Saunders Waterford Hotpress

Pros: There’s just something about the Saunders Waterford. It actually behaves quite different compared to other papers. This can take incredibly many layers but still it’s very smooth. I find it quite absorbent, still not as absorbent as the Stonehenge Hotpress paper. Which I like. I don’t like it when the pigment stays at the surface either but it has that very perfect balance. The pigments go on very strong on this paper. Even pretty hard and weakly pigmented pencils get down really well. It keeps quite sharp edges too. I tried the Faber Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pens on this and that’s one of the greatest nightmares of papers. I mean, it destroys papers like a paper eating monster. But the Saunders Waterford can take it, as long as you don’t scrub the nibs onto the paper. It’s better to work in layers and let it dry in between. I like the washes on this papers with theese brush pens. As long as you prewet the paper a little the edges get very smooth, without that harch line that you often get. It also handles washes really great without warping too much. And when it warps it goes back quite flat as it dries. I like the colors more on the extra white surface but the regular creamy white works fine too! I think this is a very good paper for mixed media.

Cons: One downsides that I find with this paper is that with some pencils, the black won’t get black enough. One way to get around that is to use a Pen of some kind (preferably archival). Among my colored pencils, the Faber Castell Goldfaber black works the best, I think. Another thing is that burnishing is a bit… Different on this paper. It’s like you need a couple of layers before it’s even possible to burnish. You can do it but it’s… Different. Wax based pencils are of course easier to burnish then oil based. Another thing is that the pigments move a lot on this paper. Especially Oil based pencils. So White backgrounds can be a bit tricky and when I use Brush and Pencil Touchup Texture alomg with Brush and Pencil Titanium White it dissolves quite a bit if I put Zest-it Blender or Spectrafix Fixative on top. And that’s a problem for me since I use those products a lot.


This is a drawing that I did on the Saunders Waterford Hotpress 300 gsm. I worked on this piece for quite a while and what I like about this paper is that it will let me do that. Faber Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pens, PanPastels and Colored pencil (mostly Caran D’ache Luminance and Polychromos but also some Caran D’ache Pablos and Derwent Procolours). Also used a whole lot of Zest-It blender and Spectrafix Fixative. Did use a bit of Brush and Pencil Touch-up Texture Fixative with Titanium white at the end too.

Little Sparkle of Hope

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