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  • Shelly Johnson

Testing Watercolor Papers for Plein Air


Thinking that I might want to paint plein air with watercolors, I ordered several brands of watercolor paper pads to try at home. I sure did not want to get all set up out into the field and dislike the paper I brought. In the studio, I paint on Arches 300 pound cold press paper. I soak for at least a few hours and then staple to a board to dry and stretch. I had some Strathmore 400 Series watercolor paper pads that I really dislike, they just do not hold much water or color. So I tried Fabriano Studio Watercolor 140 pound, cold press and really liked it. It held water well and even as a sheet, it did not buckle. This is a 5" x 7" study on a 9" x 12" pad, which seemed like it would be comfortable to use outside. So, I go to order more, and cannot find any anywhere. Made in Italy and I am guessing COVID interrupted manufacturing. Painting is somewhere near Cascade Lake, Idaho.

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