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Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album, A3, Black, Hard Cover (16.5 x 12) (Professional Folio Series) Hardcover – April 15, 2009
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It is very well made.
This is a journal (for me) that I will fill up with notes and art ideas and field sketches and keep it for reference. However, the paper is so nice that if one wanted to; they could remove whatever the were working on to frame.
Size aside, I love the smooth, slightly dappled texture of the highly sized (a coating used to smooth, stiffen and prevent excessive, splotchy absorption of ink or watercolour paint) faintly blonde and very heavy paper (200 gsm, copy paper is typically around 70 gsm). I like the weight of the paper, but I am slightly fearful as to its stiffness, worrying that it might unexpectedly crease or even crack. The binding is superb. It appears to be Smyth sewn with very small signatures, meaning a strong, durable book that will lay flat when opened. The boards are covered in leatherette, a fact appreciated by this vegetarian. They are flat now, but are a bit thin: Thin enough that as I live in a clime with ferocious summer humidity, I worry a bit about future warpage.
Use -- I'm not a watercolourist, so I can't speak to the intended use. I'm actually a composer, and use this book and its predecessors to sketch out a proscenium arch and stage, filling out scene after scene in both opera and staged oratoria (think classical Greek drama). As might be expected the book form means that charcoal, chalks and heavily built up craypas don't fair well, smearing and contaminating the opposite page when closed. Pen, and pencil (both graphite and coloured) work very well.
Bottom line- this massive tome is well designed and constructed of first rate material. The only thing I really dislike is Moleskine's cult-like status.