Friday, March 12, 2010
(Blueish cast to paper in above image due to my shooting in direct sunlight.)
People looking for individual blank sheets of Clairefontaine paper (for art, writing or bookmaking, etc.) will be pleased to know that Exaclair will begin importing Clairfontaine's Digital Color Copy Paper into the US in the spring of 2010. Intended to be an alternative to expensive glossy paper for color prints, DCP is A4 in size, 8 1/4 by 11 3/4".
Specs are as follows:
While I typically do not print photos from my computer printer, I was very interested how this paper might work for various art applications. I also know that there are people that have been looking for single blank sheets of Clairefontaine paper for making their own journals and I think people will be quite pleased with the results.
I first tested several different permanent markers on the DCP paper: Sharpie, Staedtler Lumocolor and Bic Mark-it. Each of the markers were quite vibrant on the paper.
There was some bleed through with the permanent markers - but truth be told, I've yet to find a paper less than watercolor weight that didn't bleed. Even my Borden & Riley marker paper bleeds through like this.
Each fountain pen ink I tested flowed smoothly & effortlessly on this paper. It's similar to the Clairefontaine Triomphe in that aspect. (Mandala drawn over top with a Pitt Brush Pen.)
Faber Castell Pitt Brush pens POPPED on this paper and I'm willing to guess it would be like that with most markers, solvent based or not.
I tested three different kinds of colored pencils on this paper. Regular Prismacolor, Derwent Inktense & Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor pencils. Whatever the Prismacolor pencils are made of, they did not go down smoothly on this paper. As the surface of this paper is super smooth, the pencils didn't have anything to grab onto and it was not a pleasant experience to work with them on this paper. I also tried one of the Rhodia pencils, (HD lead) and the results were similar.
The Derwent Inktense pencils went down on the paper a little better than the Prismacolor. In the above example, I colored in the design and then went over the pencil with a Niji Waterbrush. This paper does not love water - in fact - the less used, the better. (It gets a little crumbly when too much water is used)
The Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils worked quite nicely when doodling on this ultra smooth paper - much better than the Prismacolor or the Inktense. In the above example, on one half I tried coloring in the design & then washing with the brush and on the other half, I touched the tip of the wet brush to the pencil & then painted with it. That method worked better than running the brush over the color on the paper.
My Caran d'Ache Neocolor II watersoluble crayons went down on this paper as smooth as silk. Two similar doodles but on the second, I washed over the doodle with a waterbrush.
Keeping in mind that this isn't specifically a paper to be used with water based media, (some resistance to water and buckling occurred) single strokes of a light wash seem to do fine. Artist grade watercolor paints were used in the example above.
Daniel Smith Watercolor Sticks - same results as mentioned above. Colors are really vibrant.
Testing to see if both sides of the paper react the same when water is applied and the answer was yes.
I wanted to see of there was any liquid substance that this paper would really agree with and painting with J. Herbin China/India ink worked like a charm. Filled in with J. Herbin Rouge Opera fountain pen ink that I have in a Niji Waterbrush.
Of note, looking at a sheet of this paper next to the Triomphe, (which is a bright white) the DCP has a very slight bluish tinge to it. I'm guessing this has something to do with how the colors are able to pop on this paper. It is not a distraction to me and unless you hold it against another paper, it may not even be noticeable.
To the best of my knowledge, it appears as though 100 sheet packages of the DCP will sell for around $12.00. Once again, this product is not currently available, and is expected to arrive later this spring.