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Painting Koi Fish on the New Magnani 1404 Round Blocks

Wonder Forest painting tutorial of a Koi Fish on the new Magnani 1404 Round Watercolor Blocks. This one is on the Italia Round Block with Coldpress paper. 

Products used:

Magnani 1404 Italia Paper

Winsor & Newton Paints: (Alizarin Crimson Hue, Cadmium Orange Hue, Cerulean Blue Hue, Indigo, Gamboge Hue, Chinese White)

Tombow MONO Drawing Pen size 1:

#PutAStampOnIt , The 2018 National Stationery Show Project

Here's your sneak peek at the 2018 National Stationery Show promotion project with the theme of Stamps! The project is well on its way. The designers have been selected and papers are now being chosen. We're so excited to be working with Sarah Schwartz from The Paper Chronicles and Stationery Trends, Parse & Parcel , the Stationery Show and our packaging designers, Rifle Paper Co., along with 22 designers to carry out the project.

Rifle Paper Co.'s Stamp Design

Here's the crew: Hester & CookPinwheel Print ShopilootpaperieHalifax Paper HeartsPinky Weber StudioPaper Bandit PressUp With Paper/UWP LuxePage StationeryTypofloraGood JuJu InkSmarty Pants PaperBoss Dotty Paper Co.GotamagoLily & ValGinger P. DesignsInklings PaperieThe Regional Assembly of TextThe Imagination SpotEuni + Co.Collen AttaraAlbertine Press; and Fresh Out of Ink.

How does it work? Be sure to attend the National Stationery Show beginning May 20th. Grab your checklist that will be given out at the show with the full list of designers and their booth numbers. Stop by each booth to collect their stamp. Once all the stamps are collected, swing by Legion's booth to collect your box made by Rifle Paper Co. to store the 22 collected stamps.

There will so many different designs, printing techniques, papers, shapes, sizes all within one box. Here are just a few of what you'll see. 

Typoflora's Stamp Design that will be printed on Canson Infinity Paper.

Typoflora's Stamp Design that will be printed on Canson Infinity Paper.

Up With Paper's Design printing on Stonehenge Paper.

Up With Paper's Design printing on Stonehenge Paper.

Good JuJu Ink's design that will be printed on Rising Museum Board.

Good JuJu Ink's design that will be printed on Rising Museum Board.

Stay updated on more designs to come! Let the countdown begin!

Choosing a Watercolor Paper

With so many different watercolor papers available today, it’s difficult to find a paper that works for your work. As watercolor paints are semi-translucent, papers play a key role in the finished work of art. The paper’s brightness and texture are just as critical as the choice in pigments. Papers most suitable to this water-based medium accept a watercolor wash evenly with reproducible results. We always recommend testing different papers to discover what works and doesn’t work for you. Look out for some of these key factors.

Here's a list of different watercolor papers Legion stocks. 

And here's a sampler if you're looking to test a bunch of different watercolor papers. 

choosing a watercolor paper


The key ingredient that that makes a high-quality watercolor paper stand out as exceptional is the sizing - the invisible material used in the paper-making process to make the paper more resistant to water.  The sizing enables the washing out of color and reworking the same area, which is key for a watercolor paper.  Substantial sizing also prevents the fibers from buckling.  


There are a variety of surfaces for different watercolor applications, but for the most part watercolor papers are classified as:

Hot Press (HP) exhibiting a smooth surface, which is perfect for fine detailed images.

Cold Press (CP) having a more textured surface.

Rough (R), as the name implies, a highly textured surface.  








Most watercolor papers come in three different weights- 90lb., 140lb., and 300lb.

90lb sheet is better for drawing techniques but not ideal for heavy watercolor.

140lb is most commonly used, but may buckle without stretching.  

300lb could withstand more water and is better when using a heavy wash or soaking the sheet. This paper will be more expensive.  

Who better to hear it from than other artists?

Jenna Rainey, Monvoir Studio, Author of Everyday Watercolor

Jenna Rainey Monvoir painting on Stonehenge Aqua

What’s your paper of choice? Stonehenge Aqua Coldpressed! It's the perfect texture for what I like to do!

What is your style of work? I mostly work wet on wet, with wet on dry also in the running. I love blending and diffusing color with wet on wet though! It's magic!

What criteria/standards do you look for in a paper? The surface and texture of the paper is really important to me. I like clean and smooth coverage with the majority of my strokes, so both hotpressed and rough paper don't lend too well with what I like to achieve. It's also important to me that the pigment lifts well off the paper. 

What is your process in choosing a paper? I honestly don't have much of a process! Ha. If it's a trusted branded, I'll usually order samples and try it out using a few different methods (washes, wet on wet, wet on dry, etc.) and then decide if it will work for me. But I tend to find something I like (like Stonehenge Aqua), and stick with it!

Dante Orpillia painting on Yupo Paper

What’s your paper of choice? I choose paper based on the emotion I'm trying to chase. Most of the time that emotion is violent, unpredictable, madness so I use Yupo to paint soft, traditionally beautiful things.

