It’s always great fun to try out new materials and lately I’ve been testing the new Bockingford hot pressed paper from St Cuthberts Mill. Bockingford is, of course, a well established and popular make of watercolour paper, so how would the addition to the range fare? It did not take me long to find out when I painted a rural farm scene.
I enjoy working on hot pressed paper, although it can be a little more challenging for the inexperienced watercolourist because it dries so much more rapidly than a NOT or rough paper. The advantages of using a hot pressed surface are that you can achieve really sharp, crisp edges, and it lends itself to detail. Colours can also appear more vibrant. The biggest dangers caused by the quicker drying is the possibility that you may find runbacks forming and messy brushmarks can look unsightly if not enough water is used with your colour application and washes.
Make sure that your mixtures are really fluid, and work quickly once you begin applying a colour. With large washes, unless you need hard edges within a wash area it will help if you lay a wash of clean water over the area first – do this after you have mixed the wash you are about to apply, otherwise the water may well dry before you can lay the wash.
I painted this scene on a Bockingford 140lb (300g) pad of 14″ x 10″ hot pressed paper and was absolutely delighted with the response of the paper. It is a superlative product that took the washes well and should be in the possession of every watercolour artist. It is also excellent for line and wash work. The paper comes in both pad and sheet form and is superb value in its high quality and economical price. I cannot rate it highly enough.