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Sea Turtle/ Lana Vanguard paper review.

Discussion in 'Step by Step' started by Squishy, Jun 6, 2017.


  1. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    With Yupo, Drew Blair and other synthetic papers being as rare as rocking horse excrement in the UK, when I came across the Lana Vanguard I decided to give it a go. It is made in France, and has recently become available on the Foxy Studio site, which as far as I'm concerned is a pretty good recommendation. However I bought mine here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lana-Vanguard-Pad-Similar-200gsm/dp/B0096MSMHQ

    Bearing in mind that I have only used a sample of Yupo to compare, (and I'm not sure that sample is what is commonly used by others) I immediately liked the weight of the paper. 200gsm is more like a card stock, and not as flimsy as the yupo. It comes in a pad of 10 sheets, which as I tore off the first sheet, also cause the other sheets to separate. I, of course am very dainty, with the featherlight touch of an angels wing catching a baby's breath, ( hey, stop laughing - it's true, ah, who am I trying to kid lol), so a little annoying but no biggie.

    Time for some tests:-
    Damage - with my dainty little feather fingers, I decided to actively try and kill the paper. I have been known to have the occasional calamatous incident, despite being so ladylike and demure. So thought it best to see what I was dealing with. So first I tried ripping it, and couldn't. By cutting a little slit, it would delamitate and the top layer come off. Scrunching it creased it just like regular card, and light pencil lines erased leaving no marks. heavier pencil and dropping object did dent the surface.

    Tape - using all tapes I could find, from fine line all the way to cheap £1 shop masking tape, and even a little high tack vinyl, I was able to press down and remove without damaging the surface, or leaving residue.

    Erasing (using Wicked paint) - initially any paint I put down came right back off again, down to the surface, with both hard and soft erasers and fibre glass pen. In fact the thicker the layer of paint, the easier it comes off. I found that by painting thin layers, and drying with air as you go, I was able to get some nice graduated effects if I was careful. After leaving for a few minutes and going back, it actually became quite hard to erase, allowing for even more subtly.

    Scratching - this was the oddest thing (apart from the person holding the blade obviously), using new 10 and 10A scalpel blades, scratching only seems to work in a particular direction. Other directions caused the blade to skip and jump almost as if the paper had a grain or texture, although it appears perfectly smooth. Not a deal breaker, as with a sharpened eraser it would be easy to get very fine marks, but def odd.

    So feeling fairly confident I could work with it and actually paint something, I got stuck into the turtle. Being a bit of a toolbag, I forgot to take some pics ( why change the habits of a lifetime lol. Once a tool always a tool) I made more discoveries about the LVP along the way.

    Equipment.
    Partial sheet of LVP
    Wicked paint, with 4012 reducer
    Eclipse hp-cs
    Micron cm-c
    Hard and soft eraser pencils
    Puke Bucket.

    So I remembered to take pics eventually, at this stage - see, total wrinkly hairy toolbag. But at least you can see how I mapped out the image. I usually like to sketch features in, but even though I can't do photo realism I wanted this to look realish, so to be precise I cut out a printed ref to shield the area of the turtle while I painted the sea, then made slits in the paper and sprayed to get the main shapes in place. Now I know where everything goes.

    Painting the sea I tried to preserve my whites as much as I could, then after a little blow of just air, I was able to go in erase some areas back a little for more contrast, the combination of preservation and erasing giving a look I was happy with. Spraying the larger blue area I discovered another one of the LVP's quirks, the paint was beading up a little. I was surprised as I am used to spraying on hard and sometimes shiny surfaces. This just meant a bit of an adjustment of air pressure and distance from paper than usual, no biggie, but something to remember for the future. Adding a little yellow to the cup, I faded the blue into the more aqua colour towards the bottom of the painting, again preserving the white, and highlighting with an eraser. Then using a mixed gray, I did the dark reflections in the surface of the water. Painting some of the finer line shadows here revealed another quirk. The paint would blow through, almost stripping off paint underneath, almost as if you just had reducer in the cup. I checked on another surface to make sure I hadn't messed up the my ratios, and it worked fine. So another adjustment, lower pressure, and just to be sure, a little less reducer too, though not too much as I didn't want to affect the paint flow.

    While I still had the gray I moved on to the eye. (and the nostrils) Now I won't get freaked out by the empty space staring at me lol (see told you I was odd), I always have to do eyes first.. Just a case of following the ref, getting the detail as accurate as possible, then adding some shading to push the edges back, so that it would appear it was in the turtles head, rather than on it. A little sepia and blue finished it off, and for once I am actually pretty happy with how it turned out.

