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Hi Kathryn. 
Indeed, many of our most reliable paper companies were either swallowed up by non-art-focus paper companies or, for some reason, changed their paper making process. The quality of art papers were completely unreliable. 

As for Fabriano 150 and 300lb EXTRA white, I’ve been please with the surface and quality of my most recent purchase from Dick Blick. It may be that the stock you have is from an older batch. 

I’ll be interested to hear what others are saying. 

Marjorie Leggitt
[log in to unmask]
www.marjorieleggitt.com
@mcleggitt


On May 23, 2021, at 11:45 AM, Kathryn Killackey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


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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 (https://www.botanicalartandartists.com/news/a-meeting-with-fabriano-about-hot-press-paper). 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 updates? 

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.

Thanks!,
Kathryn

--
Kathryn Killackey
natural science illustrator and artist
+1 (289) 308-6769
www.killackeyillustration.com

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