Watercolor: Pencils vs Crayons vs Gel Sticks Part 2

Comparing Mediums Painted

Well, it is raining and quite gloomy here in Maryland this afternoon and so not the best day for working on my pictures for the upcoming eArticle. So I’m taking a break from that to play around with watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons and Gel-Sticks again. In my post yesterday, I compared coloring these three mediums directly on watercolor paper and gesso prepped paper as well as dry blending and water blending them on the same surfaces. Today I compared them using a different application technique: touching a waterbrush to the tip of each medium and then painting the color onto watercolor paper and two types of white cardstock.

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So What Is Gesso Anyway?

Gesso and Test Sheets

This afternoon, I did another experiment using the Strathmore Premium Cover white cardstock I purchased a few weeks ago, this time looking at how prepping it first with gesso changes the way a variety of art mediums behave on it. All of the art mediums I tested are commonly used by stampers: regular colored pencils, watercolor pencils, watercolor markers, archival pigment markers, watercolor crayons, pastel pencils, alcohol ink markers and Gel-Sticks/Gelatos.

My inspiration to play with this traces back to my most recent “Gelatos, Gel-Sticks & Stamps” eArticle. In researching the topic, I learned that you can improve dry blending of Gel-Sticks or Gelatos if you first prep the surface with a light coat of gesso. After I purchased the Strathmore Premium Cover but wasn’t happy with the way it takes colored pencils, I wondered if some gesso might make a difference. So today I gave it a try.

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Neenah Classic Crest Paper Tests

Neenah-Classic-Crest-Inks

I ordered some Neenah Classic Crest Solar White (80#) last week from Marco’s Paper after several stampers highly recommended it to me. It arrived in yesterday’s mail. (I placed my order on the morning of 8/29 online. They shipped it by early afternoon and I received it by 8/31. Speedy!) I put this cardstock to the same tests as I did with other white cardstock/paper on in my recent “Searching For the Best White Cardstock For Stamping” and “Same Papers, Different Inks” blog posts. Here are the results.

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Same Papers, Different Stamping Inks

Stamping Inks

I’ve got some Neenah Classic Crest cardstock on order, after hearing it so highly praised by several stampers who recommended it here. In the meantime, I’m still playing around with the white cardstock/paper I’ve got on hand.

Forrestwife mentioned in a comment that type of ink can make a difference in how an image stamps on a particular paper and this is a fair point. So I decided to try using one stamp (this time from Gotcha Images) to stamp on three different papers: Kromecoat glossy coated cardstock, Strathmore Premium Cover cardstock (Ultimate White) and Canson Cold Press Watercolor paper.

The inks I used included: Ancient Page archival ink, ColorBox pigment ink, Distress Ink, ColorBox Fluid Chalk ink, StazOn solvent ink, VersaFine archival pigment ink, Brilliance archival pigment ink, Antiquities pigment ink and Ranger Archival ink. I didn’t have black ink in all of these colors (and black isn’t the only type of ink we use anyway!) so this time, the ink I used is mostly red, pink or plum.

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Stamping on Various White Cardstock and Other Paper

I’m still messing around with paper today – specifically white paper for stamping projects. Yesterday I compared coloring with various art mediums on an assortment of white papers. Today I’m looking at the actual stamping: How does an image stamped with regular black dye ink look on that paper?

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Searching For the Best White Cardstock For Stamping

White Cardstock Samplers

(Above: Trying out different art mediums on four types of white paper. Coloring is rough to get a feel for how the paper accepts the medium rather than working for careful shading. Art mediums include regular colored pencils, watercolor pencils, pastel pencils, watercolor markers – both Marvy and Distress- and Copic alcohol ink markers. Stamp: Time to Stamp)

I’ve been thinking about paper for stamping lately. I’ve been stamping for a long time and over the years have collected a wide variety of paper for stamping and/or layering. The stamping paper I reach for today is not necessarily the same paper that I reached for when I started stamping over twenty years ago.

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