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Paper for print


By Randal Scott, the proprietor of Fine Art Papers, importers and suppliers of fine art and conservation papers throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific.

The day I learned how important the specific characteristics of papers are to the creative process, I made it my business to find out why a smooth hard paper is needed for lithography; why heavily sized paper is preferable for drawing; why soft, supple papers are best for intaglio printing; and why a heavy, textured paper works best for pastel. I knew I had to pay more attention to the way a particular paper influenced the final appearance of drawings, prints, and paintings.

Printmaking papers are not just for print-making. Some printmaking papers have become favourites for drawing or mixed media techniques. The distinguishing feature of a good printmaking paper is its ability to take a soaking, to absorb a lot of ink, often with multiple runs through a press, without disintegrating or deforming.

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