    SAM_2195 (1024x768).jpg

    Next, onto the skin. With the colour of the turtle having a brownish tone over all, I decided to do an under painting in sepia, and add colour after. I now call upon my dubious super powers by holding my airbrush aloft, and crying "By the power of Grey Skull....I have the Power!!!!!!! ....to wing it!" I may possibly be getting confused with He-Man, but *shrugs*, whatever. When you don't know what you're doing....do it anyway. lol As long as Grey Skull power has been invoked, what could possibly go wrong. (I do not, however look good in the He-man outfit! please use the puke bucket now, while you cringe from that unnecessarily graphic image).

    So off with the He-man costume, and on with the parachute pants "Nah na na na, nah nah - you can't touch this...stop! Wing it time!" It's MC Hammers airbrush version of hammer time.... you've all heard it right? Ah, ok it's only for the airbrusherly challenged, so just me then lol.

    I decided to spice up the sepia a little by adding a little purple and smoke black. I have wished for more contrast using sepia alone in the past, and as the contrast in the ref is pretty high, just went for it and actually really liked the colour. Score 1 for wing it Woman.

    So just slowly, slowly building up the detail around the eye, lowering the pressure again slightly as still a little bit of blow through creeping into the darkest areas.

    SAM_2197 (1024x768).jpg

    More of the same on the lower jaw, trying to get some of the more subtle textures in too, and starting to build the scaley looking parts of the skin.

    SAM_2198 (1024x768).jpg

    On the flipper there is a bit of an odd transition from "scales" to what I am calling negative space, where the spaces between are giving the skin its shapes. It doesn't feel quite right, but is in the ref, so sticking to it. Hoping it comes together once its all done. So as with the sea, I preserve the whites and clean up a little with an eraser in the negative areas. I am actually finding that a typewriter eraser is working the best. The soft eraser leaves a bit of a smear in larger spaces, and the hard is too aggressive and can leave marks on the paper if not too careful. Plus the brush on the other end is good for sweeping away the erased bits which have a tendency to stick to the surface. I build up the layers of my sepia mix to get some dark tones in there, and thenmove on to the more out of focus area behind the head, before starting on the face.

    SAM_2199 (1024x768).jpg

    The face has both lines around the "scales" and then the negative space within them, so I try to get as much detail as possible, carefully trying to replicate the different textures, and then lightly fog in around the dark areas to show where colour will go, making sure I leave room for the white space. The nose area is quite subtle, with some heavier blocks of colour going towards the top of the head, again built up with more layers.

    So far so good by my standards, then lower right corner knocked me for six. I kept staring at it, trying to make what I was seeing make any kind of sense I could transfer to the paper. But for some strange reason it stubbornly refused to change what it looked like. Some inanimate objects are just so selfish. My lonely brain cell did the computer equivalent of giving me a blue screen of death, before going black leaving a little blinking curser as the only thing lighting up my minds eye. Time for a cup of tea and a re boot. Or maybe just a boot up the arse.....as long as it doesn't spill the tea.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
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  2. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    So, lets try again. Bugger. It still looked the same. And my lonely brain cell still hasn't made a friend. So back to basics, taking the 'stop looking at it as a turtle' approach, I covered up the ref leaving just a small window to look at, and tried to copy that as best as I could, then made the window bigger and added the next part etc etc. The adding a lot of paint and erasing back to the surface was ideal here, then I went back in and softened some edges, and put a little colour back, before highlighting again. To be brutally honest, it doesn't look exactly like the ref, that area is just a confusion of something and nothing that my brain struggled to make sense of, but it does give the impression of what is there, and within my 'can't do realism' limits (which I don't stress over, as its not the be all, and end all to me) while not happy, am satisfied that it's a vague representation. This attitude is closely linked to my Wing it Powers, and if Wing it Woman had a sidekick, it would be F**k it That'll do Girl. .....And this is why I will never master the airbrush lol lol lol. But as long as it's fun, who gives a shiny rats bum right?

    SAM_2200 (1024x768).jpg

    Now to flourish my Super cloak and start winging away with the final colour.. It doesn't actually look like much has been added, but the tone has been shifted quite a bit with a transparent dark chocolately fudge brown I mixed together, and carefully added to keep the detail layer showing through as much as poss. In some areas the original sepia mix hasn't been covered at all to keep the tone varied. The darkest areas have been built up with the brown and then has a very over reduced black added in some areas for even more contrast. Around the dark shapes on the face that I fogged in earlier a kind of creamy mushroomy soup colour was added. How'd you like my technical colour names lol.

    Then I mixed a kind of emptying the compressor rusty water colour.(my fave colour name so far - just trips off the tongue) and added where needed, going over the brown in a few places which varies the colour on the surface a little. This colour was reduced even more to lighten for the flipper.

    Then lastly yellow. And - Oh NO! The power of Grey Skull up and left me, I made it too bright. But looks like Wing it woman doesn't need He-man power any way (and besides everyone knows that Skeletor is way cooler), easy fix, just a little wash of over reduced white and, she's back in the game!

