From discussion to testing!
There has been much discussion amongst botanical artists in recent weeks and months due to what appeared to be some significant changes in the quality, surface and performance of Fabriano papers much used by botanical artists.
See my blog post Fabriano, R K Burt and St Cuthberts Mill - and fine art watercolour paper for precision painting for a discussion of some of the aspects of what has been happening.
As a result we're now beginning to see artists writing about and showing the results of controlled tests done on the various papers.
Dianne Sutherland has produced an excellent blog post - Paper Matters: St Cuthbert Mill vs Fabriano. It covers:
I'll be pleased to highlight other reviews of papers much used by botanical artists.
Just leave a comment or contact me and let me know if you have also done a review that you'd like to share.
Changes to the surface of Fabriano HP Papers
Obviously artists wanting to find a surface comparable to that they have been used in the past are going to start looking at alternatives if Fabriano do not address the problem people have been experiencing.
I'll certainly be wanting to highlight possible alternatives as and when they are identified on this website.
Two new possibilities are papers just starting production at St Cuthberts Mill in Somerset - which produces Saunders Waterford and Bockingford.
Papers by Saunders Waterford have not been popular with botanical artists in the past mainly due to the fact that:
I'm led to understand by RK Burt, who are a wholesale paper supplier of all makes of fine art paper to retailers in the UK, that St Cuthberts Mill has recently changed its technology and can now produce much smoother paper.
As a result they have produced two new papers:
Samples of the paper have already been distributed to artists at the recent RHS show and more samples will be available at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists. Feedback about the papers in use is now being generated - and is also welcomed.
Obviously whether or not you have yet experienced any problems with stocks of Fabriano paper will very much depend on:
Do please feel free to comment on your own personal experience - and your preferred surfaces for botanical art.
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-17
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