What’s Up With All That Yellow Paper on Roz’s Blog Lately?

February 3, 2014


Left: An 8.5 x 11 inch sketch on Fabriano Tiziano, with a parallel pen. An Irish actor I don't recall the name of. Click on the image to view an enlargment.

At the end of 2012 I started keeping a single sheet journal. I frequently keep journals made up of journal cards, so this didn't even seem like a stretch for me. 

I filled two 9 x 12 inch boxes with 350 pages. Some are simply sketches of people made while I watch TV or sketches I made of friends. Others are sketches of imaginary characters or plans for paintings and such. Some sheets have very personal writing on them next to the sketch. Others have writing that is now indecipherable even to me. It was part of letting go for me.

On January 1, 2014 I started all over again with a new box and sheet one. (I use a separate number system on these sheets than the one used in my bound journals—which also starts over on page one at the start of each new year. You can read about how I index my journals by finding that page in the pages list.)

That still doesn't explain all the yellow paper—and no my scanner isn't broken.

Last year at the end of December I learned that the Paper Depot was going to close. They were having a closing sale. I went in to say good-bye to the owners. I first started buying paper from them for printing jobs in the 1980s, before they expanded their business into rubberstamps, decorative papers, stationery, and wedding invitations.

It's always sad to see a local business close its doors, especially one you've been so involved with. But once I gave in to email I admit I really stopped buying stationery on any regular basis. I still write letters but they are digitally sent for the most part. And so I lost touch…

But when I went in this time to say good-bye I noticed that they had packages of pre-cut 8.5 x 11 inch Fabriano Tiziano in packs of 50 (or maybe it was 100). I purchased two packages because in general I'm not a fan of such a strident "cream" color.

The next day I happened to use one of the sheets with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I ran to my computer and sent the Paper Depot a message: "Do you have any more of this? I'll buy it all."

Linda wrote back to say they did and she saved it for me. And when I went it to pick it up I was talking to other family and staff members and looking on the shelves again and I found lots of other packs of Tiziano in different colors, and pre-cut Canson Mi Tientes. Well, pooh, just when I develop a need for loose sheets of paper a prime source of huge variety closes.

This happens.

More frequently than you might like to think.

I must have 500 sheets of yellow Tiziano. I couldn't not buy it because it meant I would have a great sheet to work on for only pennies. Not only can I use it for my single sheet journal I can sketch on it and cut out sketches and collage them in my regular journal (as the paper isn't that bulky); I can even take it to life drawing and use light washes and ink on it.

Let's just say you'll be seeing a lot of this yellow paper in the months that follow.

I'm actually getting used to it. I think the violet ink from the parallel pen looks great (and richer) when I sketch with it on this paper. The paper has a slight texture (which you can see if you click on the image and view an enlargement) which is almost equivalent to a cold-press watercolor paper texture. This texture shows up when you drag a brush pen across the surface, or even when you pull other pens across it. But the paper is lighter weight than most watercolor papers so you can push down a little with a broad nib and compress the texture and get the fully filled in lines you also see in this image.

In other words it's versatile and it sure is a fun paper to sketch on.

Now you know.

    • Frank Bettendorf
    • February 3, 2014

    Terrific sketch and the story of the paper is the continuing story of life. As you already know. This portrait shows wonderful character and speaks of stories only you can tell. Nice going.
    Frank in Mount Vernon

  1. Reply

    Frank, thanks for your kind comment. Yep, the paper story is in fact the story of a life of sketching—art supplies and art supply stores are always changing. It’s very sad.

    I hope you’ve been enjoying some good weather and have been able to get out and sketch. I am absolutely dying to get to the ZOO!!!!!!! I will make do with the finches at the nursing home when I visit later today.


    • Molly Vollmer
    • February 3, 2014

    How lucky that you stopped in to say goodbye. It’s true that local art supply stores are closing or they are not keeping a good inventory. I’d bad-mouth the internet but I’m guilty of contributing to the demise. It’s the only way I can afford art stuff. I did stop in to a local store the other day and saw a 6×8 block pad of Fluid watercolor paper. I’d been wanting to try this paper and I can tell you that it’s the worst paper I’ve ever used. In a few days I’m going to post my efforts on my Flickr page so other people can make an informed decision on using it.

  2. Reply

    I dislike that paper too… I’ll never buy any more of it, I wouldn’t use it if someone gave it away free.

  3. Reply

    Molly, I’m so sorry you don’t like Fluid Watercolor Paper. I’ve enjoyed using it for exactly what it is, an inexpensive watercolor paper useful for some techniques and styles.

    I don’t care for the hot press at all because of the texture which comes through, in washes. (Flat, but a visible texture.)

    I started working on it in a minimal way and actually loved the way the pen worked on it, but the washes weren’t extensive enough to show the problem.

    When I worked on it with full scale washes the problem with the hot press became evident as I wrote here

    But I quite enjoy the cold press for sketches and studies like this

    I first wrote about it as a paper useful for mixed media

    I’ll continue to use the rest of the Hot Press I have for pen and ink because it’s great fun for that.

    The cold press I’ll continue to use in the future because it remains a great buy for the type of paper it is and handles well the many things I like to do with it.

    I see it in comparison with the Strathmore 300 series and other “studio” papers and it comes off great against those.

    Finding out that a paper doesn’t work for you (or in my case works for certain tasks and media) frees us up to go on to other choices.

  4. Reply

    CaptElaine, I’m assuming you are talking about the Fluid watercolor paper Molly mentioned and not the Fabriano Tiziano I was writing about in the post.

    If it was the Fluid, did you use the cold press or the hot press? I’m curious what you didn’t like about whichever version you used.

    If you didn’t like the Tiziano what did you do on it—what media did you use?

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