Thursday, December 4, 2008

Stamping on Watercolor Paper

I got a 10.5" x 14.5" sampler pad of Strathmore watercolor paper. It contains two different types of 140 lb. cold press paper, two different types of 140 lb. rough paper, one 140 lb. hot press paper, and one 80 lb. cold press paper. I got two sheets of each 140 lb. paper and three sheets of the 80 lb. paper. So far, I've tried the hot press paper and the 80 lb. paper.

The hot press paper is my favorite watercolor paper for stamping. The watercolor paper available at the average craft store is cold press. If you go to the artist supply shops, you can find hot press paper. I strongly suggest that you do so! It's wonderful stuff. It is smooth, so your stamps come out better. With 140 lb paper, I don't have a lot of trouble with bleeding, either. Whatever technique I use to add color seems to work better with the hot press and I've tried Copics, watercolor pencils and markers.

The 80 lb cold press paper has every problem I've ever heard about for stamping on watercolor paper. It was rougher, so some of the details of a delicate stamp didn't show well. It also bled very easily, so a bold stamp with a good amount of ink would have blurry edges. Adding color to this paper is harder. I had bleeding with watercolor pencils, Copics and with markers. I felt like I didn't know what I was doing anymore. Often, it looked like I'd tried too hard to erase and had worn out the paper, when I was just doing a light circular blending stroke with my brush that would be fine on a more robust paper. This paper was a fail. I've still got two sheets of this paper left and I'll cut one up for samples and probably throw the remaining sheet out. I hate it that much.

I don't hold out a lot of hopes for the rough paper, but I'll give it a shot. The cold press paper is the same as the other cold press paper I've used in the past. I don't expect it to be a learning experience.

Light weight paper in cold press is nasty. Do not bother trying to save money by getting lighter weight watercolor paper. You might save pennies, but it will cost you results.

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