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What kind of paper do you use?

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What kind of paper do you use?

Postby Fabio » Mon May 13, 2013 6:28 pm

Hi.
When it comes to paper, I don't know where to begin.
So I wanted to ask you experts what kind of paper do you use and what advtange it brings. I use a Fabriano Accademia paper block, and I think it's good, but I want to change to try something else, and not stick on one thing. :)

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Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby JD Hillberry » Mon May 13, 2013 8:35 pm

I use Arches 140lbs hotpress watercolor paper. It has enough tooth to hold a lot of graphite or charcoal but smooth enough for very soft textures. I always tell my students that the paper you draw on will have a greater influence on the outcome of your drawing than anything else. I also suggest people don't use rough papers unless they are drawing for a very rough textured subject and can utilize the paper's texture to achieve the look they want. If you want smooth textures, don't use a really rough paper. When you argue with the paper, it always wins!
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Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby Mike Sibley » Mon May 13, 2013 11:12 pm

JD knows much more about paper than I do. I found my perfect paper many years ago and, where I think JD chooses his paper to suit the principle textures in his drawing, I prefer to always use the same paper. It remains a constant and known surface, so my textures are created from scratch. In other words, I know exactly how my pencils will perform on my Mellotex, so I can just let my drawing flow and watch my pencils create what I'm seeing in my mind.

Incidentally, Ultra White Mellotex is now no longer made in 250gsm weight and the two nearest weights are either too think to draw on or too heavy to ship. So I'm now stocking and using the new Brilliant White Mellotex (250gsm) that is even whiter than the Ultra White - which I didn't think was possible! :shock:
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Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby lmweil » Tue May 14, 2013 1:18 am

Paper is really an individual choice based on your style and technique. Much trail and error until you settle on the one you 'like' the best!

The Fabriano Academia Block is a good paper - I use it when travelling, however it is not the 'best' paper that Fabriano have available for artists who like to draw. I use the sheet Fabriano Artistico Hot Press 300gsm which is a far superior surface to the Academia and I would recommend you try it. I love the slightly creamy tone to the paper, the smooth finish and the 'give' of the weight. It suits my style of drawing well.

However, the Arches that J.D. recommends is an excellent choice as well. It is a brighter white than the Fabriano Artistico but has many similar drawing qualities.

I have used some of Mike's Mellotex... and it is an astonishing paper! It draws very differently from my Fabriano Artistico - giving a very dark black with the 4B pencil. The first time I used it I struggled as I was trying to draw my usual style of light to dark with it and not succeeding very well. I have recently tried it again, working dark to light and am having a better result.
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Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby john c » Tue May 14, 2013 2:35 am

Arches 140 by far the best paper. Acid free and made out of cotton rag so no tress are killed.

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Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby lmweil » Tue May 14, 2013 5:18 am

John makes a good point - so note that Fabriano Artistico is also 100% rag paper, acid free. As an interesting side note, it has been in production since the 13th century in Italy and : "Artists and writers such as Giambattista Bodoni, Albrecht Dürer, Michelangelo, Raphael and Francisco Goya have praised Fabriano papers for their unequaled quality. Works from these artists that exist today are a testament to the enduring quality of Fabriano paper." quoted from the Dick Blick site
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Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby Mike Sibley » Tue May 14, 2013 2:04 pm

lmweil wrote:I have used some of Mike's Mellotex... and it is an astonishing paper! It draws very differently from my Fabriano Artistico - giving a very dark black with the 4B pencil. The first time I used it I struggled as I was trying to draw my usual style of light to dark with it and not succeeding very well. I have recently tried it again, working dark to light and am having a better result.

It's definitely not a paper for anyone who wants to build up values. Mellotex has very little tooth or surface texture so if you use a hard grade first it will fill the tooth with clay and graphite and leave liitle or nothing for a softer grade to cling to. That's partly why I work dark to light. A hard grade (2H etc) will layer over a soft grade (2B etc) but not the other way round. Incidentally, Mellotex is wood-pulp based but it is classed as an archival, acid-free paper.

As an aside: I also work dark to light because once the initial dark has been established, I know the entire tonal range available to me within the drawing - from that dark to the white of the paper. That helps all intermediate values fall into place.
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Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby kathe » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:17 pm

Hi Fabio, I am like you searchin for paper, especially for JD's method. I have some Mellotex like Mike recommends, although mine is not as heavy, I found a pack of 130grm A4 bright white mellotex for a good price on ebay. It is lovely and very smooth. Many years ago when I first took some drawing classes (photorealism), we used schoellershammer 4G. That is a very hard surfaced, very smooth paper.Expensive, but a dream to use. Canson Bristol not quite the quality, nor the price.
Now I am looking for alternatives to the Strathmore 400, can't get that in Denmark. I have just ordered some pads try, Canson 1557, Fabriano Skizze and Hahnemühle Creativ.
I haven't been drawing for many years, so right now just practicing different techniques and materials.
Kathe, Denmark

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Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby kennyc » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:27 pm

I'll mention that 'side' can make a difference as well depending on the specific paper. Mellotex doesn't appear to have a difference front or back whereas other papers, such as Arches WC appear to have slight differences. My understanding is that this is due to the process by which it is made.
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