Testing out the watercolor journal from Arteza The book is a beautiful qaulity stitched bound book with an elastic closure and a nice clear pocket in the back flap. The paper is a nice thickness with a smooth side and a more textured side. I usually like the smooth side better. The paper absorbed more than usual for me, which is not a bad thing for some people but I like a bit less absorption for what I create. The paper also was a bit more fibrous than my usual paper and when i used the kneaded eraser a tiny bit of fiber came off on my eraser, not a lot but just enough to notice, really not a problem, just an observation.
I used my Arteza tube watercolors on this paper and although I only added one layer, I can see that I would need a bunch more layers to achieve the high vibrancy that I like. Also I used much more water in this piece than I did in the mandala above. To achieve a nice gradient or blend..I feel that I definitely need more than 2 layers. Either way that is not a big issue for me as I always add a bunch of layers anyway, I am just noticing this as I really only use one brand of paper for the last 10 years and it is quite noticeable for me to see these differences.
On the box they list the light-fast ratings and the opacity level, which is very nice to have on hand. I don't see this very often.
They also list it on each tube of paint, again very efficient and great to have.
I did this swatch in no particular order, basically just how I added them to my palette. What you see is on stroke of the color, which is quite saturated vibrant.
...another pic of the swatch and also cleaning the brush, which you can see still had a lot of paint on the brush after swatching. Very rich and saturated colors.
Here are the first layers of colors ..In a creation such as this, I like to use watercolors in a thick saturated style, so these Arteza tube watercolors are perfect for my style of creating..most important to me is vibrancy, saturation and light-fastness. I also love the opacity of these watercolors, they almost have a chalky matte appearance which I love.Of course creating this mandala is very different from how i used then in the watercolor journal above. Here I basically just used the paint with a bit of water to fill in spaces, not to get gradients or blends, although I did blend in certain areas just for depth and dimension.
My finished mandala with stitching, beads and gold leaf accents.
an up close shot of my finished mandala with gold tone beads hand sewn and hand-stitching around edge.
..this pic accurately shows the vibrancy and saturation of the colors after just 2 layers. Ordinarily I use about 4 layers of my usual watercolors, but felt that after 2 I achieved the saturation that I love.That is saying a lot because my primary goal is to achieve a rich, vibrant and colorful look, which to me equals Joy..!! The only cons about these watercolors is that the label on the tube does not accurately show the beautiful and actual color of paint. This is pretty much how it is on most watercolor brands packaging though, and in no way detracts from the paint, and the other is that after drying the colors crack a bit easily in the palette, but again I am not really concerned with that, as the colors are beautiful and rich with a great light-fastness..!
I am so thrilled with these colors and at 39.99 for 60 colors, you can not go wrong, I pay 12.99 a tube for other brands, which of course is a wonderful quality, but in comparison is not important for the way I use watercolor. For this 60 tube pack it comes out to .66 cents a tube, now that is a very economical choice for most styles of creating.