Monday, August 22, 2016

Compare hot press watercolor papers: Arches, Fabriano Artistico, Canson Moulin du Roy

This is part seven of twelve in my series of watercolor paper tests, comparisons, and reviews. Here I am testing three hot press papers: Arches Watercolour Bright White, Fabriano Artistico Extra White, and Canson Moulin du Roy. See this post for introduction and photos of all the papers, and this post for conclusions.


Arches Watercolour, Bright White


  • Finish and weight: Hot press, 140 lb. (300 gsm) (for rough and cold press, read this post)
  • Composition: 100% cotton, acid free, no optical brightening agents, fungicidal treatment to prevent mold
  • Manufacturing: Cylinder mould
  • Sizing: Sized to the core with natural gelatin
  • Website info


Fabriano Artistico Extra White


  • Finish and weight: Hot press, 140 lb. (300 gsm) (for rough, cold press and soft press, read this post)
  • Composition: 100% cotton, chlorine and acid free, no optical bleaching
  • Manufacturing: Mould made
  • Sizing: Internal and external sizing
  • Website info


Canson Moulin du Roy


  • Finish and weight: Hot press, 140 lb. (300 gsm) (for cold press, read this post)
  • Composition: 100% cotton, acid free, made without bleaching agents, made with mold-resistant treatment
  • Manufacturing: Cylinder mould
  • Sizing: Internal and surface sizing
  • Website info


Paper color


Fabriano and Canson are white, whereas Arches is a slightly creamy, warm white.


Watercolor brightness


Yes, watercolors remain bright on these papers.

Arches Watercolour Bright White hot press with watercolors, pencil, pen, brush and ink
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Fabriano Artistico Extra White hot press with watercolors, pencil, pen, brush and ink
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Canson Moulin du Roy hot press with watercolors, pencil, pen, brush and ink
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Paper texture


Arches feels very smooth to the touch, whereas Canson and especially Fabriano have a little more tooth to them. When using granulating pigments, the speckled effect is almost identical for the three papers.


Paper sizing and absorbency


Note that I am not testing these hot press paper in a traditional manner but use them unstretched and with plenty of water to see how they fare with this painting style.

These are all hard sized papers and especially Arches has an almost Yupo-like feel in how the paint is repelled from the surface. If you use too much water, there will be pronounced backruns and the paint takes a long time to dry. Be aware that Arches smells a bit when wet due to the natural sizing.

Fabriano has the least backruns, which translates to a paper easier to paint on in my opinion, although the paint is quite active on this surface.

Canson, on the other hand, has the most backruns and my unstretched paper cockled so much that the water settled in the valleys of the paper. Note: Use less water for better results with all of these papers!

Arches Watercolour Bright White hot press with watercolors
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Fabriano Artistico Extra White hot press with watercolors
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Canson Moulin du Roy hot press with watercolors
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Paper cockling


All these papers cockle, just like the other watercolor papers tested. I would hesitate to use a hot press paper unstretched for small format artwork such as ACEOs, as there was much curl in my separate small format test. Canson cockled so much during painting that the paint pooled in the valleys of the paper.


Pencil/pen/brush and ink


You can feel a slight tooth of the paper when using a pencil on both Arches and Fabriano, albeit Arches feels slightly smoother. For both papers, some ghosting and indents remain after deletion. Canson is the smoothest paper to draw on and deletes well. All three surfaces feel very responsive to the pencil lead.

Pen lines cause slight feathering on Fabriano whereas Canson, being smoother, takes pen well, with Arches coming in second. Canson also takes brush and ink very well, whereas the other two have more uneven ink surfaces and Fabriano again some feathering. Note: Leave time for pen lines to dry on hot press surfaces.


Cost and availability


I only found Arches Bright White hot press available as sheets (Natural White is also available in blocks, pads, and rolls).
  • List price for a 22”x30” sheet is $10.90, online it can be found for less than half that price, about $4.50.

Fabriano Artistico Extra White hot press is available as sheets, rolls, and blocks.
  • List price for a 22”x30” sheet is $10.25, online it can be found for less than half that price, a little over $4.

Canson Moulin du Roy hot press is available in sheets, rolls, blocks, and pads.
  • List price for a 22”x30” sheet is $7.50, online it can be found for around $5.


History and continuity


See prior posts for more about the background of Arches, Fabriano, and Canson.


Conclusion


First of all, note that I am not a hot press painter, so these tests were done using my normal approach of painting directly on the unstretched paper using a lot of water. If you use less water, your results may be quite different than mine (i.e. better).

During my hot press tests I received best results with Fabriano Artistico due to it having the least backruns of the three. Canson had the most cockling and also the most backruns, but unfurled again once dry.

For pen work, Canson had the least feathering of the three, with Arches a close second. Fabriano had the most feathering. This may vary depending on your pen.

Brush and ink dried unevenly, but Canson and Arches both handled ink strokes well whereas Fabriano had some feathering.


Översättning. I detta test så jämför jag tre akvarellpapper med slät gräng; Arches Bright White, Fabriano Artistico Extra White and Canson Moulin du Roy. Notera att jag testar dessa papper utan fuktspänning och med mycket vatten för att se hur de för sig vid denna behandling. Om du använder mindre vatten och fuktspänner dem så får du säkert andra (läs bättre) resultat!

Alla tre är vita, men Arches drar lite åt det varma hållet. De är hårt limmade och om du använder mycket vatten så bucklar sig papperet och vattnet ansamlar sig i papperets dalar och orsakar märkbara blomningar. Fabriano fick minst blomningar i mitt test och kändes, enligt min åsikt, som ett något lättare papper att måla på medan Canson fick mest blomningar.

Canson var slätast att rita på både med tuschpenna, flytande tusch och blyerts, medan tuschlinjerna spred sig lite på Fabriano. På grund av den hårda limningen tar det en stund för tusch att torka på dessa papper.


Notera att Arches har en viss lukt vid vätning som kommer från det naturliga gelatin som används till limningen. 

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