Above: 8 x 8 inch sketch of a dachshund friend from memory (yep I do that sometimes) on Fluid Hot Press Watercolor Easy Block paper, 140 lb. watercolor paper. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Calligraphy Pen and some dashes of gouache.
See the update at the end of this post for additional information.
I've been nursing a shoulder elbow injury for over a month now and won't be making books any time soon. So I was wondering what I would take to the Minnesota State Fair for sketching. I've got some books on the shelf, but they all seem too heavy and have too many pages. (I'll be lucky if I get to go more than once to the Fair this year because of other obligations.)
I thought I would simply make some journal cards out of 300 lb. watercolor paper. I've done that many times before and it works well.
But then I remembered that Fluid just came out with the Hot Press version of their watercolor easy block (it's only glued down on two sides). I had picked up a pad the last time I was at Wet Paint.
I rushed and got it and did this quick sketch.
I love the smoothness of this paper for sketching with the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Calligraphy Pen. Just love it. I had fun slopping on the paint and wiping it off. I love that it comes in an 8 x 8 inch square block. I emailed over to Wet Paint and asked them to hold some pads for me. It's perfect for going to the Fair. And when I get home I can make a case just the right size for whatever I manage to sketch.
And just like that my Minnesota State Fair sketching plan is all in place.
Don't you love it when that happens!?
The paper is great for writing on too so I'll be able to take my notes as usual. (I'll have some other dog sketches from this pad at some point.)
Oh, did I mention that it is very economical? Well it is. So if you're looking for an inexpensive but responsive hot press paper you should check this out. (I included the detail images so you could see what the washes were doing.)
Addendum: My original tests for this paper involved a minimalist approach to watercolor. The sketches I did were only washed in certain areas. I even used this paper at the Minnesota State Fair. I later followed this up with more complete paintings. I discovered, when working with more complete paint coverage, that this hot press watercolor paper has a bad habit of showing a waffle pattern. You can see that pattern in the images shown in "Fluid Hot Press Watercolor Paper" on Oct. 26, 2015. I still have a lot of this paper in Easy blocks (glued on two sides), and will continue to use it for quick sketches and sketches in which I intend to use a minimal amount of wash work. But I cannot recommend this as a good hot press watercolor paper for people who want to paint fully on it. The distracting pattern will surface and detract from your work. If, however, you want a paper to sketch on with any of Pentel's brush pens, this paper will be a joy to work on. It's also fun to work on it with Faber-Castell's Pitt Calligraphy pen. In short, it's a great paper for using ink on, and it's a joy to write on it. But if you intend to do more than the most minimal of washes, I think there are better choices for paper.