|Chinese bowl and berries|
8 x 10
Like watercolour paper, there's a wonderful bright whiteness to it which glows through the paint and adds vibrance to the colours.
Another nice quality of the paper is the feeling of irregularity in its surface texture. Unlike the monotony of machine-woven canvas, there's a nostalgic, random look to the surface that integrates beautifully with the brushstrokes. It's also easy to build a rich, painterly surface on it; the layers adhere well and it's easy to get to impasto paint quickly from a scruffy start. I think that will make it really useful for plein air studies and figure sketches.
I'm still not sure how I'll mount this stuff, though. I experimented by adhering a sheet to a panel in the heat press, using BEVA film as the adhesive. This is my method for mounting linen to panel, but it didn't work for the Arches paper. The application of heat changed the working quality of the paper, making it more absorbent and flattening the texture. Probably, it would ruin its archival quality, but I'm just guessing about that.
Next I'll try cold mounting the paper with glue, and, if that still flattens the texture too much, I think I'll just tack it with acid-free tape to a panel and pop it into a frame. It lies very flat, so I don't see a problem with that method unless it's hung in a humid bathroom. Then, all bets are off.