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Hi All,

I have a question about watercolor paper that I don't believe has been
addressed on this listserv before (at least a search of the archives
turned up nothing).

I have always used Arches HP but purchased some Fabriano Artistico HP in
140 and 300 lbs last year. I was interested in trying it for graphite as I
had seen others use it and the Arches was being a bit delicate. Since I had
it to hand, I also used it for 3 medium sized watercolor paintings (2 on
the 140 and 1 on the 300). They were mostly dry brush technique but there
were areas of wash and wet-in-wet. Admittedly I didn't do any rigorous
paper tests first, but I was distressed to see the surface of the paper
break up and clump with washes, especially darker ones. The result was a
surface that looked scrubbed and overworked when dry. I was doubting my
watercolor technique, but I then found several blog posts by dismayed
botanical artists reporting the same phenomena. This may be already
familiar to many of you but apparently I am very behind the times and there
was a big outcry in 2016 when Fabriano changed their manufacturing process.
A contingent of botanical artists even met with the company and were
assured the problem would be worked on ( ).
I have found no information as to whether the issue was eventually fixed.
So I don't know if I somehow bought 5 year old stock (I'm in Canada) or I
should never use the paper for watercolors again. Does anyone have any

And I'd love some HP recommendations if anyone has strong opinions. I saw
in the archives a thread complaining about changes in Arches sizing and
some recommendations to change to Fabriano, but this was before 2016. Other
papers I have read good things about are: Fluid 100 and Saunders Waterford.


Kathryn Killackey
natural science illustrator and artist
+1 (289) 308-6769 

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