At the end of last year I’ve had the enormous privilege to beta test the brand new Hahnemühle Britannia hot pressed watercolour paper (300 gsm) and was very positively surprised with it’s amazing quality! In fact it has become one of my favourite papers ever.
The paper has a very smooth, satiny surface… it’s one of the softest hot pressed papers I’ve ever used. Until now it was only available in cold pressed and rough surfaces so I’m very happy Hahnemühle decided to add it to the range.
I really enjoy drawing on this lovely surface and if I needed to do a bit of erasing in certain areas, it did not affect the the paper at all. I always use a kneaded eraser but with some papers even the slightest amount of erasing can cause some damage and lead to uneven colour application later on.
As with the Cezanne hp paper I was very pleased with the drying time on the Britannia. Even though the surface is hot pressed, the paint did not just sink into the paper and dry immediately. After applying a wash I still had plenty of time to move the paint around, soften the edges or drop some more pigment in using the wet in wet technique.
It also seems to me that the colours remained vibrant and did not lose their intensity after they had dried, which is a very nice quality of Hahnemühle papers.
In my paintings I usually do only two washes: one for the local colour and one for the shadow shapes, so I cannot comment on how layering or glazing would work on this surface… I also do not lift and tend to leave things as they are.
Below are some of the paintings I’ve made on the Britannia paper.
I am very grateful to Hahnemühle for being so generous and letting me test their lovely brand new paper!
I hope this review was helpful to those of you who are interested in hot pressed papers. Hahnemühle’s Britannia is definitely worth trying out and it’s a ridiculously good value for money!