Direct Brush—On Inexpensive Paper

April 19, 2021

Here’s a direct brush sketch I made on Fabriano Mixed Media paper.

It’s an inexpensive paper. I’ve written about it before on the blog.

I wasn’t expecting much when I started this experiment. I thought the paper would give out.

It didn’t.

My patience for rendering the fluffy curls gave out. I was working with some leftover paint and expecting to be interrupted at any moment by an appointment.

Is Fabriano Mixed Media paper a great paper? No, it’s not. But for quick studies and for fiddling around with your brushes, it’s a useful paper to have around.

Close up of today’s sketch so you can see the paper and the paint a bit better. The loose page journal it’s part of is in storage now. I am 99.9 percent certain that the neutral was mixed with Transparent Orange and Phthalo Turquoise. I used a little bit of cool red in her features. 

I have written about this paper in other posts—most notably this first post about it here.

There’s a video showing a few different types of drawings on this paper, using different media at that link.

I think if you’re looking for a paper to do quick sketches and warm ups; if you like to do quick ink sketches like the one in that post from June 2019 I linked, which is quick ink with some equally dashed on watercolor washes; and even if you want to get a little fussy like today’s painting it can be a useful paper to have around.

What I really appreciated is that my light washes of color that I put down as I started the sketch, were able to be lifted in areas, or evened out if I wished, with less effort than on some more expensive papers.

I think this would be a great paper to take along to the life drawing co-op. (Unfortunately because of the Pandemic I don’t know when I’ll be getting back to the co-op, but It keeps to keep these thoughts in your mind so you’re ready to jump into action when things open up again.)

The difficulty is that I don’t know who carries the pads any more. I purchased mine at Wet Paint (they are my local independent art supply store, but they also sell mail order). I would call them and check, and call around. I know a friend in Canada got the pads in DeSerres. (We exchanged paper sheets and it’s the same paper.)

Note: This Fabriano Mixed Media paper IS NOT the same paper that Fabriano is now selling as 1264 series. The Fabriano Mixed Media paper I used here, and which was available in pads months ago, is lighter weight and less bright white, which could be negatives, but its surface took a crisper watercolor line and paint flowed more smoothly on the paper. Fabriano 1264 Multimedia paper may be a brighter white but it doesn’t have the same workability as the paper I was testing for this post’s sketch. I don’t even know if I’m going to do more than the quick test I did on it. I just didn’t like it. Life is short.


    • Paul
    • April 19, 2021

    This looks soooo…chic!! A very sophisticated model look. I personally love the refine facial features and THE LOOK captured here. The fact that you didn’t “finish” the hair (and neck) makes the image for me. AND I love the warm neutralized analogous colours!!! This is a real winner Roz, one of your best portraits IMHO :o).

    1. Reply

      I don’t think I’ve every done a sketch described as “chic” before! That young woman is very beautiful. I just don’t think I do women any favors when I sketch them. My brush pen always ages people, and even here with just direct brush she seems older to me. But it was fun to do while waiting for interruptions. That’s all just a bunch of left over paint. So glad you enjoyed it.

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