Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An Americano to Mull Over Fabriano Studio Hot Press

1/8/14 Diamine Onyx Black and Grey inks, Canson Montval cold press 140 lb. paper
A rainy afternoon at Zoka Coffee was as good an opportunity as any to continue comparing Canson Montval cold press (the last remaining sheets in the pad I got back in September) and Fabriano Studio hot press. The media used in both sketches were Diamine Onyx Black for the line work and detail shading, and Diamine Grey applied with a waterbrush for large areas of shading.

As I mentioned in my initial observations about Fabriano hot press, it’s hard to resist that lovely, smooth surface when using any kind of fountain pen. But even as my nib glided on the paper like skates on ice, I kept missing the subtle texture that makes simple washes of ink take on a warm richness. The same kind of ink wash on the hot press paper has a cooler, slightly more mechanical look. It’s probably not very apparent even in my enlarged scans (below), as the difference is subtle, but it does make a difference nonetheless.
1/8/14 Diamine Onyx Black and Grey inks, Fabriano Studio hot
press 140 lb. paper

Next time I’ll put Fabriano Studio hot press head-to-head with Canson XL, which, although it’s cold press, has an even smoother texture than Canson Montval. 

Fabriano Studio hot press
Canson Montval cold press


  1. Interesting comparison, Tina. I'm coming to the same conclusions with other comparisons (eg - S&B Zeta vs Alpha/Beta). While it 'feels good' to run a pen over really smooth paper, the end results seem better with a bit of texture. When using a pen that provides variable line width in particular, having a bit of texture seems to allow much more control, particularly when trying to do thinner lines.

    Cheers --- Larry

  2. You always have interesting observations! Nice sketches at Zoka Coffee. Do you dilute the Diamine Grey in the water brush or is that the straight color?

  3. Thanks for your comments, Larry and Joan. Joan, I don't dilute the Diamine Grey when I put it in the waterbrush -- it's a lovely warm gray that's just the right value straight out of the bottle.


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