Hello friends and welcome back, l am excited that you are joining me on another blog. Only this time you are getting a two for one blog review as l am testing two products today. Chartpak sent me an impressive art haul of products to try out and l have decided to critique the Koh-I-Noor opaque 24 watercolor stack pack palette, and the Indigo Artpaper 640gsm/300 LB 100% cotton, cold press, acid free watercolor paper. Although l have been sent these products, I am not being sponsored and this review communicates my own opinions.
First up is the Koh-I-Noor opaque stackable 24 watercolor palette. Koh-I-Noor is one of the world's largest producers and distributors of art supplies, writing equipment and stationery. Founded in 1790, the company has since developed into two divisions one in North America and the other Europe, offering many art and drafting supplies for beginners and professionals.
When l first saw this Koh-I-Noor watercolour palette, l was impressed at how 24 colours were condensed in this little round palette that could fit in the palm of my hand. Offering 4 round small plastic palettes with 6 colours in each one that twist together to make it stackable and convenient for storing or carrying. This palette is classified as a student grade product and does not offer light-fastness, so keep this in mind if you are selling your originals, chances are your work will fade. Not to say that you couldn’t sell prints of your work, so don’t fear the student grade status. This 24 colour set which is also available in 12, or 36 sets, offered enough colours for mixing and l was really surprised at how brilliant they were. When l started to use them, l found the colours lifted easily when wet, so mixing the colours together wasn’t a problem and l found they laid down on the paper easily too. I was exploring this palette with the mindset that it was student grade, so l didn’t have high expectations, but l was really surprised at how vibrant the colours were when my painting dried. Would l recommend this palette? for sure, especially If you are looking to practice with watercolours or if you want a set for illustration then this small portable watercolor palette is ideal. Where can you purchase it? Just about any art supply store and Amazon sells it, the price ranges for about $9.95 CDN. If you are someone who loves creating art on the go, then this is a perfect traveling wheel palette, given the value of this product it packs a punch of colour and won’t break the bank.
I have to admit that l haven’t tried a lot of different watercolour papers, but l do know a good one when l see one, so when Chartpak sent me a package of Indigo Artpapers l was intrigued and excited to try them. I really wanted to see how a student grade watercolour would work and look on a high quality watercolour paper. Indigo Artpapers is based in Canada, and produces handmade archival quality papers made in their mill in India. Their products are exclusively made using high quality cotton rags and flax fibers not wooden pulp. They pride themselves on their “Go-Green” philosophy and produce environmentally friendly paper to artists globally. When l opened the package l was so impressed with how thick the 640gsm/300 LB 100% cotton 5 x 7 inch piece of paper was. There was no way l would be able to tear it, you would have to cut it if you required a smaller size. I decided l was going to use the Koh-I-Noor student grade watercolours on this ivory white coloured paper. As l started my painting I loved how the paper allowed the watercolours time to soak in, giving me time to play with them when l was laying the colour down, it also gave me time to pick up the watercolours by dabbing them with a paper towel as needed. Since this paper was of a smaller size, l decided l wasn’t going to presoak it.
I later learned that the papers are separated manually from felts and each sheet hung on a cloth line and loft dried, this kind of drying allows the fibers to dry slowly, contract and mesh naturally to attain its strength, hence why it is so durable. I didn’t need to achieve a large watercolour wash on my piece l painted, but l don't think this 300 lb paper would distort in shape if you needed to add a lot of water. What l did notice, when drawing out my outline if l needed to erase my pencil marks it lifted the paper fibers, so be careful not to make many pencil mistakes, or it could be an issue and lift the surface of your paper. Indigo Artpapers are available in 100% cotton, or 75% cotton and 25% flax offering it in 140, 210 and 300 lb weights. You can find Indio Artpapers sold in Canada at The Paint Spot and Delta Art, the pricing does vary but extremely reasonable for the quality you are getting. If you are a professional watercolour artist and have not tried this brand of paper then l recommend sampling it. I give the 100% cotton 300 lb acid free, environmentally friendly watercolour paper an impressive two thumbs up. Way to go Indigo Artpapers for delivering high quality paper, you have the trust of this artist.
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I am hoping that l can be inspirational and informative. I always feel that paying it forward is a great way to live life. As a self taught artist l will try and share with you what l have learned.