More Thoughts on Stonehenge Paper

February 5, 2010

More thoughts on Stonehenge paper.


Above: A sketch of Gert on the first spread of my new Stonehenge journal (approx. 8 inches square). Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and gouache.

On Wednesday, February 3 I posted a more extensive review of how I am finding Stonehenge as a paper for visual journaling.

With the above image I would like to address a couple additional points.

1. I think this paper takes fluid acrylics well (that's what the background is), though, as with watercolors you have to closely monitor your flow on this paper (it is not a watercolor paper). This has the advantage of allowing you to maintain streaks and lines, but if that is not your intention know that you'll have to watch how quickly you work and apply paint. (It could be just the exciting, breath-taking fun you've been looking for or very tiresome indeed.)

2. I found that with simply washing on of the color with a Niji waterbrush portions of the paper developed a look of pilling—seen in the dark portion of Gert's body. It did not take repeated brushwork for this to occur.

3. In general I find watercolors, gouache, and acrylic to look flatter on this paper than on other printmaking papers I've painted on. Flatness of color is to be expected on a printmaking paper when using watercolor inks as the paper isn't sized to hold the ink floating in the sizing like a watercolor paper. I don't think this "flat" look is necessarily bad, but it does require me to think about my working method and process as I go, so that I don't start to get fussy with over-compensations. It makes judging values a bit more difficult.

As I work more in this journal I will post additional reactions to the paper.

  1. Reply

    Roz, I have taken two Book Binding classes thus far. I am loving them! It is so much easier than I thought it would be. Now I need to figure out what my favorite papers are, and evaluate what orientation I would like to use. A fun quest, indeed.

    • Deb Dugan
    • February 5, 2010

    Hi Roz,

    I’m learning to bind my own small journals (mainly because I want to have paper I like) and I’ve read many of your posts reviewing various papers, which are wonderfully informative. Do you have a favorite? I like to be able to work with wet media and have been using 90 lb. hp watercolor paper, but I was wondering if there are some other papers to try. I don’t have a large art supply store nearby and do ordering online (which is fine if you know exactly what you are getting). I have recently bound a sketchbook using Canson Mi-Teintes but haven’t actually worked in it yet. I imagine I’ll have to stick to dry media on that paper. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Love your blog.

    • Roz
    • February 5, 2010

    Melanie, I’m glad you are loving your bookbinding classes!

    Figuring out what papers to use is for me the fun bit! I hope you enjoy your quest!

    • Roz
    • February 5, 2010

    Deb, I don’t really have a favorite paper (well I do, but it’s discontinued so there is no point in talking about it).

    I have several papers, as you can tell from reading through, or even just paging through my journal images on my blog posts and at my website, that I really enjoy working on for different reasons.

    When I bind books I always make several books at a time. In part this is because I would always sell some, but mostly it is because I like to have a range of blank journals in stock so that when it is time to select a new journal I don’t have to stop and make one. And it allows me to go to the shelf and decide, do I want a portrait orientation, do I want a square book, do I want toned paper, do I want white paper. What media do I feel I will be working on the most in the next few weeks. How much time to I have to fill this journal (i.e., is it for a trip and how long is the trip and how many pages will I need; is it the end of the year and I have to fill it in a couple days…)

    My tastes change over the year and I rotate depending on answers to questions like that. It helps me keep the play aspect of journaling going. And it helps me keep a variety of approaches alive.

    That approach isn’t for everyone. If you have found a 90 lb. watercolor paper that you like you can stick with it the rest of your life, changing only if that paper changes. There’s no problem with that approach and people make great work with that approach.

    If you want to branch out and experiment more but don’t have a store nearby that sells a variety of papers I recommend that you purchase SAMPLE Swatchbooks or Sample Packets from a variety of sources. I was just mentioning this the other day to someone else in response to another post.

    Daniel Smith has sample packets of printmaking paper and I think of watercolor papers (you didn’t mention if you wanted to find more of the latter to work with or not). They are FULL sheets which is great because then you can see the sheet size, find the grain direction and test the paper and really have a lot of information about the sheet, and about how it suits your needs.

    Legion sells boxed samples that are cut into 8 1/2 x 11 inch pieces. This is less ideal because you don’t get the full sheet to work out grain direction on the full sheet, but you do get enough of a sample to see how it folds with the grain and whether or not you enjoy working on it with your different media.

    I think that Talas also sells sample swatchbooks.

    And there are several mills if you want paper from them that will do that too. I found one in France the other day on the internet (can’t locate it now—but they are out there).

    While it may seem like an expense to buy the samples it is actually a great savings of money and time. I heartily recommend it.

    By reading the past posts on my blog you’ll find papers that perhaps speak to you, and you’ll be able to read what media I use on them. But ultimately you’re going to have to decide, “I am looking for one paper to use that does x, y, and z,” or “I am looking for a group of papers that do a variety of things.”

    Based on that your search will be fruitful.

    Keep this in mind. There are ALWAYS other papers to try. This is because there are new papers coming out every so often, but also this is because papers change (I’ll have more to say about this in some upcoming posts). You will want to try other papers every so often just so that you can keep your options open should your current favorite disappear or change beyond recognition or usefulness.

    You asked about Canson Mi-Teintes. It’s not a paper I bind into books unless I’m going to do a book solely for colored pencil work. It doesn’t take kindly to wet media (unless it is laminated to a board—and they do sell some colors that way). While I enjoy working on the sheets with my colored pencils and having the choice of a very textured surface or the opposite side which is a “felt” like surface, I don’t like that marked a texture difference in my books, even though I take the trouble to collate the pages so that like surfaces are paired across the page spread.

    Also there are some issues with lightfastness with this paper so it is not currently a favorite of mine for much of anything—except that I still do like to use it for wrapped covers on soft-covered books, especially if I am going to collage and paint (with rubberstamp reinkers or acrylic paints in drybrush mode with no additional water).

    Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

    • Deb Dugan
    • February 6, 2010

    Thanks so much Roz! The sample pack is a great suggestion – I don’t know why I didn’t think of that…. I would like to branch out a little and maybe have a colored paper to work on and maybe try some different media other than pen & ink and watercolor. I have managed to collect enough art supplies over the years to experiment for quite some time. Thanks again,

    Deb D.

    • Roz
    • February 6, 2010

    Deb, if your going to work on colored paper I would definitely check out the printmaking papers. They all, including Stonehenge, come in a range of colors—typically earthtones, but if you check back on my posts from the middle of December into January for the Magnani Pescia robin’s egg blue pages you’ll have another example to look into.

    I really like Nideggan as a toned paper, and you can paint on it. Though it is a lightweight sheet and will buckle, but again, that doesn’t bother me.

    Be careful in selecting colored papers in general, though, because many of them, even some really expensive papers, are not lightfast! Read the fine print on the manufacturer’s descriptions!

    • Wendy
    • February 13, 2010

    I agree with what you said about Canson. I don’t very often use it in books – I think it gets a crumpled look very easily. That said, I’ve just used it in two books – the colours are wonderful.

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