The paper problem is very frustrating.
Here is a link that provided more information on the problem. It helped me to determine that I could use the damaged sheets for some work by not wetting it very much. After I read the description of the manufacturing process, I realized that the pattern looked as if a nozzle was clogged and not spraying properly. When I wrote the supplier the replaced the papers without question. But they did link some correspondence from a representitve on a art product standard board or committee. I'm traveling right now and not using my own computer or I would send you that link also.
So far, I'm having a problem with the link. I'll keep trying.
Previously, I posted details of my dealing with Arches on this problem and something of the dialogue I have had with them. To date, this has been a usless venture. Have you been using Arches?
This is a sizing problem. As you probably know sizing is applied to the paper to keep some of the paint drying on the surface. Otherwise, on a cold press surface, all of the paint would absorb into the paper like a blotter. That would produce flat, dull looking results. With too much sizing, most of a wash drys on on the surface or in some cases, the surface acually resists the paint.
There are ways to get some use out of bad sheets. However, this is putting the burden of a bad product in the hands of the purchaser.
Thanks you for kindness! I want to show you a picture that happend in a paper. And i want to know if it is correct that you think.
Yes, this certainly looks like the same problem that many people including myself have had. Just out of curiosity, did you have this problem on the entire sheet or just a part of it?
When you purchase watercolor paper, it is good to try to find out the batch number or lot number of the sheets. If you buy a number of sheets of Arches at one time, they will come in a clear polyethylene wrapped package. On the package there should be a label that states the lot number and other information. This is important information you can use if you contact the manufacturer.
hi paul !
Hi Donghyun Kim,
One thing to keep in mind is that different brands of watercolor paper can be manufactured in different ways. They can be sized differently also. Some paper can have sizing applied all the way through the paper. In other words, the sizing is applied while the paper is being made. Other papers have sizing applied to only the surface. So, the sizing problems can be different from one paper to another. I have tried many other sheets. Except for the periodic problems we have discussed, Arches is the best for me because of its wonderful, tough surface.
You are doing fine with your English. Sometimes, it isn't that easy a language for any of us. You can find some answers to the way paper is made on the Internet. If any of us can be of help, let us know. I saw one of the paintings you posted and it is very good. Keep up the good work!
Thank you very much for your the advice. i have wanted to talk about Watercolor. but either anyone i have got along well with or people in my country didn't look like interested in it. I think many people in America seem to interested in it. So like this,the fact i can talk with you about it is very good to me.
I also saw your paints in your web site. I think it is really cool~.I want to visit often with your web site and also Artist Daily that there are many interesting things. And see you again! good luck!
I just came across your notes here about Arches paper. all be it 2 yrs ago :-)
I'm a novice painter but have some 300lb cold and it just absorbs like blotting paper ( not necessarily Arches ) can you add size to paper yourself , like painting it with something ?
probably a silly question and should just go and buy some new sheets .
I don't know if you can add sizing. I'm not a paper expert but I would not recommend trying to size the paper. You'd be better off using the paper you have for sketching and buy some good name brand watercolor paper.
From what I understand, sizing can be tricky, even for paper manufacturers. It is usually a gelatine base. Some papers are both internally and externally sized.
Paul et al,
i have found the same in advanced metals for high pressure vessels. in past qp years cookoo beesg killer wasps have spawned in minerals. they are inhabitants of deep earth and crystals. something disturbed them and they being highly intelligent have invaded human manufacturing that involves mineralogy. the density effect changes, porosity, and white spots result from them being in the acid pool as tiny alkaline bubbles. when squished by press they leave a gas spot and polymerg/wax residue in paper. generally they disappear with flushing. in metallurgy they can effectively morph their body into a crystal and become part of metal dormant till a pressure cycle forces liberation and the vessel explodes. span and france have electron-microscope images of these defects in the metals on internat where bee/wasp aura is visible in the metal.
solution is more qc of acid pool, but if minerals are all contaminated then flushing wont help.
maybe us should sponsor a good paper manufacturing process.
i have painted since 1966 as well.
In my never-ending search
for information on old Arches watercolor paper, I found this forum. I
have been working exclusively with watercolor since the mid 1960s, and would
like to add that Arches has changed its paper many time throughout the years.
I think that next to painting, my most consuming activity is finding and
purchasing vintage Arches, Whatman, Hayle Mill, and Crissbrooke watercolor
paper and I have become quite aware of the deficiencies inherent in
contemporary papers. Fortunately, I have been able to purchase enough of
these papers (dating back as far as the early 1900s) to not have to deal much
with the newer Arches paper.
My supply, however, is
finite and I find it quite upsetting that a company with such a rich tradition
such as Arches would not only allow such an aberration to take place, but also
insist in their pr that no change has actually taken place. Instead, they
publicize the supposed fact that the paper is the same now as it was back in
1498- yes, I have old blocks with the date 1498 on them, as opposed to the 1492
date that they claim they were established because of their efforts to market
their paper to American clientele. I think that Arches relies on both the
disappearance of these examples from the past, as well as artists' failing
memories of what once was.
