Hahnemühle watercolor book is a hardcover journal that’ll take all kinds of media including, of course, watercolor. It’s paper is a neutral white with a little bit of texture, much like if hot and cold pressed paper had a baby. I’m reviewing the A5 landscape (6″ x 8″), it was generously sent to me by Hahnemühle for review purposes. The book has a sewn binding and lies flat when opened, I would have no trouble painting across the gutter. The cover has a lovely texture that runs vertically down the book, it comes with a strong elastic that gives the impression it won’t be stretching out like the Moleskine is known to do. Since the watercolor book is hardbound, it functions well if you’re painting standing up. It’s also a good weight for travel, not too heavy but also has enough pages that you don’t feel you’re starting a new journal every week (or for those of us who are slower journal finishers, every month, lol).
Until Hahnemuhle sent me this journal to review I was wholly a Moleskine watercolor devotee. But Moleskine changed their paper a while ago and I didn’t like how the new paper performed. I was in a little bit of a pickle with no favorite. So when I was asked to review this watercolor journal I was hopeful that I’d fall in love with a new company’s product just in the nick of time.
You might be saying to yourself that you haven’t heard of Hahnemühle paper before. Before they contacted me a few months ago, neither had I. But Hahnemühle is actually a very old German paper company, in fact, they started making fine papers in 1584. Since they’ve been doing it for so long, they’re really good at it.
It’s taken some time and several paintings but I’m getting used to the new paper. Hahnemühle’s watercolor book has a beautiful hand and although the paper is thinner than what I’m used to, I find it actually paints beautifully. Watercolors that are non-staining pick up easily off of this paper and if you’re quick, staining colors come up somewhat too. At first I was frustrated with this paper. I work very wet and I also have been known to micro control what the watercolor is doing. I got used to those techniques in the Moleskine and Arches paper I used to paint on. The interesting thing is though, when I let what was happening on the paper just happen, I found more happy accidents and therefore more interesting paintings.
When the paper is wet, adding more paint on top of your still wet layer causes the paints to mingle together and influence each other. I’m not used to that. But in the end, it’s a good thing. I’m letting go of my control issues and allowing the watercolors do what they’re supposed to do.
So far, I’m only doing paintings on one side of the paper because I’m still working too wet. I make puddles, big pooling puddles and with that, the paper warps a bit. Since I paint in the center of the paper, that, after drying, leaves the other side with some undulation. When I stop using so much water and get used to working a little dryer then I’ll be able to start using the opposing side. The eaten apple painting was my first that used the right amount of water.
I have to say again, the cover of this watercolor book is stunning. It is BY FAR the nicest cover I’ve ever had on a journal. The Da Vinci watercolors I’ve used for all the paintings dry brightly and I’m thrilled with the results of this paper. If I want to brighten an area I add a little yellow as a glaze over top of the dry section that I want to brighten. This technique seems to work even better on this paper than other papers I’ve used it on. I have a new favorite watercolor journal.
Stats: Hahnemühle Watercolor Book
Paper Weight: 200gsm (135lb)
Details: Natural White, Acid free, Fine Grain Surface on both sides
# Pages: 60 pages
Landscape A4 (8″ x 12″), A5 (6″ x 8″), A6 (4″ x 6″);
Portrait A5 (8″ x 6″), A6 (6″ x 4″)
Where To Buy:
Anticipating: My Valentine’s Day Giveaway! It’s gonna be monumental. Come on back in a couple days and you’ll be able to enter to win TWO Hahnemühle products and a BUNCH of other goodies including actual chocolate goodies!
Planning: A review of Cézanne 140 Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper by Hahnemühle.
Loving: Having my aunt Mic just three doors down from us. It makes me happy to have her so close.