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Birches by the lake

I tried out some Strathmore Gemini watercolour paper on the weekend, just to see what it’s like to paint on something other than Arches or Fabriano. When I do paper tests like this, I try to pick a subject that’s not too complex (no street scenes, no architecture) so that I can focus instead on how the paint reacts on the paper. I really enjoyed the experience of working on the Gemini. It’s creamy white, nicely textured for Cold Press paper (140 lb), and softer than Arches. The most important thing for me is colour vibrancy — are the colours just as bright when dry as when wet? Of course all watercolours dry a little bit lighter but if the paper soaks up the chroma and the painting looks faded, then the paper fails the test for me. After this quick test, I can say that Gemini was really easy to work on, both with a light pencil drawing and then with a brush. Definitely a paper I will be trying again.

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