Fabriano entre los mejores papeles de acuarela

Fabriano among the best watercolor papers

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Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams!
- Paul Gauguin

Today I present to you the Fabriano watercolor paper which is one of the most used. At this time I'm using the 300-pound one, which is much thicker and would look like cardboard. This paper has two of the ends torn off and has its watermark in one of the corners. 

During this series where I give you my opinion of five of the best watercolor papers, I also let you know about the creative process of the work I do. That way you can see first hand the behavior of the paper and at the same time know how the ideas are shaped.

Is there a difference in a watercolor made in 140 pounds and 300 pounds?

After completing the work, I can say that the only difference between making it in 140 pounds or 300 pounds is in the process and not in the final painting. In other words, the only palpable benefit is that you don't have to work with the ripple that comes up on 140-pound papers when you wet it. 

Proceso de la acuarela en papel Fabriano de 300 libras

By this, I don't mean that this paper was free of ripple, but it was minimal and I made sure to keep it well wet to be double sure of the paper's behavior.

Foto del papel de acuarela Fabriano que aparece en el website oficial

Other than that, I didn't see any difference. If I had done this same artwork on the 140-pound paper it would have looked the same at the end. Perhaps in the process, it might have been a little tiresome to deal with those ripples. I say that because the water then tries to accumulate in some corner or creates some "lakes". If one has the patience and can deal with that, then it becomes part of the process. Now, whoever wants to, there are several ways to stretch the paper to avoid ripples. 

That could be a sub-topic since some people staple it, there are those who wet it completely and put it with special tape for moisture and there are those who put it as if it were a stretched canvas, among other options. In my case, I don't like to have to spend time and energy on those treatments. The artist who is very technical well, because those are the alternatives that there is to deal with these undulations. 

Ideas and Sketches during the creative process

I wanted to work with the kind of people who look at the past as they go through their lives. 

Sketch 1 for «Momento en Retraso»

I know that looking too much into the past can slow you down. That's why in my original sketch I used an elephant instead of a horse like in the other works in the series. I wanted the weight of the elephant to be more obvious when representing its walk by breaking different time clocks.

Sketch 2 for «Momento en Retraso»

Another idea that I could work on is, if I'm going to change the horse then I can put the person looking backward on a turtle. That would symbolize the slow passage of time.

Sketch 3 for «Momento en Retraso»

At one point I thought again about the horse as a means of getting through life. For that, I could then work with the horse on top of the minute hand of the clock by slowing it down when I put its weight on it and the person still looks back as in the original sketch. 

I could work on these three ideas separately or decide to make a hybrid of all three.

Hands-on the developed idea

In this artwork, I broke my rule of using the horse as a symbol and put the person traveling on an elephant. That way I add more weight to the path they are on. That's why the painting name is "Delayed Moment"Momento en Retraso (Moment in Delay)” 

Detail of the path with pink elephant clocks in «Momento en Retraso» artwork

The pink elephant, which is the one carrying the person, is represented as a toy, that is, something from the past. The person, instead of looking forward, is looking back, with a look like when one is daydreaming. That which all of us at some point have experienced. 

Detalle de elefante rosado en obra «Momento en Retraso»

On the way, the elephant is on a beach and instead of snails coming out of the sand what is emerging are the clocks that are leaving the path of time. These metaphors complement each other and help to complete the idea in this work.

Work «Momento en Retraso» on 300-pound Fabriano paper 15″ x 22″

Conclusion about the Fabriano paper in 300 pounds

Fabriano is a paper that will let you do whatever you want, as far as watercolor is concerned. If you want to work in a very watery way and using very delicate transparencies, this paper will let you do it. Likewise, if you want to work with brushstrokes that are noticeable and mark that brush well pronounced also lets you do it. It also allows you to lift paint with paper towels to create clouds or effects you need.

The only thing that this watercolor paper when compared to the others I have tried in this series, well it has nothing that has surprised me.. Obviamente como lo he usado más frecuente que los otros, podría pensar que es por esa razón. Lo que pasa es que los otros tenían siempre algo que se destacaba. Por ejemplo, en el artículo donde yo hablaba, del papel Saunders Waterford, pues a mí me sorprendió por la brillantez que me dio en los colores, el cual resaltaba un poco más que Fabriano. En el papel Millford, aunque fue una pesadilla al principio trabajarlo porque no corría la pintura igual. Sin embargo, al secar ese me dio una grata sorpresa al ver que el pigmento se quedaba más destacado en la superficie, lo cual es bueno para ciertos efectos. Cuando comenté sobre el papel Stonehenge también tenía cualidades como su capacidad de recoger mejor la pintura para corregir errores o crear efectos. También aguanta gran saturación de agua a la vez que tiene una superficie más suave que Fabriano, ideal para detalles.

See, there were those surprise elements that each one gave me, while Fabriano, either because I already know him and know of his good reputation did not give me any surprise. It's what I expected, a great paper, which is 100% strong and reliable vegetable-based. 

Is it worth twice the cost of the 300 pound Fabriano paper?

For me, I don't think it's worth paying twice the cost of 300-pound paper for so little difference from 140-pound paper. Perhaps in a few exceptions, such a high investment could be justified.

So I hope that with that it will help you in your paper selection, or the collectors, to know a little more about the paper. I invite you to watch the video with the process of the play and to be on the lookout for the next review, this time with the watercolor paper Moulin Du Roy by Canson.

See you next time.


If you want to see the introductory article and review of the paperStonehenge of this series, you can access it here

If you want to read the article and review on the paper Saunders Waterfordof this series, you can access it here>

If you want to see the article taking a second look at the paper Sounders Waterford, you can access it here

If you want to see the article and review of the paper Millford of this series, you can access it here

If you want to read the article and review of the paper Moulin-du-Roy of this series, you can access it here