Some artists require ultra smooth watercolour paper for their work and are responding to recent changes in their favourite papers.
As a few artists have noticed recently, the surface texture of the Fabriano 5 and Fabriano Artisico Hot Pressed papers have changed slightly. We have been told that the Fabriano paper mill in Italy uses the same machine to produce other papers than just artists papers and that the texture change of Fabriano 5 and Artistico is the result of some changes to the machine, designed to make the production of a variety of papers more efficient. Both papers are now slightly less smooth. Most artists will still find the surface texture very good for their work. The colour and composition has not changed. But artists such as botanical watercolour painters who rely on these papers for their ultra smooth surface, have been asking about alternatives.
Fabriano 5 and alternatives
Fabriano 5 is a 50% cotton paper with a very white surface designed for watercolour painting and lithography printing, but can also be used for charcoal, graphite, wax, pastel and calligraphy. It is an immensely popular product with watercolour artists and printmakers alike. It is most popular with botanical watercolour painters who require a smooth surface to enable them to acheive the minute accuracy required for their style of painting. As an alternative many artists have been happy with a new paper from St Cuthbert’s Mill – Botanical Ultra Smooth Watercolour Paper.
Fabriano Artistico and alternatives
Fabriano Artistico is a 100% cotton paper in Traditional White and Extra White designed for watercolour artists. The Hot Press surface used to be super-smooth. We have had reports of the surface being less smooth and also acting a bit different as if the surface sizing has changed. If you find that Fabriano Artistico no longer works as you’d like you might wish to try Saunders Waterford Hot Press which is also a 100% cotton paper in two shades of white. The mill has made a few adjustments to their paper-making and has made the Saunders Waterford even smoother, so soon all the new stock will be extra smooth.
Click on the underlined link to go to the Paper Department on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39.