Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A new HP watercolour paper from St. Cuthbert's Mill

A short while ago I took part in a paper trial with a few other artists.  The purpose of the trial was to have a go at using an alternative hot press paper created by St. Cuthbert's Mill and give feedback on our results.  The Mill makes Saunders Waterford and Bockingford, as well as other papers.

I had 2 papers to use.  The traditional Saunders Waterford HP in high white and the trial paper in high white.
Above you can see the different swatches that I first created, using different painting techniques.
My initial thoughts were that I couldn't seem to get an even first wash on the paper, but as I continued, especially with an actual painting, this didn't seem to be an issue.
I also used an eraser on the paper to see if the surface of the paper was damaged at all.  I used a plastic eraser and also a softer 'gomme' eraser.  The paper surface stood up very well to the erasing and when I applied a watercolour wash over the area, the paint dried smoothly with no signs of paper surface damage.
I decided to paint a Seven-spot ladybird on the trial paper.  I wanted to see how I could build up the initial washes and the depth of colour that could be achieved.  The picture above was in the early stages.
The colour intensity was retained as I progressed further and I found it very easy to lift areas of watercolour too.
I would like to stress that these are only my opinions, other artists may have had different results, dependant on their painting style and techniques they used.
The good news is that a new HP paper will be produced by the Mill in the near future.  It will be called Saunders Waterford High White Super HP and will available in 300gm (squared) (140lb) and 425gm (squared) (200lb).
I certainly look forward to using this new paper and hope to use it alongside my favourite (and the one I have a stock of), until I decide whether to just use one of them.
A nice gift in the post today from St. Cuthbert's Mill - traditional Saunders Waterford HP
If you would like to read more about choosing watercolour papers for botanical art, why not have a look at:


  1. Have they changed the sizing? Saunders Waterford is soft size (eg compared to Arches which is hard sized)

  2. I'm not too sure Katherine. This could well be the case as the paper is so much smoother than traditional Saunders Waterford HP, and although still absorbent compared to some papers, the new one is less so than the traditional version. I'm looking forward to when they launch the new paper.


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