Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Rocky the Snowman

My TerraSkin paper arrived yesterday and I cut up one of the sheets to give it a little test run without committing myself to a large painting.  This is the resulting image, perhaps another Christmas card in the making?  What else could he be called but Rocky??

This paper is created from >75% mineral powder with <25% non toxic resin to hold it together. This produces an environmentally friendly paper. It is reported to be multimedia paper and similar to 385lb watercolour paper.   I bought half a dozen half sheets to play with as I didn't know if I'd like it or not.  However, it was very economically priced compared to what I usually pay for 300lb Arches.

The paper is substantially and feels like 300lb paper in terms of weight but has the smooth surface of Yupo and behaves similarly to that support but not as slippery.  TerraSkin is exquisite to draw on and erases beautifully without marking the surface.  The manufacturer claims that because it is fibreless it doesn't absorb ink as traditional paper does, therefore using 25% to 30% less ink when printing or drawing and doesn't bleed.

My test on this paper wasn't thorough or scientific.  I simply sketched out my subject and then used watercolour to build layers.  The resulting impressionistic image works for me and I do find the characteristics of TerraSkin similar to a subdued Yupo.   I will try a graphite drawing on it next and then some pen and ink, as well as coloured pencil to see how it performs before I give it a thumbs up or down.

From a purely environmental perspective, I think its a superb product and after reading about some of the woes of the paper industry, it may well be a support of the future.  MOMA uses TerraSkin for their consumer packaging now, leading the way into the future.

Design and Source say:
TerraSkin has 2 end of life options available, it is infinitely recyclable(with proper infrastructure or take-back programs) as well as degradable,when left out in nature for approximately three to nine months.
 TerraSkin is very versatile and can be used in multiple paper and paperboard applications as well as thermoformed items.It can be embossed or hot-stamped and is also FDA approved for direct food contact.
 In 2007 TerraSkin was awarded the Silver Cradle to Cradle certification by MBDC.


sue said...

I'm not familiar with it, but I love the results--this is great, Jeanette!

Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

I requested a free Terraskin "sample pack" -- we'll see what I get!

Chris Beck said...

Rocky is absolutely fabulous!! I'm not a big fan of Yupo or Tyger Rag, but I'm tempted to give this a try. Just love the casual feel of this piece! Did you sprinkle water and blot it to get the snowflakes?

Jeanette said...

Thanks Sue, it was fun to do.

Free samples...I didn't know they did that Ernest. However, my half sheets were pretty cheap so no hardship there. I hope you get your samples to play with.

Chris, I didn't like yupo to start with, but it kind of grew on me. The terraskin is a little more forgiving but similar.

I simply spattered white ink on the piece for the snow effect. I could have used gouache or acrylic to I imagine.

Jennifer Rose said...

Rocky looks like he is trapped in a storm, i like the effect :)

Would it wash away if wetted down like it does on Yupo?

Gary said...

Thanks for sharing your explorations with what is a new material for me. It will be interesting to see how the very traditional watercolor societies (like the Watercolor Society of NC) will accept this support. They currently do not accept synthetics such as Yupo - this doesn't seem to be in that category (?) I look forward to trying it out too.

Julie Broom said...

How fab :-)I've come over all Christmasy! Great results, look forward to hearing how it copes with other media.

vivien said...

he'll make a lovely card

the paper sounds fascinating, I'll be interested to see what else you do with it

Robyn said...

Rocky is definitely a Christmas card star, Jeanette. Beautiful.

I've never been tempted by yupo but this paper looks like it could be an interesting ground for gouache. So I'd like to see a gouache painting next please ;)

Jan said...

I've never heard of this "paper" either so thanks for spotlighting it. I do like Yupo but don't often use it.

Your Rocky is definitely a Christmas card and more experiments with this paper should be a priority for you.

Jeanette said...

Jennifer yes it doesn't hold layers well and can dissolve the initial layer when you add more. The same challenge as Yupo. But a little more forgiving. It makes you think carefully before you add a layer.

I don't know Gary. I don't know why some watercolour societies won't accept synthetic supports, after all, its the handling of the medium that would be judged. Some are stuck in a timewarped vision of the past I fear.

Yes, it does have that Christmas feel to it Julie doesn't it? Keep tuned for more media experiments on this paper.

I have a number of mediums to use on this paper and see how they perform Vivien. So far, it seems to have similar properties to other untraditional supports.

Thanks Robyn. You know, I have one tube of gouache and that one is white. Perhaps I should send you a sample piece and you can be the gouache tester! Let me know if you're interested.

Its fun to use new things Jan. I came across this paper when ordering supplies from my usual art store in Toronto. Put 'new' in front of it and I'm game to try! :)

Robyn said...

That's a great offer, Jeanette. I have trouble buying innovative art supplies here in Italy, so was thinking I wouldn't get to test this paper. I'd be delighted to try a little gouache test for you.

Terry Banderas said...

Great piece of artwork. Your writing is also very good--clear and concise. Hope you are keeping warm up there.

Jeanette said...

Wonderful Robyn. Send me your mailing address at my gmail account and I'll get a piece off to you and hopefully it should arrive before Christmas.

Thanks Terry, my writing - and art seems to vary. :) This morning we had the first snow of the season. Winter. Blech.

Robyn said...

My pieces of Terraskin did arrive before Christmas, Jeanette and that is pretty much a miracle here in Italy! Nothing has arrived from anywhere else for months. Thank you so much, I love working with gouache on Terraskin and am about to post my first little effort on my blog. said...

Your artwork is fabulous!

I would like to include the artwork you have done on the TerraSkin Facebook page, as well as other social media outlets, however I wanted to get permission from you first.

Of course we will credit all your work to you, and include a link back to your blog when possible.

Your should check out our facebook page and encourage others to post their findings on it!

Please let me know if you will allow me to repost your images and findings.

Thank you,


Jeanette said...

Emily, I don't have a problem with sharing the Terraskin images and finding that I have on the Facebook site.

You can contact me directly on email to confirm as you didn't provide an email address here and your link goes straight to Terraskin.