Friday, December 19, 2008

Review: Pen & Ink Watercolor Book

Pen & Ink Watercolor Book

Pen & Ink Watercolor Journal on top of a large Moleskine. The Pen and Ink brand products are designed and manufactured to be sold by independent art retailers.

The large Pen & Ink books are wider and a wee bit shorter than a large Moleskine.

The large Pen & Ink Watercolor Book features 80 pages, (40 leaves) of 122 lb. (about 260gm) cold-pressed, acid-free, perforated pages.

The large Moleskine Watercolor book: 60 pages (30 leaves), 200 gm, (about 110lb) cold-pressed, cotton-fiber, acid-free watercolor paper

Look here at the Art Alternatives website to find a local retailer for Pen & Ink products.

PEN AND INK Watercolor LDSCP 3.5X5.5 $9.99

PEN AND INK Watercolor LDSCP 5.5X8 $15.99

Pen & Ink Watercolor Book

Rounded corners on the cover and paper. Vertical elastic band to keep the book closed.

Pen & Ink Watercolor Book

The cover on the large landscape version is more flexible than I prefer. The cover material is the same as is used on their Pen & Ink Sketchbooks. This does feel good in the hands.

Pen & Ink Watercolor Book

Large pocket inside the back cover.

Pen & Ink Watercolor Book

I noticed that a few of the pages in my book were stuck together at the point of perforation. I brought this to the companies attention and they have addressed the issue. It's not a great big deal unless you want to use the left side of the previous page, which in a watercolor book, I usually wouldn't. (I don't want two paintings on the same page)

Pen & Ink Watercolor Book

As an avid fountain pen user for both writing and drawing, I tested a series here and found while there was no bleed through, most of the inks feathered & spread on the page. Noodler's Bulletproof didn't, which is a good thing, because it's a waterproof ink and you can do watercolor washes with it.

Pen & Ink Watercolor Book

The paper is similar in weight and texture to the Moleskine watercolor and I'm not really crazy about either. I use various artist grade watercolors such as Holbein and Daniel Smith, and I just don't like the way they go down on this paper. The paper seems to absorb water in an odd way- a little too quickly, which makes mixing on the paper difficult. Blending ends up ill-defined.

Once the paint is dry, it seems to be quite difficult to re-activate the paint. Swirl over a painted section a few times and the paper gets a little crumbly.

I'd say that it's probably really good for light washes, pen and ink washes, and the like.

Pen & Ink Watercolor Book

For my needs, (and preferences) it's just ok. There might be artists out there that love this kind of paper, but it's just not for me. It's not an overly expensive product, so you might want to give it a try and see if it suits your needs.

1 comment:

redharparts said...

I should have just trusted your review. But I bought a "Pen & Ink" watercolor book. I now agree with you. The paper is just enough lighter than that of Moleskine to be unsatisfactory. However, I do like the Moleskine. I was just hoping for a sketchbook that would let me easily remove pages.

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