For a few years I operated my own quite large photography studio in which I did everything from stock photography (food as well as travel and nature) to fine art photography, including printing. In recent years I have focused more on food photography from a more modest studio. I also use the studio for painting.
The big printer that I had in my studio eventually stopped working. Big (Epson) printers need to be in regular use and, if not – as was the case while I was on a long project – clog up and have to be replaced. Too costly to replace and my current studio does not have the space anyway.
Getting to the point, I have a stock of quality fine art photo paper that I thought might be worth testing for watercolour painting. The one I decided to experiment with was Hahnemuhle‘s Fine Art Museum Etching inkjet paper which is a 350 gm cotton rag paper. It is acid-free and of museum quality ie holds its colour well. That said, it is intended for ink-jet/giclee printing and not for watercolour painting. However, an artist will try painting on anything!
The subject of the painting is a Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus).
These game birds can be found pretty well all over the UK countryside. The males are colourful while the females tend to be drab in comparison.
The reference photo I used was taken by me a few years ago in Sussex, where I used to live before moving to Brazil, while visiting UK.
I tried another painting. This one, below, was of a Ruff (Philomachus pugnax, or Calidris pugnax) that I painted on Hahnemuhle’s Bamboo Fine Art Inkjet paper but, from the very first brush stroke, I didn’t feel comfortable with it.
The paint soaked into the paper immediately thus making mixing on paper almost impossible. One would need to have two brushes in hand, applying the second brushstroke almost immediately after the first – or be extremely fast and pre-determine each brush-stroke with care. I guess it could be done.
I tried again with another quick sketch, this time of a Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis) in which I still encountered issues but at least I knew what to expect. I tried taking out some colour but found it impossible to do so as the pigment had been absorbed, so I used a bit of gouache (not visible in this image).
As far as the experiment is concerned, at least with the Museum etching paper, I liked the way that the paint went on. In fact I found the experience better than with some of the papers I have been using recently. I asked Hahnemuhle about any issues I may experience ………….waiting for their reply!
Thanks for following. Please comment or ask questions – I usually reply within 24 hours.