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Ask an Expert - Forum > Stonehenge Aqua vs Arches Watercolor Masking & Lifting

I am a watercolor artist who usually uses Arches W/C. I tried using the Stonehenge Aqua CP 300# and although I like the performance overall, I find that when masking, the top layer of the sheet pulls off with the tape. I have also had some issues with lifting where the pigment does not pull out of the sheet as well as Arches. Why am I experiencing this?
July 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRoss
Ross,

As you mentioned, Stonehenge Aqua CP is a high performing watercolor paper and we thank you for trying it out. When comparing paper brands we must consider that the performance of each paper is subjective and depends on the preferences and style of the specific artist. All watercolor papers will perform differently using varied applications and techniques. Also it should be noted that depending on the brand of watercolors used, certain colors will stain more than others and as a result would be difficult lifting regardless of the brand of paper used.

To get technical, what you are experiencing with both the masking and lifting can be explained by the internal and external sizing of each sheet. During the paper making process, Arches W/C is internally sized and is then double surface sized on and off the paper machine using animal gelatin. Stonehenge Aqua is both internally and externally sized for watercolor, but is only sized on the machine during manufacturing and uses synthetic sizing throughout the entire process. That is why the Arches watercolor paper feels harder and less supple to the touch.
July 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRoss