The Velké Losiny paper mill in northern Moravia (Czech Republic) has been in continuous operation since 1496. Today the papermaking operations are housed in three Baroque era buildings, which serve both as a working mill and a papermaking museum.
The Velké Losiny MOLDAU watercolor papers are handmade, of 60% linen and 40% cotton rag, acid free and neutral pH with calcium buffering, loft dried, internally and externally sized, with four very small, natural deckle edges, watermarked with "Velké Losiny Moldau" along the long edge. The rattle is bright but thin; the papers burn to a white, delicate ash, indicating a nearly pure cellulose content. Available in white, laid CP (evenly textured) finish only, in letter, half sheet and full sheet formats only, in 280 GSM and 380 GSM only. Price of a single 280 GSM full sheet is about US$9.75.
The Cold Pressed sheet is an intriguing and pleasing support, distinctly two sided. In the 280 GSM sheet (shown at right), the wire side resembles a fine corduroy with a pronounced laid pattern; the felt side is much smoother and muted by the blanket texture, the laid pattern apparent only in patches. In the 380 GSM sheet the texture is coarser but not rougher, a beautifully broad tooth that is almost an even dimpling, that is more similar on both sides. Deckles are only a thin crimping along the edges. The color is a soft, slightly warm white. The sheets took a very even wash, with slight cobalt banding and absolutely no blossoming in the magenta. However, if you induce backruns by adding paint or water to a moist area, the bloom is very even and subtly textured. The finish exhausted a brush fairly quickly, but on the wire side of the 280 GSM sheet the wash strokes exploded into pinholes, creating an interesting speckled texture. Resists came off cleanly, and scrubbing left absolutely no marks. The green lifted completely but caused a slight wicking at the edges of repainted areas. The cotton content and slightly lighter weight make this sheet noticeably softer and more rippling in the hand than usual. Overall, a marvelous paper for expressive brushwork, abstact designs, and crystalline bloom or blossom effects. One of my favorites, especially in the heavier weight.
Please see the page how to test watercolor papers for an explanation of my paper evaluation methods.
VELKÉ LOSINY MOLDAU