Please help me to create a watercolour paper test sheet ( English )

Publié le par Désiré Herman

Recently many of my blog suscribers asked me to do some watercolour paper tests. So i went through a lot of research and i came up with a proto-type of test.


For me the watercolour paper is one of the most, if not the most important, supply for creating watercolour art. Paint and brushes are also very important, but if you chose fine artist quality colours, i think the choice of watercolour paper will influence the result and even can be determinating  because sizing, lifting, colour spreading a.s.o. will define the end result.


To help my readers and other artist on their paper choice, i need your help to create a standard test for all the papers that will be analysed and tested by me.


So here is my rough test appraoch.


watercolour paper initial test


Under 1


I painted wet in wet . With a quite fluid paint i paint the upper quarter and than i paint a small line near the bottom. The test zone was heavily wetted and than i waited some minutes to allow the water to soak in before i painted the area.


Under 2


I painted Wet on Dry. I use a brush heavily loaded with the same fluid paint as 1 and then went down the area till there was no paint left in the brus.


Under 3


 Dry on Dry I made a separation of the area in 2. The upper side isn’t touched. The lower side was treated as one does before stretching paper. I let i soak for at least 5 minutes (this modifies the sizing of the paper). Than i painted over one large ans one small stroke on each with quite heavy colour to test the dry on dry behaviour.


Under 4


I’m doing a test with masking fluid and tape. I did leave some on the test sheet to show them to you. When all masking fluid has dried i paint over with quite fluid paint (to check if paint goes under the tape) and after drying i withdraw all. This gives me an indication on how behave the paper with masking fluid, how it comes off …


The i paint another colour on top of it so i can see how the paper reacts in the areas where the masking fluid and the tape were withdrawn. 


Under 5


 I do a test of lifting using a quite stiff brus. I rub the paper till it’s white or begins to give sign of damage. I use 2 colours, one staining Phtalo Blue PB15:3 and Cerulean Blue PB28 which is non-staining.


Under 6


I do mixing primary colours wet on dry to test the mixing on paper quality. I just let join the 3 colours helping a bit so the move. I don’t touch and let the paint do his own will.


Under 7


I do some test of scanning with a sharp tool ans insists till the paper begins to become fluffy.


Under 8 


Here i do a test of glazing to see how well paper holds the first layer when painted over with fluid paint.




On the bottom of the test page i did some scribbling one on a wet surface the other on dry paper.


I used Sennelier Aquarelle paint on Canson Heritage Not Paper to create this test-page


I ask for your help to create a really solid and good standard watercolour paper test sheet. So i appreciate your collaboration.


These are my questions and inquiries


  • Are there other things that would be interesting to be joined in this test (Only paper relative please). If so feel free to comment and give me your advice and propositions.
  • Do you have other advice concerning use of colours or other watercolour related media for this watercolour paper test ?


Once the standard test sheet defined, i’ll start the tests on more than 30 different kinds and brands that i have with me. All the results will be posted on my blog each time one or more paper test will be painted out and scanned.


Thank you so much for your collaboration.


Publié dans English

Commenter cet article

This is a great idea, I'm very interested in the results. I have no other advice.
Thank you results will be published soon
Thank you first test wil be up within 2 weeks, time to end the test paper setup and then i'll do first Canson Heritage and Lanaquarelle. Arches, Bockinford, Saunders, Fabriano, Moulin du Coq, Hahnemuhle and others will follow