I love the stencils of branches I have made – and I have made quite a few! It is interesting to see how different stencils in different colours combine with each other. I felt that I was in a place to start to create some work that I could potentially send to shows. Because of my art school background, this meant that I needed to be sure that my materials were permanent and archival.
The cardstock I have been using is both acid-free and lignin-free but it is still a wood pulp product and buckles whenever any water or water-based products are used. I decided to try out some printmaking paper I had used in the past – Rives BFK, and some Arches 90 lb Hot Pressed watercolour paper. The Hot Pressed is much smoother than the standard Cold Pressed watercolour paper and I hoped that the 90 lb would be light enough to get a good impression from the Gelli plate. I purchased the paper from my local OPUS store and cut it up into pieces that would work for my 8x10 plate.
The result surprised me. I really thought the printmaking paper would win! After all, that was what I was doing, right? Printmaking? I printed up a few sheets of both.
The paint is lighter on this paper. This may be because it is more absorbent. It gives a good crisp image. It works okay with water-based techniques such as water-soluble graphite and watercolour pencils but it won’t take a lot of water.
This paper produces a richer colour than the printmaking paper, similar to what I was getting on the cardstock. I am thinking that the paint stays more on the surface because of the sizing. This is good for prints that need a bit more colour. It produces a nice crisp image. And, of course, it is made for water-based techniques and can deal with a fair bit of water.
So, my conclusions for what types of paper are best for me, for various uses are:
Here are some examples of my new bird mixed media work:
The Okanagan provides inspiration wherever you look. I enjoy both painting on location and working in my studio. For more information contact me at email@example.com