Hahnemühle Watercolour Papers Unboxing & Review
Hahnemühle sent me a special package to try out and review some of their watercolour papers and fine art papers. All the papers I received were of really good quality but some of them were outstanding while others had characteristics that, in my opinion, made them less suitable for certain techniques. Hahnemühle papers and boards are also acid-free and archival, meaning they last for hundreds of years. Come join me in this unboxing!
I received an Akademie Aquarellkarton Britannia Introductory kit with 3 A5 papers sheets.
The first one, the "Rough" Britannia paper, has a fairly hard surface. This type of texture will give you more time to rework your painting and create extra smooth washes. For more details about paper textures and how to pick the perfect paper depending on the results you would like to obtain, please visit my dedicated page about rough, hot-pressed and cold-pressed watercolour paper. You will find below an illustration I created on this sample - the stability and strength of this board offered excellent flatness when wet while the hard surface made it easy to apply colour.
Illustration of Brooks & Co, a former curiosity shop on Baggot St. Dublin. Watercolour created on Rough Britannia paper
The second one is "Matt" Britannia, I know this paper as it is the one I used before switching to "Veneto", which is the paper I use these days.
The third Britannia paper is the "Hot-pressed" one with its extra smooth surface, ideal for detailed watercolours. I particularly liked working on this paper, the colours came up extremely vibrant. Another positive point: the satin-finished paper feels extra smoth when you brush over the surface. The finest details can be delicately applied to it and fineliners and colour pencils work well on it. Solid four stars for me!
Illustration of Le Petit Parisien, Dublin city centre. Watercolour created on Hot-Pressed Britannia paper
They added a sample of Hahnemühle Capuccino paper to their package. This product is available as a sketch book. By setting white accents on it, you can create wonderful contrasts. Did you know that artists such as Michelangelo and Rubens commonly drew on light brown paper and light grey paper with ink and charcoal? Working on toned paper often leads to more realistic results and it is also easier to hide mistakes. According to the manufacturer, this paper is perfectly suited for Indian-ink pens but also acrylic markers.
The next bundle of samples is composed of toned watercolour papers: Hahnemühle Beige Toned Watercolour Sketch Book and Hahnemühle Grey Toned Watercolour Sketch Book. These are available in book format and were inspired by Urban Sketchers. Working on toned paper is a great way to save time, specially when sketching outside. You can quickly shade the darks, use white for highlights and allow the paper to do the rest! These samples are 200 gsm, I wonder how much water they can actually absorb without getting buckled in the process but you can definitely use on them markers, ink pens and even some gouache to highlight some details.
Hahnemühle's team sent me samples of their "Collection" series of papers. In the luxurious-looking blakc envelope I found papers for each classic technique: watercolour, pastel and sketch. They added a full pad of 300 gsm The Collection hot-pressed watercolour paper (see picture below). The block is glued and gauzed to ensure the paper remains flat while wet and in use. Once your painting finished and fully dry, you can "slice" it off the block by inserting a butter knife or a letter opener between the first and the second sheet.
Illustration of Sheehan's Irish Pub, Dublin. Watercolour created on Cold-Pressed Collection paper
I also received some fine art papers to make my own prints: Photo Rag Duo (276 gsm · 100% cotton · white · printable on both sides), Bamboo (290 gsm · 90% bamboo fibres · 10% cotton · natural white) and German Etching (310 gsm · 100% α-cellulose · white · genuine mould-made). In the next upcoming weeks I will be testing them all out. Keep an eye on this space!