Thoughts On Papers

Parameters to consider in paper selection:

  • weight and strength, whether or not using a press and/or soaking the paper
  • difficulty of cutting and handling (eg Lokti tissue)
  • colour
  • sizing (suitability for soaking, how will it accept the ink)
  • finish/texture
  • beauty
  • size (as in how big – economy, suitability for size of project)
  • cost (a serious consideration)
  • archival properties
  • character (suitability for project eg printed paper relevant to subject, Khadi for Indian motifs)
  • decal edges
  • watermarks
Khadi with mica inclusions

Khadi with mica inclusions

paisley003Lokti tissue

Papers used:

  • newsprint (not, as many beginners think, newspaper)
  • ‘bread and butter paper’
  • Hobbycraft sketch paper
  • Snowdon cartridge (130 and 300 gms)
  • Somerset
  • Stonehenge cartridge 250 gms
  • black cartridge paper
  • Hosho Japanese tissue
  • Khadi various with inclusions
  • old book pages
  • lokti tissue
  • watercolour paper
  • Fabriano Rosapina
  • homemade paper
  • sugar paper
  • coloured craft paper
  • papers prepared with ink or paint.

Things to remember:

  • sugar paper and coloured tissue paper fade badly – important consideration in chine colle
  • delicate papers creased when lifted off sticky ink. Considered using something like a rolling pin to roll them back
  • lightfast tissue can be made by painting Hosho with transparent acrylic
  • homemade paper is easy to make and falls apart easily too
  • papers good for soaking: Somerset, Fabriano Rosapina, Snowdon, watercolour, all heavyweight. Bread and butter and Stonehenge ok for proofing
  • dark coloured papers lovely printed with pale colours
  • papers prepared with washes are very effective, need to be permanent for soaking eg Inktense, difficult to flatten paper again if not soaking
  • tissue and delicate papers can be cut or torn more easily if a line of water is painted on them
  • print paper with watermarks so that they are the right way around.
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About starrybird

I am mature student studying art with The Open College of the Arts. My passion is printmaking.
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