How to Choose the Right Watercolour Paper?
Water is a powerful medium. It flows, forms and becomes the shape of the beholder.
It’s ability to carry or convey materials, memory, colour, origin is unique and true.
Water forgives. It's the most merciful. It is accessible and it is the most courteous, yet powerful of all elements. Water forms balance.
As poetic it may sound, water springs from earth and pours from sky, uniting the sky and earth, spreading only love.
It is believed in many cultures that fresh cool water is the ultimate Almighty. When you keep a bowl of freshly drawn water, it means the presence of God there.
Hence, I would call all artists working with water to be in their connection to their deity knowingly or unknowingly. And it’s natural to see a watercolour art being made by the artist in a state of penance.
Although, in the mind of the artist painting with watercolor Sketchbook, sometimes it is as simple as whether the colour is merging and blending as expected and sometimes to go with the flow and bring the design unimagined.
So, let’s see the key properties of the right watercolor paper .
What's more absorbent than cotton? Fashionists touch a fabric and if it's cool, they immediately know it has cotton in the thread the wove the material. Same goes with watercolour artists. The feel, touch and texture talk with them more than the colours actually.
There, the right watercolour paper needs 50% to 100% cotton, to make the watercolour sheets. The capacity of the watercolour paper to absorb and hold water and the colour depends on the cotton pulped in it.
A 100% cotton paper can last more than 100 years. How cool is that!
Woodfree, Acid Free, Guilt-free
The soul / sole purpose of watercolour art is to save and capture a glimpse of nature, reality and anything worth and loved by the eyes. It must not come with at the cost of nature ever. Hence all papers have to be wood free and guilt free.
Moreover, cellulose from wood pulp contains acid, which affects the paper lifespan significantly by making it yellow and crisp with aging. We will see more in detail about this.
Non- Yellowing Gallery Worthy
We book lovers love everything about paper. From the smell of new books to the old library atmosphere, with the wooden shelves full of yellow brittle paper books by grand scientists.
However, when it comes to making the non-yellowing, gallery worthy watercolor painting sheets, the process required the pulp pH to be maintained above 7, i.e. alkaline. This will help to neutralize the acid compounds that the sheets would be exposed to from the atmosphere over the period of time.
Watercolour sheets made with 100% cotton pulp watercolour sheets, with alkaline process give the creation of the artists an eternal life.
Paper sizing allows it to become partially hydrophobic by increasing it’s ability to hold the water without turning it back to pulp, to put it simply. It increases the strength of the paper and hold the fibres in place with the adhesive effect making it resilient to stress and abrasion. It prevents the paper from bleeding, feathering, swelling etc.
Highest quality watercolour sheets are sized internally and externally as well. When the gelatin is added to the pulp mix itself, it is called Internal sizing. In the surface sizing or external sizing process, the sheets are soaked or coated with a gelatin bath.
Gelatin is used as the sizing agent in the watercolor paper manufacturing process. There is animal derived gelatin from collagen of animal by-products which are used by many cheaper manufacturing processes and very few authentic responsible manufacturers use the vegan derived Gelatin from various sources such as plant pectin, starch derived, dextrin, sea weed extracts etc.
Vegan sized watercolour sheets are the right choice of artists because, it makes the process cleaner and environment friendly.
You might have come across some videos on of making home-made coloured sheets by grinding used paper in a mixer, adding colour to it, then pressing it in a mould and dried. This leaves a texture from the used paper pulp. And there are some other machine-made watercolor sheets that give the sheets a dotted texture. Both these textures were left visible till the very end even after an artwork has been done on it. At the end of the day art makes everything okay. But, some of those textures take away the art's original appearance. The texture left behind in an acrylic paintings or oil paintings are from the colour media and understandable. Whereas the water colour paper base is better if it doesn’t add so much texture design though it does have a good pronounced texture in itself. This optimal texture is ensured by the cold-pressed and the authentic cylinder mould technique.
The subtle purposefully designed texture in the artist grade watercolour sheets can make the dream come true and bring out the art work as imagined when the artist played the strokes and therefore the art created with the paper becomes the artist’s original master piece.
We know how beautiful and meaningful is water as a medium. Watercolours communicate more freely and lovingly with each other on the finest watercolour sheets. Brushes are like little friends delivering love letters to the neighbouring colours, and maintain the direction of the water colour spread.
The natural shade white, 100% cotton, 100% Vegan , Menorah 300gsm water colour sheets are made with chlorine free, acid free, cold pressed, authentic cylinder mould techniques . They are manufactured to specifications and imported from Europe.
Menorah 300gsm collections come as sketchpad sheets and spiral sketchbooks, and now launched the most awaited bookmarks too.