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September 2013



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Oh no--Fabriano Artistico cold pressed watercolor paper has changed...

...and not for the better!

Ah, this is too bad.  I finally received a reply from Fabriano...they have indeed changed the surface of Artistico cold pressed watercolor paper, for by far the worse, in my opinion.  Their, lovely subtle linen texture was just sublime--I've used it for nearly 40 years, always my hands-down favorite.  I've recommended it in my books and articles for as long as I've been writing, as well as to my workshop students.
No more.  The new texture is pebbly and unpleasant, to me--too rough, and it won't take mixed media well.  I like to use ink, pencil, colored pencil, etc. with watercolor washes sometimes, and the lines want to skip on the new surface.  It's acceptable with straight watercolor, but so is Strathmore 400, which will take ink and colored pencil.  The new surface reminds me of cheap, pebble-textured paper I used to use when first starting out.
If you too were fond of the original Artistico CP, I got my response from Guiseppe Prezioso, at  prezioso@cartieremilianifabriano.com.  I don't know that writing would make a difference, but it certainly can't hurt. 
I've yet to figure out why the need to "fix" what isn't broken.


Ugh thats too bad. I suggest buying up all you can find- thats what I did with my fav drawing paper. You may be able to still find lots of it at various stores before they run out.

I have always used arches paper, and thought it was the absolute best....but thats just me. I tend to do a gadjillion layers, so use the heavy 300lb hot press.

Good luck!! :)


I can't imagine why they'd do that--my favorite sketchbook changed too a couple of years ago and that wasn't for the better either.

I sure hope they leave hot press alone!!!
I do too. I love their hot press, but then I loved their cold press, too! I did a sketch of my husband on it over the weekend and was SO frustrated...
I thought I'd try that...they've also discontinued Classico and merged it with something else-Uno, I think. Siiiiigh...
Oh no no no....no... :-(

When did this occur? Do you think it possible to get ahold of some of the old stuff somewhere? And Classico? What on earth are they thinking??

I don't know, exactly! I ordered some Artistico and few months ago and thought they'd mixed up my order. ICK.

Surely there's some of the original texture in some art supply SOMEWHERE...I'm going to start calling around!

I don't know, about the Classico, either. I used it a lot...it's just WEIRD.

I haven't tried the soft press...may give it a try...
So I see that it's been a few years since you've talked about watercolor paper -any news to share?

Hi Lisa...only that the catalogs advertise that this was a "new, improved" paper, which it isn't, in my opinion! I don't like the rougher, more mechanical texture as well, and sometimes it almost seems to resist a wash.

They sent me samples--it's the new stuff, which I had tried already.

Their soft press, if you can still get it, isn't bad. I still like the hotpress, which hasn't changed much.

So mostly I use from my old stash, or Strathmore 400 series!

here's the difference!


sizing in watercolor paper

I've always loved Fabriano paper as well...gorgeous texture. I appreciate the heads up about the new paper.

One question: does sizing within watercolor paper age? I've just spent a whole day drawing a detailed composition on a sheet of paper that is about 15 years old. I ran a wash over it. The paint went into the paper like a marker...very dark and ugly. Quite discouraging.

Also a few years ago I purchased a a batch of Lanaquarelle 300 LB hot press and cold press. When I put a wash down on them it was spotty.It must have been the sizing. I contacted the store that sold them to me and they told me that they had discontinued working with Lanaquarelle.

Re: sizing in watercolor paper

Yes, you can have weird problems caused by sizing. Not just age, but perhaps humidity or bacteria...I've had some spots form, and also some Arches that developed a wet-dog smell! Ew...
kate, i am new to water color...but have learned so much from your blogs,websites, and cd's. (THANK YOU!!) My husband works in the paper industry and supplies to paper makers world wide. i have him researching your dear fariano paper and exactly why it has changed. Your photos of before and after will help. I'm on it girl!!!
Well COOL, I would love to know why the change! It was somewhat fabric-weave patterned before, now it's all pebbly. And it doesn't always like to accept a wash, perhaps too much size. Ick...

Edited at 2011-01-21 10:36 pm (UTC)