    Removing the taped border left a nice clean flawless edge, and Ta Dah! Turtle touchdown.

    SAM_2204 (1024x810).jpg

    Over all view of the LVP paper is I like it. It's way better than the Yupo I tried, and it is not so delicate. I couldn't touch the Yupo without paint getting marked or damaged. This dries really well, even to the point of being quite hard to erase after a while, but I like that it gives a wider variety of texture, and once you get used to the timing, soon becomes a natural thing, and it can be handled just fine. One thing I didn't try as I was freehanding, was seeing if you could tape over it, and remove tape without lifting paint - I'm guessing possibly not as there is no tooth to grab on to, but is something I will try another time. I think using shields will be fine as it could be touched and cleaned off with a brush, but again, didn't try it.

    Claybord is still my favourite, as it can take pretty much anything, and can be scratched and erased more instinctively. Plus I like the look of the finished painting using it. But the LVP is way cheaper, and it doesn't take much to get used to the erasing. The scratching thing is weird (maybe it's just me?) but a sharpened eraser, or even whittled cocktail stick could be used in place of it quite easily.

    If you got through all that and have not died due to old age creeping up, congratulations and thanks for reading. If you have any other thoughts or experiences with the LVP stick them in the comments below, I'd appreciate any insights. :thumbsup:
  3. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Good write up @Squishy... you are very patient indeed!
  4. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Thanks Mark. Not as patient as you reading through all that lol.
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  5. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot!

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    I just love reading your write ups and views on things Squishy, You make reading fun!!(remember that saying on TV ?)lollollollollol
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  6. GregStith

    GregStith Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Great write-up! Thank you for sharing!
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  7. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    lol lol lol, thanks basepaint, I just like to talk lol.

    I'm very immature, and start boring myself, so start wandering a bit. (or a lot lol) Hopefully someone will find something helpful amongst all my waffle.
  8. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    :) cheers Greg.
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  9. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Looks great @Squishy and your sbs was very well written, made me smile a few times. Keep it up. Lovely painting.

    Lee
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  10. beanpoleuk

    beanpoleuk Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    Lovely detailed write up, thanks :)
  11. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Thanks Lee and Steve :)
  12. Airbrush Dreams

    Airbrush Dreams Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Good to know. Thanks for the review. As for the blade, could it possibly be the edge of the scalpel had rolled like a knife blade will do and become dull to the touch. A scalpel is such a fine edge and scraping in one direction can roll the fine edge into the opposite direction, so when you go to scrape the opposite way it is grabbing rather than gliding over the surface. Just a thought.


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  13. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Thanks Airbrush dreams. I used two blades one straight, one curved, and both were brand new. They were scalpel blades. It could be a fluke and both were damaged? I need to play some more, and maybe try some different type, or brands of blades.

    Has anyone else had any experience with blades on this paper?
  14. Airbrush Dreams

    Airbrush Dreams Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    When I was using X-Acto blades I would find I would have to reverse direction to continue because the edge would curl and as soon as I reversed it would grab and chatter a pinch and the smooth right back out. After a few dozen stroke it wouldn't scape much and I would go the opposite way.

    It could very well be the paper but my guess would be the edge of the blade grabbing. Scalpels are way thinner than X-acto blades. It could even be they were flexing on you and causing it to jump. It will be interesting to find out.


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  15. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Yes, maybe a more robust blade might be better. Will be worth trying for sure.
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  16. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    Good write up. Great painting.

    If you look back my my tests from a month or two back you will see that Lana Vanguard are made by Yupo. If they get a special paper will probably be a secret but I got the same results on both with the various paints in my arsenal.
  17. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Thanks Andre, I do remember those tests, they were super helpful, and I made it a sticky.

    Yupo is not readily available here, and the sample I managed to get did not look or behave the same as the LVP at all. In fact, that Yupo was very difficult to use, and paint came of days later with the lightest of touches. So I guess there's Yupo and then there's Yupo What is available here is very different to the LVP.

    Here the LVP is marketed as similar to Yupo, and the pad cover and packaging have no links to it. From what I have discovered so far Yupo is US manufactured, while LVP is French made, so maybe this is a European version?
  18. Lt4-396

    Lt4-396 Gravity Guru

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    That's weird that the paint came off so easily with the yupo. I've only used it a few times (4-5 times) and with CI it erases very easily but after a few hours it's slightly harder to erase and is pretty tough when handling and touching.

    Do you know what kind or brand of yupo it was?
  19. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    wp_ss_20170609_0001.png
    This is what I got sent before from a company called Premier Paper, the only supplier I could find at the time. ( Note to self: try again, and see if thats still the case)
    I told them what I wanted to use it for, and asked what they recommended, and they sent me four sheets.
  20. Chris g

    Chris g Spider Splatterer

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    Thanks for the review.

    I'll be looking out to see if my local art shops, (all two of them), supply it.

    PS Nice work
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