Another Thought About the Fluid Easy-Block Hot Press

October 28, 2015

151004_ShadedEyesCRLeft: Not a zombie. A 9 x 12 inch brush pen and light gouache wash sketch.

I have to say that the Fluid Easy-Block 140 lb. HOT PRESS paper I wrote about the other day has a real affinity for the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

However, even with only light washes that partially cover the paper surface, you can still begin to see those annoying surface paper patterns appearing.

Because of that I can't recommend it even for this type of quick sketching.

  1. Reply

    I concur, I don’t like it for watercolor either. I have 1 block and I only used 3 sheets, before it ended up on a pile of paper I cut up for test strips.

    • Lynn Manning
    • October 28, 2015

    I am into my second Strathmore hardcover watercolor journal, 5.75×8.75. I love everything about these journals except that I get the same texture showing through as you are experiencing with the Arches Hot Press. I expect the texture to show on a cold press paper ( which is what the journal has in it) but the mechanical look of the repeated texture to me is distressing. I reread your review on the watercolor journal where you mention that the paper in the journals was bound in such a way as the surfaces remained consistent throughout. What I am seeing in my journals is that every other front facing page has the strong mechanical texture on it alternating with a texture that is more irregular and natural looking. When I try to do a painting across both pages, I find I have one side with one texture and the other size has the other texture. When I use gouache, the texture issues are not a problem as they are not visible, but with watercolor, that’s a different story! So what I am doing is just using this journal for gouache only, or use watercolor on the alternating pages where the texture is more random. Any thoughts on this? Has Strathmore changed how they bind this journal from the early one that you tested? Other than this texture issue, I love everything about this journal!

  2. Reply

    Lynn, first off, I am NOT HAVING PROBLEMS WITH ARCHES Hot press. That’s one of the papers that I’m OK with and don’t have problems with.

    The paper I’m having trouble with is the Fluid Easy-Block 140 lb. Hot Press.

    I’m really sorry that you are having a problem with the Strathmore journals. I don’t like Strathmore watercolor paper (even their 500 series watercolor paper). So all my journals from Strathmore are 500 Series Mixed Media paper.

    I would take photos or scans of what you are experiencing and send them into Strathmore. There’s probably a contact on their website for such things. (I can’t give you a name because the person I always dealt with left to take a teaching job.)

    But I do know that they care very much about their journals and will want to know this.

    You might want to try one of their bound (hard or soft cover) Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media journals. It will be different from working on traditional watercolor paper, BUT it’s mixed media paper and it works particularly well with wet media. Also, in their journals they are using only the 500 Series Mixed Media paper, not the 300, or 400. (I don’t like those as well.)

    Alternately you can purchase wirebound journals from Cheap Joes which contain the TH Saunders/Waterford 140 lb. watercolor paper in EITHER Hot Press or Cold Press. I used two of these for the Fair this year and they are great.

    I don’t recall doing a review on Strathmore’s bound watercolor paper journal. The reviews on their watercolor paper are either the 500 series watercolor paper which I was using sheets of, or the 300 series Pad I was using.

    (The watercolor paper in their bound journals is the 400 series watercolor paper. I do know that, because my friend Roberta Avidor uses it and quite likes it.)

    I’ll ask Roberta about her experience in their watercolor journal.

    In this post

    I write about the journals being bound so paper texture matches across the spread.

    This was something, that I talked with my contact there about, quite a bit. And the prototype watercolor book I was sent at the time was bound that way.

    I know they did change how they cased in the textblock, making it studier than the first few that came out, but that shouldn’t have changed the other aspect of the binding.

    That’s why I suggest you contact them and send them images from your journal to show what you are experiencing.

    Please keep me posted as to what you hear back when you do.

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