Hello friends and welcome back, l am excited that you are joining me in another one of my blog reviews. I am thrilled that Chartpak Inc, sent me some great products to try out and lucky for me, l get to share my thoughts about them with you. It was hard to choose what to practice with first, but l have chosen to try out the “Grumbacher Acrylic” paper. Although l have been sent this product, I am not being sponsored and this review communicates my own viewpoints.
Chartpak Inc generously sent me an 8”x 8” size “Grumbacher Acrylic” 15 sheet pad of paper, that instantly caught my eye. I guess l should be a bit embarrassed that l have never tried painting on acrylic paper before, largely because l have worked with acrylics for 21 years, but l haven’t been interested in using it, until now. I was not expecting to be intrigued nor astonished by this heavy paper, as l have used many different brands of mixed media papers before and l thought this paper would be just like the others. This was not the case with this acrylic paper, as it was different then the mixed media papers l have used for charcoal drawing and watercolours. I was really impressed with this high quality acrylic paper. The turquoise coloured cover was total eye candy, and it had an easy to understand rating system of all Chartpak papers in the interior cover. This acid-free, cold press paper rated excellent to a vast variety of mediums, such as graphite, colour pencil, charcoal, pastel, pen & ink, marker, watercolour, gouache and acrylic. I noticed it was embossed in texture, but at the same time the surface felt smooth to the touch, almost a satin like finish, which l haven’t felt on other papers before. I decided l was going to paint a sea turtle and l chose not to washi tape the paper down to see if it would change in shape. As l added the paint, l noticed right away that l was able to manipulate and move it around effortlessly. Immediately l knew this was going to be a fun piece to create, as this paper was going to allow me to use different painting techniques freely and easily.
The smooth but embossed surface was rewarding, as it gave me enough time to blend my colours, and soften the brush strokes with a mop brush. I tend to start light in colour and layer my paints to add depth. Using this method l mix my acrylics with water and use it as a wash. I was afraid that the paper would start to tear or change the texture as l kept adding the watery acrylics, but this was not the case at all. I was so pleasantly surprised at how durable it was. This 140 lb, 300 gsm white paper allowed me to continue to rework and keep adding paint and water. In some areas, my sea turtle has multiple layers of paint washes and l could have added more if l desired with no change to the surface of the paper. I was expecting this acrylic paper to be absorbent, making the acrylics faster drying but I didn’t notice any irregular changes to the Grumbacher acrylics that l use most often. The most likable quality about this paper was just how much time l had to maneuver the paint around, and this was the biggest benefit to my style of painting. I was able to blow dry the paint just like l do canvas, l held the blow drier at the same distance, high heat , as l normally would and l didn’t burn the paper, although l would be cautious just in case. I also found detailing on this paper a breeze; I was able to acquire fine line work easily. At one point l panicked as l accidentally made a paint stain and l was so surprised when l re-moistened the unwanted mistake that the paint lifted easily off the paper. Wow, that was such a bonus to be able to clean up mistakes easily. My only regret was not washi taping the paper to my drawing board so that it dried flat, as it did not retain its original shape, due to the amount of water l used, but not enough of a distorted change that it was an issue.
I did go looking for other sizes in this brand, as l would like to try and work on this kind of Grumbacher Acrylic paper again but in a larger area using other mediums. According to the Grumbacher website, they have larger size options. They are available in traditional fold-over construction, (what l was sent), as well as dual loop wire bound construction with “in & out” pages that allows you to remove the sheets from the pad and return the sheets into the pad. I will go over this “in & out” construction in a future blog.
Would l use this paper again for acrylics? Absolutely! If you live in Canada and want to try this paper, then you can find the “Grumbacher Acrylic” paper offered in all three sizes at an amazing price through “Delta Art & Drafting Supplies”. You can order online at www.deltart.ca. The pricing l found on their website in Canadian funds is listed below.
I am hoping at some point the "Michaels Arts & Craft" store in Kingston, Ontario, will carry them, but until then, the prices at "Delta Art" are extremely reasonable even if there is a bit of a shipping cost. It’s an exceptionally good price.
I am giving this product two thumbs up! l would highly recommend this product to beginners and professionals. If you are looking for a durable high quality paper, then this unquestionably is a great choice. I would love to hear from you. Have you used the “Grumbacher Acrylic” paper? If so, what did you think of it?
I am hoping that l can be inspirational and informative. I always feel that paying it forward is a great way to live life. As a self taught artist l will try and share with you what l have learned.