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Is it the paper or the prep?

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Karl Becker, Oct 12, 2020.


  1. Kim McCann

    Kim McCann Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I recently became aware that Alivn makes a plate finish illustration card that is the same as the old C10 or European 4G paper. So I just ordered a box of them. They are pricey to be sure, but if you want to use classic airbrush technique including frisket films, blade work and so on, I highly recommend trying them.

    Since C10 and 4G papers were discontinued, it has been next to impossible to find a good general purpose airbrush support up in my neck of the woods (Canada). I use mostly synthetic papers these days. While I really like them for freehand and scratching / erasing, the problem with synthetic papers however is that they are not particularly friendly to frisket techniques. If you accidentally cut a bit deep with a blade when using frisket, it easily slices the paper underneath, making holes or score marks.

    Almost all of the available "hot press" illustration card out there these days is more like the cold press we had in the 80s and 90s. It's not great for ink or airbrush work at all like the old C10 or 4G papers were.

    So if someone is looking to try a more "traditional" airbrusher's medium, the Alvin stuff is pretty much the same at the C10 from many, many years ago, and you can get it on Amazon. Look for the plate, ultra smooth finish stuff.

    Maybe see if you can find some of it Karl. Ultra smooth illustration card is about the most forgiving medium for a very wide range of airbrush techniques if you can find it. The Alvin stuff seems to do the trick. You are looking for hot press, ultra smooth finish.
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  2. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Thank you, Kim! I'll look into it.
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  3. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I did see them on Amazon, but only in packs of 25 or 50. I not really prepared to drop $150 just to try it out. Given the techniques I'm looking to use, it sounds like I may just pick up a clayboard and try that.

    Thanks again for all of the replies.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  4. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Claybord is amazing, but not cheap down here.
    There are recipes here for diy options if you don’t mind a bit of work
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  5. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I don't mind doing the work to make my own, but I want to at least try it out before committing to buying the materials to do it.

    What about ultra smooth gesso board? I can pick one of those up for less than $5.
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  6. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    I've never had any experience with it but for $5 and if its readily available for you then give it a try.

    I've found synthetic paper here that I get on well with, but its not marketed at art. its for menus lol
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  7. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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  8. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Very Likeable!

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    Claybord is my favourite. Not cheap for sure. But if you want to keep it or give it as a gift its archival, so not only amazing to work on, but will last too.

    If you want to try synthetic the give lana vanguard a go. It's a different animal to paint on for sure. Takes a bit of adjustment, but a pad is a good price, and colour pops on it.
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  9. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Thanks for the suggestion, Squishy! Another one to look into.
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  10. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    The Lana Vanguard looks promising. I just wish it was more readily available. None of my local craft stores carry it. I couldn't even find it on Amazon, if you can believe that. I did find a few sites that sell it, so I'm going to spend some time looking into those.
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  11. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    not available in Australia at all.
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  12. VanGogo

    VanGogo Triple Actioner

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    I see that some of the YouTube airbrush artists use aluminum panels (that are used for signs) that have 2 aluminum layers with a plastic layer in the middle. You can get them with one or both sides of the aluminum painted. So they just prep the surface by sanding with a scotch pad and cleaning with degreaser or alcohol.
    My question is how well does erasing and scratching work on these?
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  13. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    I can’t answer this right now but as luck would have it I have a project planned on one in the next couple of months. Being a hard surface it will react similarly to synthetic papers (Yupo) and if not gentle it could be an all or nothing exercise
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