I still remember the first time I purchased a set of watercolors (and started to paint for the fun of it). It was four years ago (this is proof), and I wasn’t quite familiar on how the medium behaved; for some reason, I just knew that I would end up loving it and using it for quite a long time.
Fast forward to the present, most of my work is comprised of watercolor (I even get to teach about watercolor as part of my classes) – it’s become an essential part of who I am as an artist. Because of its versatility, I often use the medium for both hand lettering and travel illustration.
However, I’m extra picky with my materials – everything has to be of good quality and durable enough to hold my work. From paper, brushes to paint, I make sure that I invest in only the best to make sure it’s going to be the perfect avenue for me to do my creative outputs.
Recently, for paint, I’ve been experimenting with selected brands (Daler & Rowney, Holbein, Schmincke – mostly advanced paints) while for brushes, I stick to the usual preferences (#3, #5, #000) after various attempts with different types.
But paper is an entirely different story. Over time, I found out that there are only selected types that cater to my needs for watercolor. There’s hot pressed (smooth texture) and cold pressed (rough texture), and paper weights vary in thickness. I remember scouting for the best watercolor pad to illustrate with when I was first working on my book, and I picked up an A4-sized Moleskine Watercolor Pad to serve as my canvas.
A few months later, I received two smaller sized Watercolor Pads from Moleskine – which deem to be the perfect travel companions as I spent last weekend painting by the beach.
Moleskine has been constantly a part of my journey – I first got a black notebook way back in 2010, which ended up being my art dump of sorts. And then as their products got more diverse, I was able to get myself some essentials (now being the watercolor pads). Quality-wise, you can always attest that Moleskines are A+. Apart from it being a notable and legendary brand in the world of notebooks, the brand prides in their paper (made in Italy) and establishes its note-taking / idea-generating experience to be shared to every person who purchases a notebook.
Here are some drafts for my book, The ABCs of Hand Lettering, which I painted on the A4-sized pad. My lettering style does not require layering, which is good, because I can directly paint on any surface and not have to keep adding another layer of paint. Using the Moleskine pad definitely helped in absorbing the paint colors quickly and easily (because I had to paint around 12 sets, and I didn’t have too much time to wait anyway).
The best part about Moleskine’s watercolor pad is that it’s pocket-friendly and perfect for on-the-go painting. The pads come in 3 sizes: Large, A4 and Pocket sizes. To add to that, paper quality’s pretty good (200 GSM is the ideal thickness for watercolor) and paint dries fast – so you don’t have to wait too long for your work to dry.
In my case, I personally prefer using the smallest pad as it is easy to bring anywhere – from the city to out of the country. Here are a few pages I worked on, featuring some of my favorite destinations (Japan, La Union, Cambodia). Hopefully I get to fill up this pad until the end of the year! I’m trying to draw at least one spread per week to develop my habit.
All in all, I definitely recommend using Moleskine watercolor pads. It’s worth giving a try especially if you’re looking for the perfect pad for your work.
I can’t wait to take these with me on my next travels in the coming months. :)
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Moleskine notebooks are available at Fully Booked, National Book Store and Powerbooks stores nationwide. Shop online at store.lifestylebrands.com.ph.
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