A Fabriano Drawing Paper That’s Fun For Experiments

October 13, 2014

140922_CStoneLeft: A3 sized (11.7 x 16.5 inches) Fabriano ecological drawing paper (comes in pads) that I've been using for larger sketches. Pentel brush pen (either the PPBP or the colorbrush one with pigmented ink and a fine tipped brush—didn't note it down). An underlayer of Golden QOR watercolor (Burnt Sienna and Indanthrene blue) and then Montana Markers in pink, raspberry, orange, and light blue. And a bit of white on the ears (and some leaked spatter on the background at the side), of white Sharpie Poster paint marker. (The forehead and cheek are the white of the paper.) Chef and TV host Curtis Stone.

In the past two years my drawings have been getting larger and larger. And looser and looser. But mostly larger and larger.

I found this paper from Fabriano. It comes in a pad that says "Disgno•Drawing White Ecological Paper, Fabriano" on the pad cover. 

I wrote about this paper in my May 29, 2013 post Paper Tests. Be sure to read the captions in that post closely because the first two images are on another type of paper.

I got an A3 sized pad at Wet Paint. Of course I went to buy more and they are on order so I'm pacing and awaiting the arrival.

This 94 lb./200 gsm paper is acid-free and has a cold-press surface. The paper is internally sized and I have found that because of this I've been able to paint on it successfully. But since it's padded paper and I won't be binding it into a book, even if it bled through, I'd still probably use it—because it's fun to draw on.

Of course one of my favorite things to draw on it with is the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (or its cousins in various form—you can read about all the Pentel Brush Pens here).

It's also fun to paint on. I used a watercolor underlayer on this piece, and while the paper buckles a little with watercolor, the paper does tolerate the washes. Acrylic marker, which is the bulk of the color here is really fun on this paper.

It's a sturdy paper and if I had more of it (I've used the last sheet—I used a bunch of it at life-drawing a couple weeks ago, not realizing it was out of stock and I wouldn't get any for awhile) I'd try some other tests. More pads are coming my way and I'll be sure to keep you posted.

One of the best things about this paper is that A3 size. Sure it's too large to scan (I had to scan today's image in 2 pieces), but it seems to be "just right" for the scale of drawings I enjoy making with the brush pen, and it's also the perfect size for going to life drawing.

The brilliant white of the paper is also great.The cheek and forehead areas in this sketch are the white of the paper and you can see it's as white as the poster paint areas.

    • Julana
    • October 13, 2014

    Interesting to see you using QoR. I wondered about that paper. Saw it at Blick’s here.

    • Cat
    • October 14, 2014

    Roz, I see that Blick has this paper in 59″ x 11 yard rolls. Do you consider it a good candidate for binding?

  1. Reply

    Cat I do not use ROLLS of paper for ANY BINDING.

    I find that it is difficult to get the curl out to my satisfaction, therefore I don’t recommend it to others who might be even more frustrated and have less binding experience to deal with it.

    But for advanced binders (and I don’t know which you are) I say, why bother? Sure it’s longer in length and maybe the grain goes the way you need for that perfect sized book, but really, isn’t your time fussing around making the paper flat worth something?

    I bought a roll of Arches 90lb watercolor paper (HP) at the beginning of 2000, hoping it would crack less than other version of this paper (it’s got so much sizing I find even the 90 lb sheets crack when folded WITH the grain). It was impossible to get that paper flat unless you soaked it and taped it to a board—which is what most people using it would have done, but not what binders do.

    I was able to use it to make my own decorative paper for my books for years, it was a great supply, and because it was worked on and wetted in that process it went around the boards perfectly.

    But never again. (OK, one shouldn’t say NEVER as Sean Connery taught us, but…)

    No roll of paper is worth the hassle in my opinion.

    • Julana
    • October 14, 2014

    Thank you for the update. Yes, you did mention sticking with Daniel Smith and M. Graham before. I got the chroma set of QoR at the local Blick’s and am playing with it. Still pretty new to watercolor, so it’s just fun to see the different colors.
    I saw this paper at Blick’s today….but picked up the small Pentallic Nature Sketch to try.

  2. Reply

    I’m not a fan of the Pentallic Nature Sketch. It’s been awhile. I can’t remember what I didn’t like about it. THe cover was wimpy I seem to remember and the paper had a tooth I didn’t care for. I don’t think it took wet media. Let me know what you use in it.

    • Julana
    • October 15, 2014

    Thank you for the feedback. I was trying to hit an intersection of quality and economy. I’m working through the watercolor Moleskine at the moment. So small.

  3. Reply

    Julana, if you like working on the Moleskine paper they do make larger books. I’ve used one that is about 11 x 8.5 inches (their watercolor books are all landscape format which I don’t care for) and I have a really large one sitting on the shelf that I bought a couple years ago and hope to use for a project at some point (I don’t tend to bind really large books, I sort of stop at 8 x 10 or 9 x 6). It would be more to carry around with you but you would be able to do large paintings across a spread as well as smaller sketches all over a spread.

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