I am still in my 50s and
hopefully have a long time left to paint. I hope that Arches Company will
eventually live up to their past reputation and start producing the worlds
greatest paper once again.
If anyone has any
question concerning vintage watercolor paper, I would be more than happy to
impart whatever knowledge I have concern it to them. Thanks for this forum, it
has been extremely helpful and I would like to add that I am very impressed
with your knowledge of art materials, as well as with your artwork.
Best Regards, Bill
bill that is frustrating but why keep beating that drum. life changes. new things create new work. try the favio brand. there stock has nice quality. they claim the paper is the same as michelangelo used. stick to the flat sheets because the fabriano blocks and paper is different than the sheets. i like it. also the acid used for archiving the paper eventually becomes addictive. french neurologists are experts in making peoples minds spin. piss them off too much and you might start seeing dots like bugs bunny or pink unicorns all the time.
I am amazed at the depth of your search for the quality Arches paper that so many of us have depended on through the years. I am also impressed with the fact that you have found Watman products. I remember the great Watman heavy-weight illustration board. It vanished from the scene abouit the time I was a young guy in my 20s.
You have noted changes through the years in Arches watercolor paper. This is bound to happen—especially with a firm that has been in the business of paper making as long as they have. However, for about the last six years, I have noted drastic imperfections in the paper. Most of the problems don't show up until you are well into the painting process.
I am no paper expert. You probably know much more about paper and its production than I do. I'm just one more artist who has had some real problems with Arches. Since I first posted the problems I encountered, many experienced artists have contacted me relating similar problems or worse.
First, you wonder how how this can happen. I believe that they have run into a production problem with the consistency of their sizing. This seems obvious. Unlike many other papers, Arches is sized all the way through, rather than just a top coating. To my understanding, this is one of the things that gives Arches the tough quality so many artists appreciate.
Secondly, you wonder why this hasn't caused their sales to go south. One reason may be that these problems are not happening on every sheet. Also, watercolor is not the easiest medium and when problems occur, most artists blame themselves.
In earlier posts, I have outlined some of the tests I do on the paper and some precautions.
You are right. Things change and we have to adopt new ways of working. I have come in contact with quite a number of watercolor artists who have had to make such adjustments because they could not rely on Arches as they could in the past.
Personally, I am still testing other papers including handmade papers. One of the reasons why some artists—including myself—have not given up on Arches is because of the way a lot of us work. Arches cold press has a tough surface like no other paper I have been able to find. This means that it can take a lot of drawing and masking that other papers can not. As I have stated in an earlier post, when you have a good sheet of Arches, I don't think any other sheet can match it.
Another reason for sticking with Arches, at least for the moment, is that the problems do not show up on every sheet. I am just finishing a watercolor on Arches that has amounted to months of work. I don't think I could have done it on any other sheet. As I mentioned to William earlier, I outlined a series of simple steps I use to test a sheet. The testing process is not perfect but its better than nothing.
If I do not come up with a solution to the problem, I may go back to acrylics.
Just want to say thanks for all the info you,and others, have garnered regarding this trouble with the arches paper, even though it's not the same trouble I'm finding.
I use Arches HOT press for drawing - have done so since I was 14 years old - about 36 years. I have recently finished off the bundle of paper that William Senior(who posted above) had hooked me up with while my watercolor instructor in art school. I have now found that the 140lb paper I buy is actually thinner and more flexible than the old stuff. Also, and much more importantly, it has now acquired a (semi)latent, linear patterned texture that shows much more prominently(actually very obviously) when having rendered a very dense(dark) area or having built up layers in a particular area. This texture shows up like a dusted fingerprint. I first noticed it on my students' drawings and had put it down to their buying 90 lb instead of 140 lb paper to save some money. Well, I recently found out that that's not the case. I spent about 70-80 hours on a drawing that in the middle of, realized there was a funny pattern emerging. I then thought that it might be the texture of the woodgrain from the drawing board that I use (funny, this never happened before), but on closer inspection the patterns didn't match up and concluded that these are the same patterns I was seeing in my student's drawings show work on masonite boards with no grain or texture. I am sooooo disappointed in this. I have another drawing to do right now and I'm dreading the appearance of this unsightly texture. And to boot, this comes on the heels of my lengthy research on drawing pencils, the old brand(s) I used, having begun to seriously let me down, make life difficult, and also make me look foolish in front of my students. Now it seems I have to tell the students the paper I've been asking them to use isn't so great after all either!!!!
So Paul, I was wondering, would you be willing to share with me your contact info for Arches so I can try to find some answers to my dilemma?
I'd greatly appreciate it; my students will as well.
You can contact me through my website - www.vincenatale.com