Heavy Paper Review 1: Watercolor Blick Studio

I’m a paper snob. A necessary trait for someone who has a heavy hand and utilizes wet mediums (Watercolors/Heavy Metal mixes/Gouaches/India Inks). As such, I like to test out various paper stocks to see which can best handle heavy mediums while still being smooth enough to support extensive line-work without forcing a texture.

Over the past two weeks I’ve worked with Blick’s in-store studio watercolor 9×12 paper.

Cost: I got it on sale for six dollars, which is very low for a whole 15 sheets of 9×12.

Specs: 9×12 inch (confirmed with ruler, +- .05 inches depending on the serration), 140ib. weight, with a smooth finish. Acid-free and Cold-press! Both good things. Made in the USA, if you care about that. The 140 pounds is standard for watercolor, but nothing special. I usually like it a higher around 160-180, but that’s just so I don’t have to worry about killing the tooth.

Texture: The texture is extremely smooth, which is what drew me in at first. Smoothness is often a double edged sword, though, as it can often correlate with a weaker tooth, which means I have to be subtle with the watercolors (God-forbid I take my time, right?)

Ink performance: This is a beautiful stock for archival and fountain inks. It can take a good amount of pen punishment without showing indents or pressure lines. I had no issues getting a good range of value either, which means the absorbance isn’t too high (some papers spread ink when you put it down too thick).

Pencil performance: It falters in the higher b pencil range, probably because its pretty thick. Texture lines will show up if you aren’t careful, but the texture is very ordered, so used correctly, this could be a bonus. hb to 6h works perfectly well as long as you sharpen enough. My 4h really liked this paper, it started to scratch above 6, though.

Watercolor performance: This is the part most of you will want to pay attention to, considering its marketed as a watercolor studio level paper. I was a little let down by how quickly the tooth came up in the mid to shadow range of my drawing. I’ve almost never wrecked the tooth with a moderately saturated tone (the middle color of a particular watercolor). Putting down deeper colors was a big struggle and I had to do it dry as the paper didn’t hold well against the paints. It was noticeably worse against my higher quality watercolors, especially ones with metals, despite being acid-free. The glaze from my series 4 amethyst barely shined despite using a bunch of it almost entirely dry.

Metal Performance: As with most smooth Cold-pressed paper, Metals and glue bind well and sink into the tooth if you’re delicate. Very good paper for leafing and adhesives. Here is a link to a piece in which I used extensive adhesives and leafing with this paper: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/11/30/sagittarius-art-in-progress/

Oil performance: I only used a white oil in the drawing, but it reacted very well with the paper and watercolor and I was able to achieve the low opacity effect I was attempting without any issues.

Conclusion: This is a great stock for light-range watercolors, pen drawings, light use of oils. It suffers quite a bit with wet gouaches and mid-deep tone watercolors as well as heavy metal paints and mixed media projects. Overall, it’s still an excellent stock for the price. In store it was going for eight normally, but online it is listed for a mere 5.72, and I got it for 6 with a membership card.

Rating for price: 7.4/10

Rating overall: 5.6/10

 

Here is the mixed media painting that I did on the paper. I did quite a bit to repair the damage to the right of her head, but it still showed up in the final project despite two layers of dry oil over it. For these reasons I would not use it for an intensive mixed-media painting, but it performs extremely well for subtler projects, just go easy on the water and saturation and you’ll be fine : )Food2

Willow o’ Wisp

Le Willow o’ Wisp

Cornhusking the dog,
It pauses,
Before sipping it’s grog,
A mixture of fermented oils from frogs.

A salesmen at start,
A sick fuck at heart,
Clyde shapens his pitch,
And my lips; how they part.

Wide an’ oh so wallow,
Like this neck in a noose,
He sells me his product,
As my hands won’t come loose.

The bonds o’ his trade,
Le willow of wisp,
A fragment; no spade,
Of hell and its bliss.

Behind me he walks,
Continues his talks,
And slithers his husk around my kin.

Making me watch,
He delivers his thoughts,
Oh; how do the knives even talk?
And;
“The darkness always wins.”

