A Paper for Botanical and Beyond!

Peter painting a loose botanical watercolour on Botanical Ultra Smooth Paper

In light of some of the criticism that has been given to the changes Fabriano have made to their Classico 5 paper, UK paper manufacturer, St Cuthberts Mill, has produced a 50% cotton, Hot Pressed Watercolour Paper to rival, if not exceed, the Italian paper. Kim and Peter put it through its paces to see how it performs.

Just like the Fabriano, we offer the Botanical Ultra Smooth Watercolour Paper in a pack A3 sheets.

Close up of the Botanical Ultra Smooth Watercolour Paper

The mould made, Hot Pressed paper is 300gsm, acid free, 50% cotton and surface sized so will suit Watercolour. As with all Hot Pressed papers, washes can be repelled making the paint puddle easily and causing pronounced watermarks. If this is not the intended effect, the addition of ox gall to the water will reduce the surface tension of the water and allow the paint to flow better. It will accept layering of the watercolour and really comes into its own for ‘tight’ detailed painting such as botanical or scientific illustration because the paint is not affected by any surface undulation so the artist can control the brush strokes and the way the paint goes on in a precise manner. The smooth whiteness – particular to this paper – also makes it a great surface for illustrations executed in gouache, pencil, pen and ink.

Botanical Illustration on the Botanical Ultra Smooth by Kim Curtis

Kim’s tight, illustrative style showing the building up of layers…

Botanical Watercolour by Peter Taylor Ward

…whilst Peter’s looser washes of Sennelier Watercolour pool nicely on the paper.

Graphite Pencil Drawing on Botanical Ultra Smooth

It is a nice surface for soft and harder grades of graphite too. Here Peter has sketched with Cretacolor 2B and 4B pencils with the whiteness making a great contrast to the pencil line. It is easy to smudge and blend on the paper but take care not to over-use the eraser if you want to maintain the smooth surface.

Filbert by Kim Curtis using Unipin Fineliners and Kuretake Bimoji on Botanical Ultra Smooth

The paper takes Ink pens such as the UniPin Fineliners, This drawing demonstrates the unipin fine liner pens..

Botanical Ultra Smooth with Sennelier Watercolour and Pro Arte Renaissance Brush

Of course, the paper need not be used only for Botanical Illustration and we hope our feature has helped you to make a decision on whether this would be a suitable surface for your artwork…even if its not flowers!