Ramón Hurtado is an LA-based painter and art instructor. Hurtado’s personal work focuses on contemporary landscapes and genre painting. His art embodies Los Angeles city life and its inhabitants and the unique intricacies California desert light casts upon them. He has instructed/worked at LAAFA, Safehouse Atelier, Cal State Long Beach, the Society of Illustrators, Dreamworks Animation, and Art Center College of Design. Hurtado teaches fundamentals of figure drawing, portrait drawing, and oil painting, to name a few. Online workshops and classes are available. (Sessions are recorded so you can re-watch and continue to learn.)
A self-proclaimed cat lover, Hurtado is the parent of studio supervisor felines Cooper and Meatball. You may be lucky enough to catch pics of them on his Instagram account in posts of his current work and works in progress.
Recently, Ramón and Trekell joined forces over a particular type of art publishing paper referred to as “Ingres.” We at Trekell thought this was a great opportunity to talk about an age-old paper-making process that’s not often discussed. Without getting so technical as to make you nod off, and for those of you familiar with Reddit-speak, here’s an ELI5 ( short for “Explain Like I’m 5”) on a pretty cool type of art paper from hundreds of years ago that is still made today:
A long, long time ago...
Back in the day, specifically around the early to mid-1800s, art paper that a particular artist by the name of Dominique Ingres was favored for charcoal drawings and other mediums. It had a specific texture which was achieved by putting fibers (think recycled paper made out of wet bits of, well, recycled paper products) on a cylinder covered with wire, rolling it around in a circular motion, letting the fibers settle into the wire, and then ending up with a paper that was nice and textured and toothy with fun edges. Neat, right? This paper was good for drawing and painting and just an all-around popular product and had been for about 500 years. The cool factor really came from the paper’s way of showing every nuance of the pencil marks drawn or brush strokes painted upon it. This manufacturing process was known as “laid paper.”
You know how things just up and change throughout history because someone had an a-ha! moment? Art paper was one of them. Basically one day someone lamented: “laid paper isn’t smooth enough. Let’s figure out a way to make paper smoother.” And they did, by incorporating cross wires into the existing wires on the paper-making cylinder, which caused the paper-making fibers to settle much more evenly thus creating a smoother paper on which to draw and paint. The invention quickly became the norm and poor old laid paper, despite its lengthy history, was sort of left in the dust, though not entirely forgotten. The cross-wire process was referred to as “wove paper.”
Not so fast, guys.
There was a reason laid paper had been around so long--it worked. Wove paper happened to be a huge improvement for most people’s purposes, though. It’s no surprise that all sorts of people had an interest in a paper that was smooth for their particular end uses. Wove paper used for art applications, among others, isn’t going anywhere.
Still, by now we know that tradition and old-school ways of doing things never quite die (nor should they, for the most part) so laid paper has stuck around even up to the present day. Its texture, its history, and character continue to make it ideal for many artists, instructors, and their students who want to achieve certain effects and styles. In fact, renowned artist John Singer Sargent used Ingres d’Arches MBM for many of his works.
Get your medieval paper here.
Since we’re a company that supports every technique and medium from the Masters to modern-day technology, you can find Ingres d’Arches MBM paper right here on the Trekell website. If you haven’t worked with it before, now’s your chance, and if you have, we’d love to see your work--tag us on your Instagram so we can see what you do with your Ingres paper!