Recently the Stillman & Birn Sketchbook Company sent me samples of their new Zeta Series paper. When the paper arrived the first thing I noticed was the papers surface. It is similar to Hot Press watercolor paper. To the touch the surface is smooth, bright white and the weight is 180 lb. The Zeta Series has both internal and surface sizing, it is acid-free, lignin-free and chloride-free.
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Step #2 Watercolor painting. I began by blocking in the larger areas with watercolor.
Step #3 Here is where the paper is put to the test. I like to build up rich color in glazes. The paper held up great.Where I wanted to lift color for highlights the color came up easily with a soft brush and clean water.
Pen & Ink
I thoroughly enjoyed how pens move on the surface…they glide! I also noticed that some inks take a little longer to dry than others. This has to do with the papers sizing. This isn'ta problem, just an important fact. Quite often I select pens/ink because they move when wet, but for this demonstration I wanted the line work to stay put. The Pitt Pens by Faber-Castell dried instantly, and this is the pen I used (medium tip). Noodler’s Ink in Polar Brown and Lexington Gray dried instantly, too.
I am predominately a watercolor artist so I was curious to see how the paper would hold up with watercolor. The paper was a joy to paint on! It was easy to build up layers, soften edges, and lift color. I found it easier to work on than Hot Press watercolor paper. All my colors remained clear and vibrant and the paper didn't warp.
I take all my artwork seriously whether I'm sketching or painting. The Stillman & Birn Company takes their paper seriously, too. I can’t wait for the new sketchbooks made with Zeta paper to arrive in stores. I will definitely be using it!