Strathmore Visual Journal Spiral Bound 5.5"X8"-140# Watercolor
- Low Return Rate: 19% fewer returns than similar products
- Highly Rated: More than 95% 4 star and 5 star reviews
- Popular Item: Popular with customers shopping for "watercolor journal"
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- Strathmore-Visual Journal: Watercolor
- This item is Acid Free
- This item is manufactured in United States
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Freedom of Expression. New StrathmoreÂVisual Journals deliver high-performing papers and heavy-duty features engineered to meet the intense demands of your creative process. The removable cover sheet reveals a subtle hand-illustrated cover design. The wire binding allows the journal to lie flat and open up 360 degrees. Journals are available in three sizes in Drawing Mixed Media Smooth and Vellum Bristol and two weights of Watercolor. So feel free to reflect explore create and mix it up any way you please.
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I started working on Canson XL, but that paper really can't take a heavy wash, so I decided to move to Strathmore. This paper is very similar to the paper they use for their watercolor postcards. Even if you coat this paper in water, it won't pill or bleed -- it'll happily take whatever you give it. It's fairly rough (much rougher than the XL) and will give an interesting texture to whatever you paint.
The cheesy little "VISUAL JOURNAL" cover shown in the picture tears off easily and then you have a nice brown cover with a bubble texture. It's super sturdy and has held up to knocking around in my backpack for the past few weeks without any problems.
I don't know what else to say about this journal other than it's wonderful and you should buy it if you want something portable, inexpensive, and of high quality. I've included a picture of the first thing I painted in it. Used koi watercolors: ultramarine, crimson lake, permanent green deep, and lemon yellow. The colors are a little funny, but it makes me happy anyway. :) I've also included a picture of the cover.
The paper is slightly textured and holds paint well. I can scrub a brush with a little paint on it and it does not flow too much so I can quickly create sketches using strokes and more transparent washes. It dries pretty fast too. I put a couple of washes on it and it did not pill although I could tell that by the third wash it would start to pill a little. Still, it's great for quick watercolors given the value.
There are 22 sheets in this pad and they are half the size of a regular letter paper sheet, it's a convenient size to make smaller sized sketches or paint flowers or smaller objects.
The minute I received it I did a test with a Koi watercolor set and I have uploaded that image, for my very first sketch it did not let me down!
Since then I've done a few more from photos I took. It's a handy size and I enjoy using the Koi set and the one good DaVinci brush I have to create my little watercolors. It's a very compact set, and I can do this sitting anywhere as long as I have some water and a paper towel to wipe my brush on. This little journal is very handy and I'm enjoying using it. This is the first time I've dabbled in watercolors and the compact size of this journal is inviting rather than intimidating!
It has been a while since I have bought visual journals... but I am so glad that I have picked this one! I have expected it to be a little bit bigger, but in terms of size, it is not that of a problem. Under the cover provided in the photo is actually the other cover. So you can just rip off the front page, I provide a photo of what is underneath it. The paper quality is really nice, it is thick enough to allow me to use "lifting" with watercolors. The spring does not seem to be able to tear the paper as it always happens with notebooks, but the time will show.
My biggest complaint is that the page size listed is very literal. That is the size of the paper in the sketchbook from corner to corner. The problem with this is that the spiral binding eats into a good .5" of that space on the left side! I bought another 5.5" wide sketchbook at the same time (Canson Watercolor Pad) and was surprised at first to see that it was wider. I realized it measured the page based on useable size, while this one measures it based on actual size. If you're okay with a smaller painting surface this is fine, but if you want a little more size I'd suggest going with the Canson. Canson also has perforated pages, which is a nice feature if there's a chance you'll want to remove your work later.