Adventures in paper stretching II.

January 30, 2013 § 3 Comments

Here is the second instalment of my adventures in watercolour paper stretching. Along with the traditional soaking and taping described in my first post, I tried two other alternatives. Today I do some ink tests on a new product called Terraskin, that is “paper” made out of stone.

rock_paper1

Terraskin is made from calcium carbonate mixed with a non toxic resin and formed into sheets of “paper” that are water and tear resistant. It is tree-free, degradable, and has less of a toxic output in their production process than regular paper. All very good things. Because it doesn’t absorbe water it stays perfectly flat no matter what you throw on it. The ink, paint or watercolour dries by evaporation, creating a different effect that painting on paper, but one that I am familiar with from working on drumskins.

terra_test3

The surface is bright white and slightly textured. It lacks the warmth and tooth of watercolour paper, but reacts similarly to certain techniques like adding salt. The colours really pop off the page, and scan super easily because there is no warping and therefore no shadows to erase after scanning. Once one layer dries (it doesn’t take too long) you can add others on top without the risk of the pigments bleeding into the surface as can sometimes be the case with paper that has been over saturated. You also get the gorgeous rippled textures from the liquid evaporating (click above image to enlarge).

terra_test2

All in all I think this is a great paper to experiment on. It runs around $3.60 for a 17 x 25″ sheet that is easily cut into smaller pieces. You can also use both sides. I will definitely continue to use cold pressed watercolour paper for most of my fine art work because Terraskin does not replace the texture and feel of real quality paper. But for everyday illustration, backgrounds, animation and other stuff that requires bright inky imagery, I’ll be using stone paper all the way.

My next post will be on the third (and coolest) paper flattening tool I’ve found so far…

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§ 3 Responses to Adventures in paper stretching II.

  • Arno says:

    Hi Aimée, thanks for sharing your work and your advice, it’s great! All of your works are truly pieces of art. I still have a long way to go! Since a few months I started to learn water colour painting. It’s going alright, although sometimes quite a struggle! Lately I’m trying to create this effect that you’re doing in this post, these white spots that fade out in a nice way, with a vivid dark border. But i just don’t know how to do it, i tried many things already (salt, oil, dishwashing soap, alcohol liquid, …) but nothing seems to work, so frustrating! I never manage to achieve this high contrast between white inner part and dark outline. Could you help me out? Thanks, Aimée! Keep up the good work! I keep an eye on you!

    • Thanks for the comment. I think there are two factors that create this effect – first is that I’m using acrylic drawing inks which are more vibrant than watercolour and dry in a different more concentrated way. Second is the surface of the “paper” I’m using in this post isn’t absorbent so as the liquid dries it leaves darker edges.

      • And no I didn’t try animating yet but it’s on my list! I still can’t quite wrap my head around how to do it, probably animate the bits spinning and falling, and then slicing and mirroring that – sort of like what a real kaleidoscope does

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