Review of Gruppo Cordenon’s WILD paper

A while back I did a review of Gruppo Cordenon’s Plike paper.  Recently, Terri Hill, Western Region Sales Manager of the company offered to send me samples of their newest paper, Wild FSC®.  Thank you, Terri! 

Size(s): 8.5 x 11 inches and 28.3 x 40.2 inches
Weight(s): 101 lb (text), 111 lb (cover), 166 lb (cover) and 314 lb (cover)
Color:  The specs say ‘neutral’.  I find it changes color according to the way the light hits it, seeming almost white at times and cream or ivory at others.  I’ll go with Off-White, lol.

According to the specs I was given, Wild is produced with virgin pulp from responsible sources, and contains 35% cotton. 

When I opened the folder and picked up a sheet of Wild, my first impression was of hand-made paper.  It has a lovely texture, very soft, at least with the lighter weights, and a rough surface.   Wild is not a hand-made paper, however, so the weave is even and knot-free.

The heavier weights lose the softness, but are so very light for their thickness.  Think illustration board with a watercolor paper surface and you come close.

I couldn’t wait to take these babies out for a spin!

My natural inclination is to draw, but Wild is an elegant paper and I think people might like it for writing as well, so I decided to give it a try.

I had no trouble with bleed-through or feathering.  (I need to get more ink for my fountain pens, so both were fairly dry)  I was surprised at how crisp the lines were given the softness of the paper.  I did find that all of the inks would smear within the first few seconds, but dried quickly.  Lefties beware!

I folded the paper in half, and then in thirds as you might a letter, and again I was surprised.     The paper does leave a ridged crease, but it isn’t bad.  It doesn’t crack or distort the writing.  Still, I think I’d be more inclined to use it for art journaling than for letter-writing.

Fiber-tipped art pen/Pencil/Eraser
I had just bought a brown American Craft Precision Pen so I decided to use it for my first test.  I worked on the text weight again.  

Before I used the pen though, I worked up the steps to a pattern, ZinnTardy (see my previous post for more info on the pattern).  I used pencil lines as a guide to help me keep my steps the same size. I’m not sure they show up in the scan.  I didn’t do enough to tell me how well pencil would work on the page, but I did discover that erasing damages the surface of the paper.  I was using a good kneadable art eraser, that I’ve used on many papers.  It isn’t a deal-breaker if you have a small area that needs erasing, but you wouldn’t want to try subtractive methods of drawing.

There is a wonderful range of coverage that can be attained with pen on this paper.  Light pressure gives a smoky, scumbly line perfect for shading, but just a little more pressure produces bold, crisp lines.  The only problem (and that’s probably too strong a word for it) was getting boldness in the fine lines.  Even though this was drawn with my usual sketchy hatched shading, the softness of the paper softened the hatching so it looks more like pencil than pen.

Color Pencil and Rubber Stamps

I wondered how well images would stamp given the paper texture, and they did better than I expected.  Some detail is lost due to the rough surface, but that just gives them a distressed look.  (The stamps used were Viva Las Vegastamps! 18982, 18981, and 18975)

The pencil lines I used for my pattern above weren’t enough to determine how pencil worked on this paper, but I was pretty sure they’d do well.  So I wasn’t surprised that they did.  It takes a little work to build up dark layers but that just increases the range of depth you can get.  

Fiber Brush tip water soluble marker

Moving up to the 111 lb paper, for no reason other than wanting to try all the weights I grabbed my Tim Holtz Distress Markers.  Although I like the richness of the color, I wasnt as happy with the process.  The marker line shows, which is okay.  You just have to work with that rather than fighting it.  But paper surface was too rough, and tore the marker tips.

I tried thinning the color with a waterbrush, but the water soaked in too fast to do much good.

I don’t want to give the impression that my markers were destroyed.  Any surface that is too rough will cause some damage to brush tips.  My markers are still usable.  I won’t be able to get as good a line, though.  I knew this was a risk when I decided to try them.  

Because I could see some damage on Distress Markers, I decided to skip working with alcohol markers and move onto watercolor…kind of.

Dylusion Water-based Ink sprays

I’ve been playing with Dylusions Ink Sprays lately, and decided to use them as my watercolor test.  They have intense colors but don’t have mica pigments so they are more neon than glittery.  I wanted to try a ghosting method that I’d seen in a video done by Kate Palmer.

I saturated the paper (166 lb weight) with several colors of Dylusions spray.  The ink doesn’t run as freely as it does on some papers, so you lose some of the interesting blobs that can occur.  On the other hand the ink does pick up the texture of the paper, so the blobs aren’t really needed.

After the ink dried, I misted water through a stencil, and blotted to pick up some color. Again the effect was different than I seen before, but I like it!

The misty ghost-like images made me think of those things you see when you stare at a light while peeking through your eyelashes.  I decided to work with that idea and I used a Micron pen to squirkle me some microbes!

The paper warped quite a bit from the wet spray, but flattened completely after a night under some books.
The works-Dylusions, Stamping, ModPodge, Gel Medium, Napkins, Tissue and Twine

I wanted to try adding some things with a bit of weight.  I decided to continue using the Dylusions (love ’em)  and I decided to test both the lightest and heaviest of my Willd sheets.  

First I sprayed up one of the 101 lb sheets with Dylusions, and decoupaged some napkins onto it.  Afterwards, I stamped some of the images from the Blockheads Paper Art Vintage Bird Illustrations collection.  

The bad thing is that when I stamped over a decoupaged area the ink came out much darker than images stamped on the untouched paper.  Ah well, live and learn. 

Again, the paper warped but straightened well after being weighted down.  Some dimpling remained around the decoupaged napkin, but it isn’t bad.

For my next test, I used another Kate Palmer method.  (Check out her blog–she’s got some amazing stuff!)
Different sizes of twine were glued down and decoupaged with white tissue to create my cat and tree.  Rock salt and Dylusions spray were used afterward, and when it all dried and the salt was brushed off, I used a metallic inkpad around the tree to pick out the detail.  The scan picked up more of the metallic color than there really is.

The paper did not warp, buckle, dimple or sway.  This weight makes a very nice canvas! And it’s so light–it would be wonderful for a work you wanted to mail somewhere.

Gruppo Cordenons Wild is beautifully textured paper that lends distinction to any medium you use.  While it’s a bit rough for brush tipped markers, it works superbly with color pencil and water based mediums.  Rubber stamping works well, if you don’t mind a slightly distressed look.

Gruppo Cordenons is serious about environmental responsibility and all their products are recyclable. More than 80% of their cellulose comes from either ISO 14001 or FSC-certified companies, to guarantee that their pulp comes only from responsibly-managed forests.  You can find out more about their high standards at their website.

I don’t see Wild  listed onthe website yet, but I’m certain you can get information on prices if you contact their Customer Service department. If you wish to check out their other products, you can find them at the Gruppo Cordenons Fulfillment store.

Author: Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

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