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Experimenting With Paper and Color

In working in my studio, I never want to waste paper.  To me it’s the worst fate and an expensive lesson.  As the saying goes though,  you have to break a some eggs to get a cake.  With that in mind I am frugal and I save all my paper.  I do this to play with color.  It is important (and I can’t stress that enough) to use the same paper that you will use in your finished artwork.  Paint will behave differently on different paper.  For that matter different paint colors will behave differently.  Some paints are designed have a very even, translucent look, some have a grainy look, and so on.   You really need to grab a bit of paper,  and think of the colors that you will use,FullSizeRender 3 and then play with them.  See how they look together, layer them.  See how they react.  The last thing you want to do is have an image come out muddy. Your time and effort are worth more than that.

Some Points to Remember

In my studio I use 140 cold pressed Cotman paper.  The heaviness of the paper works great with the amount of water I use.  I get very little warping in my finial product.  I have used a mixed media paper made by Canson,  a 98 lb. acid free, but I did get warping.  Now the Canson paper is fine to use as a sketch and wash paper to cultivate an idea but for me the 140 is the way to go.  Remember you get what you pay for and that is never truer when you go to purchase paper.  Extremely low on my list is a 140 lb paper Cold pressed by Strathmore.  Not good.  The paper seems to just disintegrate if the brush passes over it too many times in a wet state.

  • Invest in good paper.
  • Use the same paper to work on color as you will use for your finished image.
  • Never throw paper away even if it’s a total loss, cut it up, and use the back for color and color value work.
  • Make notes on your color work so that you can achieve the same consistency.  (this would make an excellent art journal subject)
  • Remember different colors react differently on paper.


Most Important

Play, experiment, do it 100 different ways.  Art is supposed to be fun, if its not, then that is the only time your doing art wrong.


4 thoughts on “Experimenting With Paper and Color

  1. Edie, thanks for the inspiration today! I have been dabbling with watercolor and working on a logo, and you are SO right about using the same paper with your finished product. Keep up the amazing work and give Super Pig a hug from me. XO!

    1. Love you girl!! There are lots of new things going on in the studio. I love your comments and your support. I can’t wait to see the logo. You are so talented.

      1. I can tell you are doing all kinds of things!! It really makes me excited. Back at you 110% on being talented!! I’d like to ask your secret to doing so much, but I think we are both just passionate…and crazypants!! 😜

      2. You are right just passionate and crazy pants 😜!!

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