EVENTS
Mike Sibley
WORKSHOPS:
In my North Yorkshire studio
DRAWING ANIMALS
June 23/24
FOUNDATION +
July 21/22
Booking Now

USA and CANADA
Drawing Animals
OTTAWA, ON
August 17-19
CLEARWATER, FL
August 24-26
Limited seats now

Workshops ONLINE
8-week BEGINNERS
INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED
6-wk TRADITIONAL SHADING
Join me at Drawspace.com
full details

JD Hillberry
Workshops
Phoenix, AZ :
March 9 - 11, 2018

Subject: Smooth Skin
Booking Now
full details
Pencil Kit & DVD
Everything I supply in my live workshops
full details

What kind of paper do you use?

The joint forum of JD Hillberry and Mike Sibley. Tap into over 50 years of combined professional experience and join in.

Moderator: Mike Sibley

Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:52 pm
Location: Italy

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. :)

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:29 pm
Location: Colorado

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!
JD Hillberry
My Video Drawing Tutorials : www.youtube.com/jdhillberryvideos
My Web Site : www.jdhillberry.com
My workshop info : www.jdhillberry.com/workshop-schedule.htm
My Technique Book : www.jdhillberry.com/book

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 767
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:42 pm
Location: Thirsk, UK

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:
Mike Sibley
Website: www.SibleyFineArt.com
Book: Drawing from Line to Life
Blog : Drawing from Line to Life blog
Visit my Starving Artists for free and subscription galleries

User avatar
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:57 pm
Location: Australia

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.
Linda Weil
http://home.exetel.com.au/lindaweil/

'DRAW!'Wyatt Earp

Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:42 am
Location: Canada

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.

User avatar
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:57 pm
Location: Australia

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
Linda Weil
http://home.exetel.com.au/lindaweil/

'DRAW!'Wyatt Earp

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 767
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:42 pm
Location: Thirsk, UK

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.
Mike Sibley
Website: www.SibleyFineArt.com
Book: Drawing from Line to Life
Blog : Drawing from Line to Life blog
Visit my Starving Artists for free and subscription galleries

User avatar
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:31 pm

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

User avatar
Posts: 498
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:12 pm
Location: Denver, CO

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.
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Page - Photo Gallery - Art Print Gallery - Writing&Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness - Siddhartha Gautama

User avatar
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby Anderson » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:27 pm

Brilliant White Mellotex is going to be difficult to get in the states?
I am a teacher.

User avatar
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:44 am

Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby KenBrown » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:31 pm

I wrote a fairly large article about drawing paper that is a sticky on another website that I won't mention by name. The crux of the matter is that there is no perfect paper for anyone. What works for one person will not be suitable for another because all papers are unique in their own ways. There is one brand of paper that so many people swear by that I tried ... unfortunately I hated it and could not even finish one drawing. I loved the mellotex Mike sold (and I used it by layering from light to dark just to be my usual troublesome rebellious self) but it was not perfect either.

You will find that everyone has a unique "touch" when applying graphite and some papers will respond to that well and others not so much. Paper surface is probably more universal in as much as detail oriented artists will gravitate towards a smoother paper - but there are no guarantees with that either. I know of one realistic artist in particular who gravitates to a rough surface. Believe it or not even the brand of pencil/graphite refill enters into the final appearance. And then the techniques employed to apply the graphite to the paper. For instance, I draw using the side of my pencil much more than the tip. In fact I dislike a sharp pencil and find I can get more detail from a dull tip than a sharp one. Look at Daryl Tank of the 5 pencil method - he uses razor sharp pencils for his tapered stroke and gets phenomenal results. I tried that once and got junk. We're all different and unique. If I wanted to draw exactly like Mike or JD and used exactly the same materials my work would still leap off the paper as being mine. And the same thing would be true if Mike or JD wanted to duplicate me ( in addition to needing therapy I might add ...). If you go looking at work here and elsewhere by experienced artists you are going to find that you can begin to recognize individuals simply by their style which is a combination of materials and techniques.

In the end my best suggestion would be to follow artists you admire and find out what materials they prefer. Then try some. Be fair ... complete at least a couple drawings before making up your mind. There will always be something that you dislike - sometimes a deal breaker. So you keep looking - always trying something new now and then. In time you will come to find you have several papers that you prefer perhaps for different subjects. The good news is that paper is relatively inexpensive so trying different ones is not going to break the bank. And try different weights of the same type if available because that can make a big difference. One paper I especially like in the 300lb range but do not like their lighter products.

I would also suggest that once you find a paper you like that you use it for all your drawings. Some artists save their "good" paper solely for serious drawings which I don't understand for a couple reasons. First of all, every paper responds differently to your techniques. To me, it seems pointless to always be fighting the tendency of a paper at the same time that you are trying to get a likeness. That's hard enough by itself. The techniques should be more automatic. And secondly, you never know when you are going to produce a masterpiece. Wouldn't it be a waste to have drawn your best work ever inadvertently on newsprint?

Mostly, enjoy the journey!

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 767
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:42 pm
Location: Thirsk, UK

Re: What kind of paper do you use?

Postby Mike Sibley » Tue May 01, 2018 9:47 pm

Anderson wrote:Brilliant White Mellotex is going to be difficult to get in the states?

Brilliant white Mellotex is going to difficult to find anywhere - and Ultra White - because Tullis-Russell went out of business late in 2016 and the machinery was broken up.

I searched far and wide and found a paper almost identical, except it's an even brighter white than Mellotex - Conqueror Diamond White.

You can source it quite readily but - like Mellotex - the larger sheets are confined to the commercial printing industry. If it helps, I stock Conqueror Diamond White 25gsm weight in SRA2 size in my website's shop. SRA2 is A2 plus a bleed margin, so it's about 25 x 18 inches or 64 x 45cm (actually 24x18 from me because I have to trim it for shipping) - or I can cut the full sheets in half.

Thanks for your very informative post, Kenny! Much appreciated.
Mike Sibley
Website: www.SibleyFineArt.com
Book: Drawing from Line to Life
Blog : Drawing from Line to Life blog
Visit my Starving Artists for free and subscription galleries

Return to EVERYTHING DRAWING

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests