Draw A Bird, January 2023

Hi friends! I hope you had a lovely holiday season and a happy start to 2023! Have you taken down your decorations yet? We put up two Christmas trees and finally packed up the second one today, but already I miss the warm, cozy glow of the lights and twinkle of the ornaments. The nativity set is still up and might stay around for a little while. It is adorned with white lights and greenery, and it makes me happy to see it.

Being gifted some new-to-me types of professional watercolor paper for Christmas, it was exciting to have had a little time to play with them and learn their different characteristics. What a difference the paper makes!

Close up of texture on cold-pressed watercolor paper
Close up of texture on cold-pressed watercolor paper

The first was handmade Shizen cold-pressed, 140-lb. watercolor paper. To me, this very absorbent paper seemed more like a rough-pressed paper rather than cold pressed, but WOW, the paint settled into all the nooks and crannies and made such impressive effects. Because of the bumpy textures, indentations, tooth, and the way the light refracts on this paper, the final colors were more muted and definitely could handle a few more layers; however, this paper certainly accentuates granulating paints. That said, this paper would be perfect for landscapes, furry animals, and paintings with looser effects.

Flamingo on Cold-Pressed Watercolor Paper
Flamingo on Cold-Pressed Watercolor Paper

The second was a smooth handmade, 140-lb. hot pressed paper by Paul Rubens, and it contains a subtle glitter effect; if you know me, you’ll understand how happy glitter makes me! The glitter is embedded in the paper and does not rub off at all. I don’t use hot-pressed paper too often as I find it less forgiving and more suited for highly detailed paintings, but again the effects of this ultra-smooth paper were stunning and the colors more vibrant while using fewer layers of paint. This would be a great paper for ink, pen, illustrations, abstracts, and colored pencil.

Close up of texture and sparkles on hot-pressed watercolor paper
Close up of texture and sparkles on hot-pressed watercolor paper
Flamingo on Hot-Pressed Watercolor Paper
Flamingo on Hot-Pressed Watercolor Paper

I think the flamingo looks better on the hot-pressed paper but am looking forward to working with both papers in the upcoming months. Did you discover any fun artsy supplies recently? Thanks for stopping by!


2 thoughts on “Draw A Bird, January 2023

  1. Carol, I like both paintings. They have very different qualities that make each one special. I’m not a fan of hot-pressed watercolor paper. I seem to make a mess out of it when I use it. I just took my last Christmas decoration down Saturday. Only because we had company coming (again) and they had never been to my house before and I was trying to make a good impression. I haven’t tried out any new supplies lately and I probably need to just to shake things up. Thanks for sharing your lovely art!

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