Friday, 27 June 2014

Garzapapel paper testing (2) - drawing and background wash

Moving further with my test of the Garzapapel, I am going to paint at the same time some red hibiscus flowers on Garza, Arches and Fabriano papers. All 3 papers are of the same (small) size, of 5x7 inches and are of the same weight of 140 lb.
I started with the pencil drawing of the hibiscus flowers on all 3 papers, as follows:

Garzapapel drawing:

Arches drawing:

Fabriano drawing:

I didn't notice any difference in the three drawings, for which I used a 2B pencil.

In order to keep things as simple as possible, I decided to go with a limited  palette of only 3 colors from Sennelier, namely: Sennelier Yellow Light, Rose Opera and Cinereous Blue. And I am using two Pentel brushes, small and large. The materials and a test of the colors are shown bellow:

I started with the background washes, by wetting first the bigger area with clean water and starting to drop in paint.

Garzapapel background wash:

Arches background wash:

Fabriano background wash:

Garzapapel and Arches absorbed water well, while the Fabriano paper did not absorb very well. The wet-in-wet pigment movement was similar for all 3 papers. The Fabriano paper started to dry out very fast, and didn't give me the time fully work the background in one wash, while Arches and Garzapapel remained wet even quite some time after I took the photos. The Garzapapel and Fabriano papers started to buckle at some point, while the paper was wet, while Arches had bucked edges when dry out.
After a while, when trying to add some more washes to the background, the Garzapapel was more difficult to work with, like the paper wasn't completely dry.
I left all 3 papers under a pile of books over night, and they were all 3 very flat again the next morning, ready for more washes (to be continued in the next post).


  1. I recognize that triad! Extra bonus to see what can be done with the Sennelier samples. Glad you like the paper. (Sillyfaerie on wetcanvas)

    1. Thank you Sillyfaerie! The Sennelier sample colors make very beautiful mixes! I do use the yellow and blue more often, with other watercolors from other manufacturers too. Unfortunately the Rose Opera from Sennelier is a fugitive pigment and, although it gives beautiful reds, I try to avoid it.

  2. Agreed. The rose will end up on greeting cards. There's a popular variety of rose ranging from orange to brilliant pink, often multicolored blossoms, that I'm going to try my hand at; I'm tempted to think they're what Sennelier had in mind when selecting colors for the sample.

    1. Looking forward to see your roses cards collection!