If like so many of us you find yourself at home with a lot of time on your hands, consider using that time to experiment with different art papers and print some of your favorite images from your hard drives.
Well folks, it’s been a stretch since I last found myself writing and damn do we find ourselves in a radical situation. I’m based in Seattle and like so many other places around the country and the world, we are under a stay-at-home order and the outlook for the future is complicated to say the least. I’ll be the first to admit that during this time of struggle I’ve been all but productive as things seem to fall apart, however like everyone else who feels they’re in dire straits, I’m working to get back on track. What other way to do that than write a new piece about something I actually care about, printed artwork.
Today we’re looking at the Aquarelle Rag 240 paper from Canson Infinity. It’s a true to form watercolor paper similar to what you might picture using in an art class at school. This means a matte presentation complete with a tactile surface texture that I’ve always been drawn to. Available in boxes of twenty-five sheets or three inch rolls, you can choose from either the 240gsm or the weightier 310gsm (pictured here is the 240gsm).
Right off the bat, the combination of a matte surface and a clearly visible texture are two things that I’ve always found pleasing for print work. I’ll say immediately that I enjoy this paper quite a lot; the classic watercolor texture is visually pleasing and both looks and feels like a traditional medium art paper (as one would rightfully expect from anything labeling itself watercolor). I would recommend this paper for images where a high degree of contrast is less important or if one is looking for a painterly vibe to accent the existing mood of a given image.
If replicating a painting is something that you’ve attempted with your photography, then this paper is worth some experimentation. Bokehlicious macro images of flowers? Hell yes, those would look amazing on a paper like this. Beautifully soft nature portraits with a subtle color palette? Yes, absolutely. Anything abstract that could have people asking if it’s a photo or a painting? Definitely worth a go. Do you have scans of paintings, drawings, or old film photos? Yeah, that could be pretty awesome. If ever there was a time to experiment with different shots and different papers, it would surely be now.
If you you’re at home with time to spare and the means to do so, now is the time to try new things. Look into sample paper packs from different manufacturers, open up your hard drive and experiment with your favorite images. Try new things, maybe it won’t work but maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Believe me when I say that I understand that the current moment is at the very least complicated, and at most a nightmare. If exploring and experimenting with creative avenues and new directions can help at all, then it is surely worth a shot.