Budget Friendly options for Watercolor Paper – Canson Montval and Fabriano 1264 (video)

Canson Montval Vs Fabriano 1264 Watercolor Paper

In this video, we take a close look at the differences between Canson Montval and Fabriano 1264.

Why these papers?

Because a cost-effective paper that isn’t frustrating to use can be a bit of a unicorn chase for the budget-conscious artist! Has someone finally figured out how to balance price and performance?

Both of these papers seem to be in direct competition aiming to capture the attention of artists looking for a moderate price and moderate performance cellulose paper that fills the need for a study paper, while still offering better-than-student lifting and layering potential.

See how each paper holds up as I measure layering capability, durability, lifting capability and performance in painting.

Watch the Video

Lately I found myself wanting to sketch more freely, more frequently, and in a small and manageable format. I’m not really up for the pressure of a 100 a day project, but I did have visions of a small sketchbook, filled with 5×7 postcard sized landscapes in watercolor and gouache.

I didn’t want to be disappointed if some of the paintings in the book wind up awful, and I didn’t want to pay a lot for the ongoing foray into process, so I found myself considering two watercolor paper books at about the same price.

Why not get both and see which one I’d have told myself to get if I had a time machine?

Photo showing two watercolor paper pads, canson montval and 1264 by Fabriano on a woodgrain tabletop

So here it is: a look at both Fabriano 1264 and Canson Montval.

I’ve used the Montval before, but the Fabriano was new to me and I was hoping to love it.

What tests did I design to evaluate both papers?

  • Durability of the watercolor paper under tape and masking fluid.
  • Transitions between watercolor washes in a flat gradient
  • Ability to lift watercolor using a scrubber brush and absorbent dabbing.
  • Layering with wet on dry and integrity of wet on dry layers.
  • End-to-end painting of quick landscape studies.

Something I’ve noticed is that while my favorite watercolor paper is a cotton rag paper, the paper I use the most by volume is not. Without the ability to freely “waste paper” it would be impossible to develop skills, visual vocabulary, and different preliminary versions of an idea. 

(I’ve definitely talked about this before in this post – you might like to check that out.)

Free Watercolor + Art Journaling Class Lesson 3

Hi friends! I’ve uploaded another lesson for the week in our beginner-friendly art journaling adventure. These lessons are free – there’s nothing to do, download or sign up for – I only ask that you like, subscribe and pay it forward if you like the lessons.

In this lesson, we’ll explore negative space, or painting around the things on the page – it’s a really fun way to paint, a new way to see things, and a great way to make some art that surprises you along the way!

Grab some inexpensive supplies and take a peek! I’m using a kids’ watercolor set by Talens, Stabilo 88 fineliners, and Chartpak woodless pencils. (You can use anything you have, whether it’s from Sennelier or the office supply aisle at Walgreens.)

File under: art journaling, watercolor, low-stress drawing, heart art, love letters, bright colorful fun.

Free Art Journal Class Lesson 2 – Watercolor, Pencil, Ink

Hi Friends! It’s time for the second lesson in my FREE art journal class series on youtube – this time we’ll draw intuitively two different ways, learn a bit about composition, and continue with our watercolors.

Whether you’re new or just looking for a low-pressure session of drawing and decompression (now that’s poetry, ha!) come along and join the fun.

I can’t wait to see you there.

All you need to do is watch the playlist in order. At the end of each video there’s a link to the next section of the lesson. Enjoy, and let me know what you made.

Free Full-Length Art Journaling Class

Enjoy this free class for beginner art journals and sketchbooks

Hi, friends. I’ve uploaded a free class in art journaling using simple materials that a lot of us have on hand. This class is very much suited to the beginner in art journals and sketchbooks. It runs a little over an hour and is chock full of detailed explanation – if you’ve ever wondered why artists do certain things in their journals and sketchbooks, this video will probably clear some things up!

Is this art journaling hang out good for experienced artists too? I would say absolutely – with this focused back-to-basics approach you’ll reacquaint yourself with your most elemental and intuitive creative self. Let’s start where we are – but let’s start!

I can’t wait to see you there. The class is available as this youtube playlist of videos – totally free. Enjoy.