I search very high quality paper

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    • #19510

      Ni hao,

      Thank you for the membership in this forum.

      After a short introduction of myself,because this is my first post, I would like to ask a specific question.

      I am a german based artist, painter and soundsculpturer with strong chinese and japanese influences.

      In my paintings I am focused on a personal style of fantasy/sureal art, executed in a mixed gong bi technique, especially the „two brushes“ technique where you hold two brushes in one hand, one for painting, the other for smoothening out, swiching very rapidly between those two.

      I practiced this quite a lot and are very comfortable with it, I use it also a lot for small format work with western watercolors.

      Because we moved our home I had not the space for working on bigger formats with Shu Xuan paper, and so I painted more smaller formats, also exploring digital art as well, but now as I have space again I want to start again with bigger paintings.

      Now to the question:

      I tried and ordered various matured ( alumen – gelatine ) Shu Xuan Papers, from other suppliers from all over the world, also some offered from Henry Li ( blueheronart) who also organized some great mounting of my pictures, and I am a huge fan of chinese papers !

      I love the structure, and finness of Xuan paper, and the way the ink behaves on it.

      However, there is one thing that allways bothered me a little bit and now after working with western water color paper it went even more clear:

      All of the Shu Xuan Papers I have seem to have a grid impression, left from the paper-making. I guess it is due to the bamboo filter, that is put into the pulp to create the paper.

      Now, dont get me wrong, please: I really love the handmade aspect and the art behind the crafting !

      But since I also do some very small details, I wonder if it is possible to achieve any paper witha very smooth surface, without the gridlines.

      I look a the painting of some great chinese Gong Bi artist I like, like He Jiaying, Lou Dahua I see that they eighter use very fine silk, and paer that has a very smooth surface without any grids.


      So my question to you is if you can offer me some advice, recommendation to a specific paper in your shop, or where to purchase such high quality paper. ( From the paper samples I have from you, all papers show this grid-lines. )

      I would perfer Sized Shu Xuan or other, but raw paper would also be fine, I could size them by myself.

      It should also have medium thickness, since I work with a lots of layers, makeing the same areas wet and dry, again and again, so its surface must be very resistant.


      I add some pictures of mine for example so you can imagine…



      Thanks a lot,

      and have a great time!




      Lonesome ghostShadowDream-Gate



    • #19519
      罗雁 LuoYan罗雁 LuoYan

      Dear yuehjian,

      Thanks a lot for these very beautiful paintings! Yes, the lines left on paper are unavoidable since they are left by the bamboo screens when making paper. Here is one post about how inkston makes our papers,

      Xuan Paper Making – a UNESCO intangible heritage

      In this post, you will see how these marks are created. In the sample pack you have received, all the types of paper are traditional xuan papers, which are made at this workshop with the tools which you can see in that post. Therefore, this is why all the papers got such lines, as you  have already observed!

      My suggestion to you on the gongbi painting paper/ silk: try at least to do some on silk. Silk is the best material for gongbi style paintings. It allows you to get more elaborate styles and have more freedom to play with tricks. For example, silk performs so well when you want to apply different layers for backgrounds. We normally do not recommend beginners to use silk. However, from your paintings, I believe you can master painting on silk very well. It is not must but we still want to suggest you — when painting on silk, try to use natural pigments (either plant extracted colourgs, or mineral based colours; or both); try to avoid chemical colours.

      As for other paper options, since you know how to size paper, this also gives you such a wide range of options. I recommend you to try cicada wing paper. However, since you mentioned you want medium thickness, I think the cicada wing paper might not be favoured by you. Therefore, I would recommend you to consider handmade papers with Song and Yuan recipes. As you might know Chinese painting history, in Song and Yuan dynasty, Chinese Gongbi painting style reaches its peak moment. See these posts, for example,

      Emperor HuiZong of Song Dynasty: https://www.inkston.com/stories/art/huizong-art-works/

      Song Paintings on fan: https://www.inkston.com/stories/art/song-paintings-silk-fan/

      Paintings from Song Dynasty are also the most favourite paintings of Inkston. In some of our other articles about Gongbi painting, we also referred back to this period in history,

      Song Paintings on Silk Fan

      By looking at these great Song paintings, you will notice that most of them are done in very fine silk. Silk and natural pigments (mineral based colours) are helping these thousand years old paintings shine even in 21st century.

      Therefore, the point here is that Xuan paper has its own development history. The recipes are changing as time goes by. Sometimes it is because the recipes are lost due to war — there were many wars in the past centuries in China and Xuan paper has history of over 1000 years already. Another reason is simply because each period in history, people might have different painting preferences. And of course, there are also many other reasons in history to explain the paper recipes change. To be short, for Inkston, we recommend most the papers made with recipes of Song/ Yuan dynasty to professional artists who have special preference to Gongbi styles. These papers are all made raw/ uncooked. So, we expect you should know how to size the papers when necessary. These Song papers from Inkston are made from recipes which are very close to papers from Song Dynasty in history. Therefore, they are still not exactly like the papers from that period.

      https://www.inkston.com/shops/paper/mulberry-paper/ Papers listed in this category include papers made with Song recipes.  I would recommend you to look through this list and check if any would be suitable. Some of these papers have very obvious lines, while others almost none.

      In conclusion, try silk or Song papers. 

      For silk, you can either choose Japanese silk or Chinese silk.

      Japanese painting silk: https://www.inkston.com/shop/paper/japanese-painting-silk/

      Chinese painting silk: https://www.inkston.com/shop/silk/chinese-painting-silk/

      You can also try small pictures on the silk fan. Please note that the silk fan has a lower grade silk than the two silks mentioned above. All the silks available now at our shop are sized already but still needs some treatment according to you needs. You will also need to know how to ‘wash off’ and ‘add up’ gelatine to the natural pigments. These skills help you to make the most of the materials and give you extra more space to create on silk than to create on paper.

      American artist Vinh Bui has painted quite a  lot of Gongbi style works on silk. You can also take his paintings as a reference to see how the silk reacts: https://www.inkston.com/community/directory/vinh-bui/

      We have one article specially talking about painting on silk. I think this might be helpful:

      Painting Silk

      If you need, we can also customise a sample pack for you with special papers we have. The customisation fee is 15 USD and we need 1 to 2 weeks time for the customisation. 🙂 The samples will be up to the paper types we have at the moment at our studio. You can contact us for such query.

      Thanks for reading such a long reply! I hope it is helpful!

      Inkston Customer Helper




    • #19834

      I once bought a few papers from this online shop, and they have no lines in it.

      Most paper there is half glued. I in your place would glue the paper itself.


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