads, not cheap but not killer either.

    As mentioned earlier, I have not had good experience with mixing bristol and water media.

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    I'd probably tend toward hotpress watercolor paper myself (at least 140# to minimize buckling- the 90# may buckle with your heavier applications). I understand wanting to work economical, but for something like this I think truelly cheap is going to be a liability.

    Can you get enough to get started on your project, then buy more online once your need is a little less immediate? At least then you can cut out the drive and have it delivered.

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  19. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Printmaking papers tend to be sized more weakly than watercolor and drawing papers, so you'd have to do a bit of experimenting to see how they take paint.
    There is a bit of a difference (one that I actually prefer) with how it takes paint, but the bigger issue is how it takes ink. I just tested two different brands of printmaking paper vs a sheet of watercolor paper with both brush applied ink, and copic multiliner ink. One brand of the printmaking paper performed much like the wc paper, while the other brand of printmaking paper reduced the intensity of the blacks and gave more of a "chalk mark" effect. Unfortunately I cannot remember what brands they are. :/

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  21. #12
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    I'm happy to say I found a 50 sheet pad of 12x18 canson Biggie jr. cold press water color paper for a very fair price. I have just tested it out and it is great for my needs. I was almost ready to pay the same price for 12 sheets of montval or 25 sheets of bristol. It's not as quality as Montval, but it definitely serves it's purpose. I certainly lucked out.

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