What is your style of work? Starts wet on wet, I let the pigment and the paper do their lil dance, and then when a foundational form has dried I'll go in with detail. The paper very much plays a crucial part in the process because dried paint lifts off of Yupo, and on cotton the choices you make are quite permanent.

What criteria/standards do you look for in a paper? I look for paper that tells it's own story without changing the narrative of my own.

Jessica Park, Watercolor, Illustration Calligraphy & Workshops

Jessica Park ( Jeshy Park) painting on Stonehenge Aqua

What’s your paper of choice? It really depends on the work I’m doing. For professional work, I usually use Arches Cold Press and Rough Press 140lb watercolor paper. For ink and watercolor pieces, I like to use Legion Stonehenge Aqua 140lb cold press paper. It has a smoother finish and doesn't snag. 

What is your style of work?  How does this affect the paper you choose? It depends as I do like to change things up from time to time. But typically, I do a lot of wet on wet and not so much fine detail. This means I need paper that doesn't buckle so I prefer to work with blocks. I also prefer paper with a bit of texture for absorbency and softer blends. There are times when I work with ink or calligraphy so I also need a different type of paper that wont ruin my pens. In this case, I look for paper that has most of the qualities I'm used to but with a smoother finish.

What criteria/standards do you look for in a paper? I prefer paper that is 100% cotton, and textured for my wet on wet washes. For professional work, I want paper that is of archival quality. This ensures that my clients are receiving paintings that will last for years without changes in coloration.

What is your process in choosing a paper? I don't do anything fancy. I just paint with it a few times. If I find the paper is working against me--I don't use it again. 

Choosing paper is such a personal decision. Especially because everyone paints differently with a varying amount of water and paint, you really have to try out paper to see what works for you. I really believe that paper is the most important supply when it comes to watercolor. A good paper can work with you, a lower quality paper can cause frustration. So see what's out there and don't choose something solely based on one artist's opinion.

Beth Winterburn (EBW Art) painting on saunders waterford

What’s your paper of choice? My favorites are Saunders Waterford and Lanaquarelle

What is your style of work? Wet on wet, wet on dry.

What criteria/standards do you look for in a paper? Absorbs quickly and definitively while maintaining bright color (doesn't mute color); enables really nice watercolor blooms; open fibers; 140lb. for stretching, rolling and easy transport; cold press generally; bright white paper color; archival; acid free.  

What is your process in choosing a paper? Trial and error. I test them all to see what I like. It's based on feel, texture, and of course, results after playing a bit.

Greg Skol's Art on Stonehenge

Artist, Greg Skol, tells us about his connection with Stonehenge for his paintings.

Red Afternoon  Oil on Prepared Stonehenge Paper

Red Afternoon
Oil on Prepared Stonehenge Paper

"I was introduced to Stonehenge paper in the early 1980s, while a student at SVA (School of Visual Arts, NYC). An artist friend from the Bay Area was doing a semester residency at Parson’s School of Design. She was painting very large, neo-expressionist works on Stonehenge paper.. the large rolls which are about 50 inches wide. I was making mixed media works.... small but rigorous. We were both very aggressive with the media used. I don’t remember what paper I was using then (perhaps it was that unmemorable?)..... but the first work I did on the Stonehenge paper was the last time I wanted to use any of the other myriad choices of papers tried.

Some 35 years later, I still use Stonehenge paper exclusively. In all of that time I have never been disappointed or surprised by any deviation from the excellent quality. I also use the Rising Museum board exclusively for matting & framing the work..... again, consistent quality over a very long time! 

Misty Lake,    Oil on Stonehenge Paper , Framed with Rising Museum Board 8 Ply

Misty Lake, Oil on Stonehenge Paper, Framed with Rising Museum Board 8 Ply

I use oil paint on Stonehenge paper. I suppose I am a bit of an art materials “geek”. I like to know how the products are made, what goes into them, where they are made etc.... My personal opinion is that the cotton “rag” paper (actually made form linters, not rags, as the name suggests) is more archival than most canvas products produced today. Much of the canvas products are made under questionable “circumstances” (in my opinion and from what I could glean from information that is provided) and without any real specificity on the process, raw materials etc...  Stonehenge paper information is readily available and accessible. 

I spend a lot time creating my work and I ask my collectors to spend “good money” on the work.  I begin with thin layers of semi-opaque acrylic primer..... as many as 15 layers. When I am done priming, the “feel” of the Stonehenge paper is still intact. The “feel” of the surface.... the ratio of tooth & smoothness & absorbency. I work many layers of both opaque and transparent oil. There is no “buckling” during any of the process. The paper absorbs the primer in a way that both seals, isolates the paper and yet allows the character of the paper itself to be “felt” beneath the brushes. I have used this same paper for works in acrylic & graphite (unprimed, of course).... straight graphite, intaglio printmaking, woodcuts, collage work and more. No matter what media or rigorous use of media..... I never second guess the archival & permanence quality. Works in perfect, conservation quality from 35 years ago speak to that."

View more of Greg Skol's work here on his website.