[Scriptoris] Paper Recommendation

Elaine eshc at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 18 14:53:44 PST 2010

The more the painted area, the heavier the paper weight, is my rule.  
When working, you have to consider all the parts that go together for  
the work: paper and its construction, the media used and its  
viscosity, and the tools to apply the media to the surface. Even the  
barometric pressure, humidity level, and the angle of the work board  
can change how things succeed or don't. That comes with years of  
experimentation, so you might as well get started now!  ; - )

There is no shame in messing up. That is to be expected in your  
learning curve. The mark of a professional is that they have done it  
so long, they know from experience when trouble is coming into the  
scene and how to avert it. That's why it looks so easy when they do  
it. At one time, they were where you are now .

Thinner paper, unless you are almost using "dry brush" paint, will  
buckle. Also, the kind of pigment or dye color has an influence.  
Pigment sits on top of the paper; dye colors sink in. (Hint: Paint  
with the dye colors first, then the pigment type, and your work won't  
turn to "mud" when the dye color starts pushing the pigment around.)

I particularly like D'Arches from France, although it has a slight  
yellowish cast when held next to a really white paper. If I used  
D'Arches,  I tended to use a black (like "Ivory Black" or certain  
Japanese stick inks that you have to grind down)  for lettering that  
had a brownish undertone when thinned out in a test strip. The gall  
inks I used were of a brownish cast when they dried. For really white  
papers, I preferred a jet black or a lamp black ink/gouache. Made the  
lettering really "snap." The smoother papers that start with "2-ply"  
and go up with each layer added to the sheet don't absorb moisture as  
well as the "tooth" types of paper.

Some papers have a "tooth" that is rough, others like the "hot  
calendared" (pressed between hot cylinders) are smoother. The really  
rough ones will let the paint puddle in the depressions if the paint  
is too liquid. The super flat ones will sometimes let the paint get  
'''streaky" when applied and let dry.

Test a strip of the paper before you do the "real thing." If the  
paint doesn't  go on the paper to suit you, try another strip, but  
turn it over and use the back side. Yes, there is a "top" and a  
"bottom" side to paper. Has to do with the sizing in the makeup and  
whether the sizing has been applied to the paper when it is in a  
slushy state before it is pressed into sheets or if the pressed sheet  
has been dipped afterward in the starchy substance that fills in the  
(interstitial) spaces between the fibers.

Too, the screens that press the papers (if they are not calendared)  
can be lined with thin wires to make "laid" paper which, when held to  
the light, will show lines. This is done on thinner papers, usually.  
Watermarks are also created by thin wires on rollers or screens,  
thinning the fibers in that area.

Some papers have a felted finish in which the fibers go every which  
way. That kind tears in all sorts of directions. The fibers that are  
lined up in the same direction give the paper a "grain" that will let  
books fall open easily when the grain runs parallel to the spine of  
the book.

That's probably too much info for now, but you will, at least, get an  
eye for what the papers you are looking at are and will do. Let us  
know what you found that you like and how they work?

The best advice is to get a bunch of different kinds of papers, test  
them for whatever you want to use them for, and then put all your  
tests into a ring binder for future reference. No sense in inventing  
the wheel again?

Best of luck,
HL Lete Bithespring
Steppes, A
PS I write of my lettering and illumination in the past tense. In  
over thirty years of lettering and watercolor/gouache work, the  
cervical vertebrae have gone bad and I can't keep the pace for  
massive amounts of work. I don't feel "alone" because I have read  
marginal notes by period scribes who complain about problems with  
their shoulders, spine and half-frozen fingers, not to mention warm- 
weather attacks by the Norsemen.-------Lete


On Dec 17, 2010, at 10:40 PM, Vickie wrote:

> I am working on doing an illumintion for a possible A&S entry.   
> What type of
> paper is recommended to use generally.
> Mistress Asiya (formerly Arastya)
> Vickie Bratcher
> www.kingdom-kreations.com
> _______________________________________________
> Scriptoris mailing list
> Scriptoris at lists.ansteorra.org
> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/scriptoris-ansteorra.org

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