Strathmore’s New Print Making Paper
Nothing excites me more than a new paper. Strathmore came out with a new print making paper for etching and relief. It is 100% cotton with internal sizing. For those of you that don’t know paper, sizing keeps the paper together, aka it will not reduce to pulp when re-hydrated. So I tried my hand at soaking this paper.
First, you can soak it a long time. This means there is enough sizing and it was pressed at a high enough pressure to stay very solid even when saturated with water. My personal technique, staining, requires a soaked piece of paper. I call it staining because it reminds me of the effects you get when you stain wood with certain techniques of oil and stain. What I got was amazing reticulations around a string. Here is the initial sample:
Salt technique also worked really well. I like the extreme variations which can be gotten with ink and high flow acrylics. As the string and paper dry those interesting patterns emerge. Here is the other side part of the stained paper:
My fears at this point with BFK is that the paper has now become so soft that it needs to be calendared (sent through a press or that it needs to be sealed a bit with workable fixative to create a bit of a surface resist. One can also use external gelatin sizing, though this is more tricky to get even. At any rate, the point is to be able to draw into the work once it is dry. Using these deep stained layers, the next layer can be drawing in ink, pencil, pen etc. Or one can print a plate onto this layer too. I chose to use ink and draw into it:
So here one can see that the paper, still being somewhat open, takes ink well. The fine lines did not blur, which often happens with some BFK. Drawing back into the work was fun and exploratory. Also, areas could be saturated with water and then backfilled with ink to continue to stain/wash areas with unique layers.
Thus I knew that I could use the cheese cloth technique for my next experiment:
The cheese cloth technique worked better on this paper than any other that I have worked with, including my favorite watercolor paper, Fabriano Artistico.
Thus, I give a shout out to Strathmore for coming up with a paper that has its own unique style and flair. Just right for my techniques, worth trying out as a print maker, sketch artist or watercolorist.
Here is a work on a full sized piece of Strathmore print paper. Amazing what one can get: