Review: Watercolor Sketchbook (200GSM) from Global Art Materials

Watercolor Sketchbook (200GSM) from Global Art Materials
This is one of the several sketching books by Global Art Materials (GAM), a manufacturer who also makes a bunch of other art materials.

It's called the Watercolor Book on Amazon, and the trav•e•logue series watercolor journal on the GAM website. trav•e•logue is the name you use when you don't want your travelogue sketchbook to be found when people search for "travelogue".

The cover is bound in natural linen that feels much tougher compared to the cloth of their Hand-book sketchbooks. It seems to only come in this light grey colour. Corners are rounded.

The clothed rubber band holding the covers together is not very durable. Mine had some stray strands coming out already, similar to my experience with the Hand-book sketchbook.

Inside, there are 60 pages of white, acid-free, 200GSM coldpress watercolour paper. There's no mention of the cotton content. I like that both surface are almost of similar texture which this means you can get consistent results for your washes when drawing across pages.

Right at the back cover is a plastic pocket that you can use to put stuff like namecards, paper, etc.

Watercolor Sketchbook (200GSM) from Global Art Materials
The travelogue watercolour sketchbook comes in five sizes:

Mine's the A5 size, aka Large Landscape. It's almost similar in size to the popular 5x8.25in Moleskine watercolour album (72 pages).

Watercolor Sketchbook (200GSM) from Global Art Materials
The pages are white as compared to their hand-book sketchbooks which is off-white creamy. The coldpress paper has a slight texture that works well with watercolour.

The stitching is good and you can open the sketchbook flat.

Watercolor Sketchbook (200GSM) from Global Art Materials
That's the hand-book vs the travelogue watercolour sketchbook.

I finished the whole book during a 7-day vacation in Hanoi, Vietnam. Below are some of the sketches I drew.


The white paper will make colours more striking.


This is the unedited scan.


Granulating pigments work well with the paper. I'm used Daniel Smith watercolour paints for all these sketches.


The sketchbook opens to quite wide and it will have an even wider format with the Pocket Panorama size.


200GSM isn't exactly thick so there's definitely some warping when you apply lots of water. The paper absorbs water well enough but I do not recommend heavy washes because this is after all not 100% cotton.


I like how the colours turn out on the paper.

Video review

Conclusion

This watercolour sketchbook is worth the money. Highly recommended.

I'm not sure if I prefer this or the Moleskine watercolour album. This one has white paper and Moleskine has off-white creamy paper, so they are different in that sense. I like the feel of the linen cover though. Moleskine has more pages at 72 but they are also more expensive.

Availability

Check out more reviews for the travelogue watercolour sketchbooks on Amazon on the product pages below

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3 Comments

Hi Teoh

Hi Teoh

Can you please do a video on how to paint sky backgrounds. I struggle with this the most. I’m not sure whether it’s the paper, or the paint or the technique, probably the latter.. but each time I do the background, it looks blotchy and not integrated. I’ve tried wet on wet or directly on the paper. When doing wet on wet, I find the paper gets too wet and the paint is diluted too much and the paint when on paper looks grainy. When I do directly on paper, I find that there are blotches and the paint is not cohesive.

I’m trying to mix a few colors, for example in order from top to bottom new gamboge, perylene red and Payne’s grey for a sky.

I’m using the global arts sketchbook and Daniel smith paints. I’ve also tried on the stillman and birn beta series which is even worst as this book can’t take layers of water.

If I use a single colour, the outcome is better (still blotches) but not as unnatural as a mixture of colors. How do you do it so effortlessly? I’ve watched many of your videos and I can’t seem to get it. I seem to lose control of how the colour mixes or spreads in large areas.

Thanks

Hi teoh

Hi teoh

I was referring to in a sketchbook. I think there was a term for the blotches -cauliflower effect ?? when the water seems to spread out paint into a circle and the center of the circle becomes diluted.

Also the different colors when I switch over just don’t seem to blend harmoniously.

Thanks

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