Test drive

I chose a familiar subject — the tree I see from my kitchen window — to test out the paper in the new Moleskine Art Plus sketchbook (label pictured below). I had alluded in an early post to being skeptical about this Art Plus series of books. Is it a new paper or just a redesign of the label highlighting the existing features? I suspect there are those who research more than I do, and already know the answer to this, but it is indeed a new paper. The label reads cold-pressed on both sides of the page and 135 lb stock.

I started my test by drawing with a pencil on what I realized immediately was a more textured paper. Definitely not the same surface as before. Then I added some watercolour to see how the paper takes the paint. Maybe it was just the way I mixed my washes today but the paint surface seems really flat and the colour more dull than usual. So dull, in fact, that I had to add an ink line when it dried to punch everything up. It could also be that lately I’ve been using better quality paper and I have become accustomed to 100% cotton rag content, so I’ll have to do a few more tests. The jury is still out on this one.




22 Comments on “Test drive”

  1. ISpontein says:

    Loads of likes for the painting… 🙂


  2. Tony says:

    Looks great to me! And thanks for showing us the label. Haven’t seen these in the UK yet.


  3. liz bundle says:

    Yeah, what happened? Pen I agree was necessary! Looks like something I’d do – mooshy. I miss your punchy contrast and colour…even in a piece like this you usually put a SNAP of color in – I miss it.


  4. Ross says:

    Interesting discussion about the paper… but, the really burning question is… what has happened to the wheelbarrow?


  5. KnitNell says:

    I use Moleskines a lot but am interested in your views – it is easy to keep buying the same thing out of habit.


  6. Lee Kline says:

    Lovely work. Is it possible the paper has a tone that subdues the color?


  7. tmikeporter says:

    When I see you in July, I’ll bring my Moleskine sketchbooks to show you. I want to compare with what you are using. I’m looking for a different paper. May just have to buy the more expensive Arches watercolor journal book.


  8. Glad to see the tree(s) in the springtime! Like Ross, I was wondering about the wheelbarrow too 🙂


  9. Martine says:

    I wish I could manage such a lovely sketch on a paper I don’t really fancy 😉
    Anyway I will follow your tests as I intended to buy a new Moleskine sketchbook.
    Thanks for sharing !!


    • Let me know what you think if you try it Martine. I’m curious to hear.


      • Martine says:

        Hi Shari,
        I ordered my Moleskine sketchbook from Amazon.fr (I’m French and live in France) and on my computer the dark pink and white paper strip read : Art Plus …etc, so it was the new one.
        I received my sketchbook this morning and I recognized the old paper strip: so, apparently they must have “oldies” left and this is what they sent me (I can’t say I am disppointed ) !
        But I am sorry I won’t be able to give you my opinion on the “new” paper for the moment !!


  10. Tanya says:

    Thanks for the tip!


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