Paper Review: Strathmore Mixed Media

RoseOn a recent trip to my local arts & crafts store I found some Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media paper. I am always on the lookout for paper that I can use for both my pencil and watercolor paintings that is heavy weight, high quality, and reasonably priced. The vellum surface gives the paper the feel of hot pressed watercolor paper which I find responds wonderfully to watercolor pencil.

After sketching the rose on the right in graphite I began layering on the color using my Derwent Inktense pencils. Once I had some color on the paper I used a water-brush to soften and blend the pigment. In areas that were too dark I was able to lift off the color by scrubbing the surface with the damp brush; the paper stood up to the lifting beautifully.

On my next test I used traditional watercolors and ink for the Christmas poinsettia. I like how the ink flowed over the surface off the paper. The strokes stayed smooth and crisp. The flower was painted in the style of Chinese brush paintings using a traditional stiff-haired brush. After the paint dried (which did not take very long) I added a glaze of pearlescent paint to give the piece a subtle shine which can be seen when the light bounces off the surface. I am so pleased with this paper that I ordered another pad of it from my favorite online retailer.

Joy Love Peace

If you are interested in learning more about watercolor pencil and how I created the rose above please join me for my Watercolor Pencil class which begins in January 2015. If you would like to purchase the Poinsettia painting please visit my shop.