The best paper to use for the cyanotype process is quality hot or cold press paper, like Arches Platine, Fabriano Artistico, Lanaquarelle Watercolor, Arches Acquarelle, Saunder’s Waterford, Somerset Book, and Crane’s Platinotype. These papers are neutral pH (in the middle of being acidic or alkaline) and have good sizing. They are also made to withstand the rigors of extended immersion times in liquids.
There are a wide variety of rice papers available at well-stocked art supply stores. Buy small pieces to test before committing to large amounts.
Arches Platine: Arches Platine Paper is a 100% cotton, acid-free paper made with no optical brighteners. This mouldmade, 310 gsm paper features a smooth surface, bright white color, and a deckle edge. It is acid-free, alkaline-free, and pH-neutral.
Created in conjunction with fine art photographers and specially sized for platinum printing, Arches Platine is recommended for platinum and alternative photo processes. It has been adapted to the conservation of photographic works sensitive to alkalinity, such as blueprints, drawings, platinum, or palladium, as it does not contain an alkaline reserve.
Satisfies conditions of photographic activity tests according toISO 14253 PAT.
Fabriano Artistico: A classic white paper used by artists for centuries, this natural warm white paper is achieved without the use of optical brighteners. Papers are synthetically sized both internally and externally so that no animal by-products are used. Fabriano’s Artistico papers are mould made of 100% cotton and are acid-free/pH neutral andchlorine-free.
Lanaquarelle Watercolor: Since 1590, the Lana mill has been supplying European watercolorists with the finest papers. Lanaquarelle is made on a cylinder mould machine, giving it the look and feel of a handmade paper, but with better consistency. 100% cotton, neutral pH, 140 lb (300 gsm) and 300 lb (640 gsm) papers. Two deckle edges. Available in Cold Press, Hot Press, and Rough.
Arches Acquarelle: The world’s No. 1 mould made watercolor paper is now available for the digital fine art market, lending a unique and unrivalled character to the fine art reproduction of traditional artwork and photographs. Internally buffered and acid-free, it was designed to meet the longevity requirements of galleries and museums.
A genuine 100% rag watercolor paper, Arches Aquarelle Rag possesses the unique structure, surface texture, and warm white tone that demanding artists expect from a traditional fine art paper. It’s compatible with pigmented and dye inks, dries instantly, and is water-resistant. The absence of optical brightening agents ensures consistency for generations.
Saunder’s Waterford: Professionals worldwide love this paper for its superb performance and resistance to distortion. Mould made of 100% cotton, Saunders Waterford is gelatin sized, and neutral pH. Each sheet has two natural deckles and two tear deckles. Saunders Waterford is endorsed by the prestigious Royal Watercolor Society of England.
High White — Saunders developed High White in response to requests from professional artists searching for a whiter shade of watercolor paper. Because of its whiter base color, pigments appear more vivid and sparkling, giving paintings a fresher, more contemporary look.
High White allows the lightest highlights to be achieved, either by color-lifting or by using masking fluid. Highlights have a brighter, cleaner glow, enhancing the contrast between the lightest and darkest points on paintings. Used by professionals around the world, Waterford High White is endorsed by the prestigious Royal Watercolour Society of England.
Somerset Book: St. Cuthbert’s Mill of England produces Somerset, the standard of excellence for printmaking papers, and the choice of artisans and printmakers worldwide. Use it for any printmaking application. It is equally superior for drawing, charcoal or pastel works.
Mould made of 100% cotton, it has a neutral pH, is chlorine free, internal and surface sized, and has 2 natural deckles, and 2 tear deckles. Select from Satin finish or Velvet finish.
Goyu: A traditional, handmade, acid-free paper with four deckle edges, a natural white color, and a smooth surface. Its subtle laid lines from the paper mould are visible when the semi-translucent paper is held up to a strong light.
Made of equal parts kozo fiber and sulphite, Goyu is ideal for block printing, chine colle, and sumi painting. It can also be used as a hinging paper.
Goyu is also an excellent choice for platinum and palladium prints, cyanotypes, van dykes, and most other hand-coated processes.
Hahnemuhl: Hahnemühle FineArt has designed this special paper for Japanese Sumi–e painting. This very absorbent paper is ideal for “freestyle” brush painting, a simple yet highly aesthetic drawing made of powerful, mostly chasing and rapidly executed lines.
“Sumi” means “black ink” and “e” means both “path” and “painting.”
Japanese hake, or Chinese jaiban, brushes are made of wood and stitched hairs. They are desirable for alternative and non-silver process coating due to their lack of metal ferrule and organic look/feel. The absence of a metal ferrule is important, because it is often detrimental for any metal to come into contact with an alternative emulsion.
The only problem with these lovely brushes is their tendency to shed hairs during the coating process. A solution to this shedding is simple: Take your brush and run a single bead of Super Glue® along the hairs where they come into contact with the wood handle.
Repeat this step along the opposite side, being careful not to use too much glue. Do not smooth the glue with your finger or you will have “hake finger.”