Strathmore Watercolor Travel Journal: A Perfect Companion for First-Time Watercolorists

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Are you a budding watercolorist searching for an affordable sketchbook made of 100% cotton? Look no further than the Strathmore Watercolor Travel Journal. In this article, we’ll explore the features, performance, and overall experience of this intriguing sketchbook.

Strathmore Watercolor Travel Journal

Unveiling the Strathmore Watercolor Travel Journal

When I stumbled upon the Strathmore Watercolor Travel Journal, I was pleasantly surprised. As someone who hasn’t had the best experience with Strathmore’s watercolor paper, I was intrigued to discover that they had a 100% cotton variation. I quickly ordered the 5.5″ x 8″ size, eager to put it to the test.

Aesthetics and Construction

Upon its arrival, I must admit that I was slightly disappointed by the soft cover. I had expected a hardcover, as it provides better protection for my artwork. However, the sketchbook does come with a thick rubber strap that wraps around it, offering a secure closure.

Strathmore Watercolor Travel Journal with Strap

Perhaps the bright side of the cover is its willingness to be painted and customized. I took the opportunity to gesso the surface and added layers of watercolor ground before embellishing it with India Ink and sealing it with Mod Podge. This added a personal touch to the sketchbook, making it feel more like a creative project.

Notable Features and Binding

If you’re looking for a sketchbook with amenities such as a back pocket and ribbon bookmark, you won’t find them here. However, their absence didn’t bother me personally, as I rarely use those features in my sketchbooks. The stitch binding of the Strathmore Watercolor Travel Journal is tight and sturdy, ensuring that the pages remain intact.

The Paper Experience

Now let’s delve into the most crucial aspect of any watercolor sketchbook: the paper itself. I must say, I was impressed by the paper quality. It possesses a softness that reminds me of the white canvas-covered Etchr Sketchbooks. The Strathmore paper handled heavy washes, lifting, and negative painting exceptionally well. I didn’t encounter any unexpected lifting or re-activation issues between dried layers.

Paint Bleedthrough

However, I did experience a curious incident of paint bleed-through onto following pages during one of my painting sessions. I suspect it may be due to a sizing issue, but subsequent paintings over it effectively concealed the bleed-through. Nonetheless, this unpredictability concerning bleed-through is a little unsettling, as it leaves me unsure if it might happen again.

Is painting on both sides of the paper the same? Yes, in terms of handling the paint. While there is a slight difference in texture between the front and back, both sides perform equally well.

Other Considerations

One minor complaint I have is that the paper fibers tend to peel up with washi tape, mirroring the issue I encountered with the white canvas-covered Etchr Sketchbooks. This similarity in paper behavior has led me to suspect that they may be from the same manufacturer. However, I cannot confirm this, and further investigation isn’t warranted at this time.

I appreciate the thickness of the paper, which, although slightly warping, is far less pronounced compared to other sketchbooks. To ensure minimal warping, I recommend using binder clips to secure the edges.

Recommendation and Conclusion

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend the Strathmore Watercolor Travel Journal, particularly for first-time watercolorists looking to experiment. Its affordability makes it an excellent choice for beginners compared to pricier options like the Etchr sketchbooks. This sketchbook enables you to experience the joy of painting on 100% cotton paper, truly capturing the essence of watercolor art.

Strathmore also offers the 500 series paper in watercolor blocks and pads, so if you prefer a different format, you have that option as well.

To add this remarkable sketchbook to your collection or explore more products from Ambassadeur Hotel, visit their official website.

List of materials:

  • Strathmore 500 Series Watercolor Travel Journal
  • Strathmore 500 Series Watercolor Travel Pad
  • Strathmore 500 Series Watercolor Block
  • Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Paper Journal
  • Etchr Sketchbooks
  • Dr. Ph. Martin’s India Ink
  • Pigma Micron pens
  • Pebeo Drawing Gum masking fluid
  • Binder Clips
  • Princeton Neptune Watercolor Brushes
  • QoR Watercolors