Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor Paper—Another Look

October 9, 2013


Left: 9 x 12 inch sheet of Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor Paper. Direct brush sketching with gouache. (Cropped on the scanner a little bit on the right and at the bottom; I really did go off the top of the page.)


OK someone has been watching a lot of "Murder She Wrote" episodes. (It doesn't mean I've given up on "Perry Mason," it's just that JB Fletcher is sort of like comfort food. I always wanted to grow up and be her, not Angela Lansbury, but JB. Oh, and without the widow part of course.)

This is a quick sketch of Van Johnson who was guest staring on an episode, and doing something really odd with his mouth, honest, that's all him!

The point of today's post is just to tell you that I had some Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor paper in a spiral pad (I'd purchased some to use at Paws on Grand if I felt like burning through watercolor paper). I didn't use it up so I've started sketching and painting on it.

(The 300 series is their lower grade, student grade paper.)

I did this sketch with some left over gouache (French Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green, and Nap. Red) and a no. 12 round. It was late, I stopped the TV, sat on the floor, and started putting on light washes from the eyes out, and then went in with darker values when earlier washes dried.

I wasn't always careful and sometimes I went too dark or lost highlights. Here's the amazing bit—you can really lift off rather nicely from this paper. I was pleasantly surprised. If I'd bothered to get up and fetch my scrubber brush I think I could have really picked areas back even more. (I changed the entire hair line by lifting out partially, if you look closely. I was scrubbing pretty hard and the paper was holding up, not pilling or falling apart at all.)

I don't usually like cold press watercolor papers. I last tried this paper a while back and didn't like what I was doing on it (but now of course I can't remember what it was I was trying to do). But I thought I'd let you know that if you're looking for an inexpensive paper to do studies on you might want to check this paper out. It has some useful characteristics.

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