Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Clairefontaine watercolor pads may not be as well known in America as some of the other books on the market from brands such as Fabriano, Canson, and Daler Rowney, but they should be.
I've been playing with these books for a while, and my only real concern is for the poly covers. The front covers are see-through, and I think they should be opaque so you can't see your first piece of art through the cover. There is a nice thick cardboard backboard so you can easily hold these while on location without them flapping all over the place. There is also a rear poly cover that I find unnecessary. Other that that, I love them. The pages are not microperforated, but I don't usually remove pages from my books - that could be a concern to some.
I've been using the Canson Montval 5x8 watercolor books (12 pages per pad) for ages and I am thrilled that the Clairefontaine (20 pages per pad) paper is not only comparable in price, but better in quality. Stay tuned for a separate blog post that puts the Canson & Clairefontaine head to head for a comparison. The Canson and the Clairefontaine are the same weight, texture, and color.
If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you've probably seen one or two of my abstract mandalas. I love using vibrant colors and everything just seems to POP on this paper and that makes me VERY happy. I also love the square books. Square books lend themselves quite well to circular mandalas.
This first piece was painted with artist grade watercolors, and then I used Faber Castell Pitt Brush pens over top once dry.
Another watercolor, with permanent marker over top.
This next piece was first drawn with the Faber Castell Brush pens, (which are permanent) and then paint was added later.
More watercolor with marker overlay.
Drawn first with marker, then painted.
From 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."
Clairefontaine Watercolor Pad - Rectangular $7.55
Size: 5 3/4" x 8 1/4". C96033.
Clairefontaine Watercolor Pad - Square $11.50
Size: 8" x 8". C96127.