South West Art


What are watercolour paper "blocks"

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Watercolour paper is available in both pads and blocks. Blocks are pads that are gummed (bound) on all four sides, leaving a small thumb hold in the front for you to remove the top sheet after painting. This provides a pre-stretched surface which you can paint straight onto.

Ideal to take with you to art classes, or when painting out in the field, or if you just can't bear to stretch any more pieces of paper!

Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 July 2009 14:21 )

Can I use watercolour paper with Acrylics?

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Yes you can!  If you are using watercolour techniques with acrylic colours it is the obvious choice to use watercolour paper.

However, if you are using acrylics colours more like oils, a primed surface such as canvas, or a primed canvas paper will be more suitable, as you will be applying more weight of paint which the paper will not be able to support.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 July 2009 14:15 )

What is Stretching paper and why should I do it?

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When watercolours are applied to the surface of watercolour paper, particularly light weight papers, they expand the top surface which, as the painting dries, makes the paper buckle or cockle.

Stretching your paper onto a board prevents this cockling. Soak your piece of watercolour paper, then lay it on a board and tape down on all four sides with gum strip.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 July 2009 14:27 )

Please explain the different surfaces of Watercolour Papers

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Most ranges of Watercolour Paper have a choice of surface texture. These are the result of different procedures during the milling of the paper.

The three types of surface are:

  • NOT or Cold Pressed (CP) - this is the most popular and "standard" surface texture providing a slightly raised texture used for most traditional watercolour techniques
  • ROUGH - very simply, this is slightly more textured that the NOT surface and is often used for larger or landscape paintings, or for more mixed media techniques where a slight tooth is useful.
  • HP or Hot Pressed - a very smooth surface, ideal for botanical artists where fine detail is required, or pen and wash so that the fine pen does not have to negotiate the bumps on a more textured surface.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 July 2009 13:46 )

What is the advantage of Artist's Quality Colours?

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Artist's Quality Oil, Acrylic and Watercolour ranges are far superior in pigment strength, and use a much higher standard of binders etc. that are used to make them. This makes a huge difference to the coverage, durability, lightfastness and permanence of the colours.

Only the pure pigments are used in Artist's ranges, and where possible the colours are made using single pigments only. This means that if you are buying Cobalt Blue - you are getting Cobalt Blue, rather than a cheaper alternative that is similar to it. This provides the ability to create far cleaner mixes, as well as ensuring the clarity of the individual colours in your palette.

Of the different Artist's Quality ranges that we stock we would recommend Old Holland Classic Oils and Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolours as the two premium ranges. These may cost more initially (although this is certainly not always the case), but they will go 2 - 3 times further than the equal amount of the equivalent ranges from other manufacturers, due to their extremely high concentration of high grade pigments. For more information on the exclusive qualities of these two ranges please see the introduction pages within our online shop, or click on their names above.

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