Artwork: Scorpio

Concept: For Scorpio, I wanted to depict determination, or heart. It was done in pen and then colored with watercolors and a little bit of white oils. I overlay-ed the text in the same way as the first two (found here:). This one also has a superimposed picture of a radio-tower that I shaped with an eraser to get the abstract effect.

Size: 7×10.2 in. on Watercolor paper.

Determination4

Thoughts: I really liked how this one turned out. I spent significantly more time on line-work and composition planning than I did for the first two. The model is a loose depiction of Senua, a character from a recent video game: Senua’s sacrifice.

Creepy Doll

Creepy Doll

That clay-mold doll,
Strung up on our wall,
Is funny.

Stare out to the night,
An insomniacs call,
Red eyes stare me back,
Coarsened with fright.

That clay-mold doll,
You strung on my wall,
Is daddy.

A pale moon flight,
Three hallows prior,
Mom found him at sin,
Before stealing his light.
That old clay doll,

Strung up on my wall,
Is stretching.
Bending and breaking,
Clacking and creaking,
Faux-sect protrusions,
Of potters good wake.

That clay-mold doll,
Strung me up on the wall,
And started to sin for the old days sake.

Artwork: Pisces

The second piece of my Zodiac project. After Leo (found here:https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/11/29/artwork-zodiac-series-1/) I really wanted to clean up the line-work and composition. This almost ended up looking a little too clean for the style, I think. This is probably the first time where I’ve had a reverse fore-ground, where the background is so noisy that it draws attention to the undetailed focus of the painting, which is a weird but kinda cool effect. Sorry about my shadow on the bottom of the picture, I have a very dark room and the light is currently out, so I had to use the window!

Concept: Pisces are all about finding that one person who makes them feel whole, there yin or yang, so to speak. To a true Pisces, life may not seem worth living until they find that person or thing that drives them. You know what they say, life was built for two.

Love2

Daily Prompt: Zoo

via Daily Prompt: Zoo

 

Zoo

The way I am with you,
No excuse could do,
For why I never left.

That time you caved my nose in,
_______________________________  Like a babe screaming murder,
_______________________________________________________________ ‘Bout a thing I never did.

The way you beat our kid,
Should have broke my lid,
If that didn’t, well nothing ever did.

Just tear me asunder,
Call me your bitch,
Let your friends know I’m worthless,
A stone-cold witch,
So you can feel something,
Let ignorance be bliss?

I could have run home,
Brought Martin there too,
But,
I chose to stay here,
And let you do me,
In.

The backstroke was vicious,
The words; they were cruel,
I should have saw it coming,
That day in our zoo.

A broken dormant wolf,
Snarling over the years,
My mom saw it coming,
So you cut off my ears.
Whispering a sweet poison,
I only ever believed,
Because I was too broken,
To just fucking see.

So rape me again,
__________________Please kill me this time,
_________________________________________I’m too afraid to do it,
_________________________________________________________________And leave Martin behind.

 

 

Sagittarius (Art in progress)

IMG_7389

Spent a good amount of time getting the outline done and some preliminary shading so I know where to put the watercolor. Tried a new technique using metals and glue which turned out pretty cool for the first try. I used my fingernail for most of it to be honest. Still need to put in the Shadows and clean up the contour before I get to painting, though.

A few mistakes, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s going.

Artwork: Leo

The first piece of a conceptual project I was commissioned for. This represents the zodiac sign Leo. I wanted to get across the whole sense of individuality and feelings of not quite belonging where-ever you go.

Overall it went pretty well, a lot of pen and line errors, especially in the skeletal portion. Had a lot of fun and learned some new techniques with watercolor.

11×8 inches on blick watercolor paper. Done in watercolor and ballpoint pens. The word are an overlay comprised of typed text and a page from my dictionary.

Orphan2

Cheater

Cheater

Amazing face,
That’s all I see,
Let me taste,
Our serenity.

How could I lie,
That ill-thought night,
I made you cry,
A soul-torn plight.

I do admit though,

Low-born fire,
Inside this knot,
You called me a liar,
Said; go fester and rot.

On purities pyre,
A monolith grows higher,

Strewn through pain I wrought upon us both,
That night in the fire.

But you still know this,
If I ever spoke truth,

Alone;

I’d be a night-crowns kill,
A shell of a man,
So love you I will,
As much as I can.