Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review: Clairefontaine Triomphe Writing Tablets

Clairefontaine Triomphe Paper

Sailor 1911 fountain pen and Pelikan R400 Rollerball sitting on top of a 90g Clairefontaine Triomphe writing pad.

Clairefontaine Triomphe Paper

To put it simply, this is hands down the SMOOTHEST writing paper I've ever used.

With the exception of the Sharpie markers, nothing is bleeding, feathering or spreading. Fountain pens and inks LOVE this paper! All of the fountain pen nibs are writing true to size and this paper does NOT exhibit the drag that I've experienced with the journal bound Clairefontaine paper. This paper is smoother and does not feel coated. I love that this paper comes blank or lined. (Blank pad comes with a sheet of ruled paper that can be used as a writing guide.) The cover on the pad folds neatly back and the 5x8" size is very comfortable to use while writing on my knee.

As this paper is extremely smooth, it is more resistant to ink which means that water based fountain pen inks or gel pen inks will take a few additional moments to dry. Be patient or try using a blotter if you are a fast writer or are left handed. When tested, both lined and blank paper exhibited the same qualities. Great for letter writing or doodling.

Triomphe pads come in 5 ¾ x 8 ¼" and 8 ¼ x 11 ¾" sizes and also in 4 3/8 X 8 5/8" and 4 1/2 X 6 3/8"Self-sealing Envelopes

Clairefontaine Triomphe Test

I decided to try a number of different art products on the blank pad to see what worked/didn't work. All of the markers I tested (Sharpie, Bic Mark-it, Faber Castell Brush Pens) worked extremely well and the colors were nice & vibrant. The permanent markers (Sharpie & Bic) bled as expected.

As the surface is super smooth, pencils don't really love this paper. I tested Prismacolor colored pencils, Derwent Inktence pencils and Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils- the only ones that seemed to move nicely across the paper were the Albrecht Durer. I also tested the paper with various water based media - The Albrecht Durer Pencils, Inktense pencils, Daniel Smith Watercolor Sticks, Neocolor II crayons & a few artist grade watercolor paints. Watercolor paper in general is meant to absorb the water/paint while writing paper is meant to resist it. I never expect any paper that is not specifically designed for this kind of media to be great with water, and with the Triomphe, I found that the less water you use to apply any of these products the better your results. Neocolor II's and the AD Watercolor pencils are examples of products that allow you to touch them a wet brush to pick up the color- and on this paper, this technique worked better than applying the pencil/crayon to the paper and then washing over it.

Clairefontaine Triomphe Test

Reverse of paper.


Anonymous said...

Great review. I love this paper.


La Fleur said...

I will hunt around and see if I can find this paper here in Chicago. Thanks for the review! Currently, I use Steno pads to jot down any hot story lines! LOL

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