Monday, April 13, 2009
Having had the recent opportunity to test Clairefontaines watercolor pads, I was curious how they stacked up against the Canson Montval pads I have been using forever.
Here are my initial thoughts:
Color, weight & surface texture is pretty much identical on both.
Clairefontaine paper is stiffer than the Canson.
Clairefontaine has a stiffer backboard, which is great for painting on the go.
Canson pages are micro-perforated and can be removed at true size. Clairefontaine pages would have to be cut to be removed.
$4.99 at The Fine Art Store
Artist grade watercolors on the Canson Montval appear to be showing darker/thicker, but on closer inspection, this seems to be because they stay more on the surface of the paper, rather than soaking in. I find they end up looking rather flat.
"Canson Montval Watercolor Blocks, Field Sketch Books & Pads:
Top Spiral-Bound Watercolor Pads 12 sheets Size 5-1/2 x 8-1/2
Montval's natural whiteness and double sizing is well suited for all wet techniques, including watercolors, wash, gouache and acrylics. Pads feature micro-perforated sheets, giving a true sheet size. Acid-free 140 lb. cold-pressed paper."
Artist grade watercolors on the Clairefontane paper seem to soak more into the surface, blend better and give a better sense of depth.
$7.55 at The Writer's Bloc
"Clairefontaine Watercolor Pads are designed for watercolor, gouache, or wash drawing. This side wire bound pad has 20 sheets of 300 g acid free paper with a cold pressed surface. The rigid backboard lets you make your creations anywhere. Size: 5 3/4" x 8 1/4". C96033."
I'm liking everything about the Clairefontaine book much better than the Canson. The size fits better in my hand, it has a stronger backboard, and paint just looks better on this paper. I can live without having the pages be easily removable, and at .37 a sheet versus .49, I think I'll be switching to the Clairefontaine...permanently.
Canson piece completed.
Clairefontaine piece completed.