Monday, August 11, 2014

Watercolor Paper Comparison - Distress Paint

Many people wanted to know what Distress Paints looked like on the various types of watercolor paper.  I decided to test it a few different ways.  I started off by making a swipe of the paint across the paper.  I then squirted one pump of water from the Mini Mister (over the still wet paint) just to see how well the paint would migrate on it's own.  Finally I took my Niji Waterbrush and while the paint was wet I pulled the paint off to the side to see how well it would travel aided by the brush to create a true watercolor look.

I was again surprised at the variety of results.  Of course I was able to lay the paint down easily - it was the misting and watercolor effects that were so different.  Some papers worked better with one technique over the other and a few worked great with both.  But then again - it depends on the results you're going for because some of the results were what you'd call traditional watercolor and others were not but still really cool looking.

Here you go....

Arches 140lb Hot Press

Arches 140lb Cold Press

Bienfng 90lb Student WC

Canson Mixed Media Paper

Canson 140lb Cold Press

Crayola WC

Dick Blick Mixed Media Paper 

Dick Blick 90lb Student WC

Dick Blick 140lb Cold Press

Fabrino Artistico 90lb

Fabrino Studio 95lb

Hero Hues Felt Finish 100lb WC

Ranger WC

Simon Says Stamp WC

Strathmore 140lb Cold Press

What's your favorite?
I was surprised that the Ranger WC did so poorly  - it didn't travel much when misted nor did it blend well either - you can still see the original swipe of paint beneath the misted & blended areas.  Of course there were other brands that didn't blend out well either - Arches Hot Press, Dick Blick Mixed Media and Hero Hues.  

For the best I would say Strathmore and Fabrino Studio was my favs for this medium.


  1. Wow- crazy differences and I too am surprised by Ranger! Another compare- well done and appreciated- thank you Roni!

  2. My vote goes to the Arches 140# cold press. I'm not surprised by the Arches hot press results - I've never had much luck with it looking like what I want in watercolor effete. I am also surprised by the Ranger results. Thanks for another great post, Roni!

  3. Wow, what a wonderful side by side comparison! Such intriquing results - a few of these I actually own! I painted on w/c paper yesterday but the name is escaping me- Ill have to run out and check which one I used as it didn't smear at all and held the color well. Amazing post, my friend!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!