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September 2013



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Fabriano Artisticos, old and new

I had small samples of both the original Fabriano Artistico cold pressed watercolor paper (which I've used and loved for 30+ years) and the new stuff, which they have given the same name. There was good light coming in the window, so I held them both in my hand and shot a macro of them together...

Of course the problem isn't only that the surface is much rougher and rather pebbly--almost mechanical rather than the lovely linen-y texture of the original stuff. It's also that it buckles when wet, and sometimes almost resists a wash--as if it were very slightly waxy.

I wish when a company changes their product of longstanding, they would simply say "Artistico cold pressed paper has been discontinued" rather than trying to tell us this is the same thing. As you can see, it definitely is not.

I've done some paintings I like on the new stuff, I will admit, but it's like pushing a boulder up a mountain--it fights me every step of the way.

And yes, I've written to Fabriano, twice--and gotten nice responses both times. The second time they were going to contact me via mail--that was months ago now, and I've heard nothing.

Must be time to write again--I honestly can't recommend this new paper to my students, wholeheartedly as I have done for years, and I'd love to know WHY it has been altered so drastically.

Sometimes when there's a change, it takes us a while to get used to the new model but we come to appreciate it. Buckling and resisting the paint is not something I think I can get used to.



Fabriano's Paper

Dear Kate, I live in Italy and here Fabriano's the master in Watercolor's Paper, I agree with you about the difference and just wanted to let you know what my local stationery's shop seller told me the last time I asked for watercolor paper block: " Fabriano's made a new watercolor's paper line it isn't sold as fabriano trademark but under the name of FAVINI , I bought a block of it, it's a 350/gms weight and it's very cheap. I didn't tried it yet, but I'll surely do and make a report, neither the less if you find it sold somewhere (e-bay?) maybe you can test it and make a better report than mine (I'm a student in WC and you are a teacher).

Re: Fabriano's Paper

Thank you for the update, direct from Italy! I'll be watching for it...I will indeed want to try it myself, but I'll be very interested in your experience too.
So it's not just me! Glad to see your post about this. I too miss the old Fabriano very much - it was my favorite paper, as the relative degree of sizing and the subtle laid texture suited me perfectly. The new Fabriano is well and good, but a different creature altogether. I hope someone knows of a source for whatever is left of the old kind.
Definitely not just you!! And I sure haven't found a source, I MISS it, I'd stock up! Wish we'd had some warning...
I was looking through the Daniel Smith spring sale catalog, and they carry Fabriano Murillo, which from the picture seems to have a similar texture. It is 360 gm/m2 - roughly 160 lb. Daniel Smith only stocks the cream color, but a Texas paper arts store lists it in several colors, including white (no online ordering for that vendor, unfortunately). No clue about the degree of sizing. I wonder whether Murillo might be a reasonable substitute. Maybe someone reading this has tried? Maybe I will ...
Thank you, I may call DS and ask! A sample would be nice...let me know if you try it!