Review of Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press Watercolor Paper #Watercolor #Stonehenge @LegionPaper

Recently, I received a 10-pack of  Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press #140 lb watercolor paper from Legion Paper to try out.

This painting was done on Stonehenge Aqua 140# Cold Press paper like the sheet that is reviewed here.  See more below.
100% Cotton
Neutral pH
Acid Free
Chlorine Free
2 deckles, 2 cut edges (sheets)
Sized for watercolor

Applications: Calligraphy, Inkjet, Intaglio, Letterpress, Offset, Pen & Ink, Pastel & Charcoal, Silkscreen

Look & Feel
Hopefully you can see the scan below.  I punched up the shadows to show you the texture of the paper, which makes it look more blue and more textured than it is in real life.

It also feels rather smooth to the touch, almost like a hot press.  If you compare it to the Stonehenge hot press though, you'll find it is quite different.

Running up a couple of test sheets, I found:
  • Color flows well
  • Color lifts easily
  • Paper holds up well to scrubbing
  • Paint dries quickly enough that it is easy to get hard edges & back runs
  • Masking tape does little to no damage
  • Masking tape does little to no damage
  • Erasing does little to no damage
  • Sponging does little to no damage
  • Scraping does cause some fuzzing
  • Paper tears easily, but the edges fuzz somewhat
  • Paper curls when thoroughly wet, but flattens well once dry

The best test is painting pictures of course, so I set out to do that.

I used the hard edge effect for those orange streaks in the sky, yet I was able to get a smooth wash for the blue,  I achieved the slight clouds by picking up some color by dabbing with a kleenex.  This did no damage so I was able to easily paint the tree afterward.  I did the ground and grasses last, letting backruns form to suggest texture and some sense of depth.

For my water lily I used salt in the background to get texture.  While the paint was still wet, I sprinkled on the salt. I was fairly aggressive in wiping it off once the paint dried, and then I glazed over it with more color.  I left the salt on longer than I normally would, and I did find that some crystals stuck to the paper.  It's kind of cool looking, adding some extra sparkle, but I'm not sure how good that would be over time.  Scraping lightly with a fingernail removed the stubborn crystals.

I  don't use masking fluid very often, but I wanted to capture those white eyelashes and the wispy bits of wool, and it was a good test for this paper.  The masking fluid peeled away with no problem.  I painted over some of the masked area to blend, and soften edges in other places with no sign of damage to the paper.

For this last piece, I painted a quick study, with a wet-into-wet background.  I used a size 6 round, a small brush for the area to be covered and invites backruns, which can add interest for a background.

Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press 140 lb paper is smoother than many cold press papers. It is absorbent enough that you can get hard edges and/or back runs. It does curl a bit when thoroughly wetted but doesn't ripple, and the curl tends to flatten once the paper is dry.  It is sturdy enough to hold upwell to lifting, scrubbing, erasing, masking tapes and fluids.

At the time I wrote this, a 10-pack of 22 x 30 Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press 140# at JerrysArtarama is is priced at $39.90 while a 10 pack of the same size Arches paper is $58.41.

Other Reviews of Stonehenge Aqua 
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Cathy Johnson

Disclaimer:  I received this Stonehenge Aqua Paper from Legion Paper for the purpose of  feedback.  I offered to review it and give some away. I'm excited about having this giveaway, but tried not to let it influence my opinion, and all opinions are my own.  I received no other compensation.