Recently my friend Roz, a paper expert of the first order, was asked to write and article about one of our favorite papers, Strathmore Aquarius II, for the Strathmore paper company. It was just published in their artist newsletter. The image above is from a sweet journal Roz made for me out of this great paper. Other images from this sketch book are included in her article. I find this an ideal paper for watercolor--it stands up to lots of scrubbing, holds a nice pen line without bleeding and doesn't wrinkle. Perfect.
This little painting above (on 140# Arches, cold press) was inspired by the sketch from my journal. The variation in intensity of the color between the two images is due to the harder finish of the Arches and also the fact that I was quickly working on the small lid of my Schmincke traveling palette and the colors were getting a little muddy. But you can get intense colors on the Aquarius, too. I also have a bigger array of paints available in my studio than what I carry with me for sketching so I have used additional colors.
Aquarius II is a terrific choice for a journal. Among other things the paper folds nicely without cracking on the fold. A characteristic that is good when you need a journal that will take the inevitable abuse I give it while holding it open in all kinds of weather.