Home > Printmaking, Product Reviews, Uncategorized > Product Review: Canson XL Recycled Sketch

Product Review: Canson XL Recycled Sketch

I want to clarify in this product review that I wanted this paper for a very specific reason: to use as a lightweight Western paper for printmaking.  I am really tired of using rice paper for relief printmaking.  I have a hard time finding a kind I like; often the surface is pebbled for sumi-e painting and calligraphy.  Speedball used to make a nice block printing paper, sold by the ream of loose sheets; but that product went extinct a long time ago.  Rice paper works well for woodcuts and linocuts, but I wanted a harder paper with a smoother surface texture that was already cut to size.  I am tired of tearing rice paper sheets to the size I want.  Rice paper and Asian papers are trendy right now and tend to cost a lot more than drawing paper, especially since I’m surrounded by art schools with students who need to get their printmaking class homework turned in.  A large single sheet of good quality rice paper starts at around $3.00 each, so costs would mount rapidly if I wanted to make a large edition of  a print.

I think the Canson XL Recycled Sketch would be a fine lightweight drawing paper.  It is 50 LB / 74 G weight with a light tooth.  It has performed very well as a printmaking paper for linocuts.  It is thin enough to have flexibility in printing the block, bending where I press it to pull ink up from the block.  Paper flexibility is why some many people love to print relief cuts on rice paper.  I would say the Canson XL Recycled Sketch paper is stiffer than rice paper, but this rigid flatness also makes it very easy to lay across an inked block.  If you have had trouble trying to place very thin and floppy printmaking paper on a wet block, you know what I mean.  Also this product boasts it is acid-free and 30% post-consumer waste recycled materials.  Now I know where my drawings from junior high school went.

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