In yesterday’s watercolor class with Kathy Delumpa Allegri, we played with Shizen paper. It’s a recycled cotton paper with a slicker surface and handmade texture, quite a bit different from your usual watercolor paper. If you’re looking for something a little different to play with, it’s fun and the hand-torn edges (we used 8×8 inch) make it suitable for a floating frame.
I was also playing with a new color, Ultramarine Violet. Two masters of color, Nita Leland and Stephen Quiller, mention this color frequently in their books, so I finally broke down and decided to get some. It’s a cool violet of sedimentary nature (which means particles will separate, giving your color a two-toned, pebbly look with certain techniques).
The rough texture made me think of caves, so I decided to do a cave painting of horses. This subject is one I’ve played with as far back as I can remember, so it allowed me to play with the paper without thinking to hard about the subject.
I only had a short time to do a second painting, so I went with the Tao method–charging wet paint into wet, and letting the blooms give me an idea of what my subject would be.
I like this paper so I’ll probably play with it more in the future. If you decide to buy any online, watch what color you’re getting. Most of the packs are colored, which will be great if you are using acrylics or another medium, but if you want it for watercolor, make sure you get white.