Monday 15 February 2016

Canson Arches Paper and Sketchbooks Review

  Art Friend has been stocking Canson Arches paper for some time now, but recently, I found out that they're currently having a promotion on A LOT of their Canson products and I had to restrain myself from buying too many things.... #artistproblems  I thought it'd be nice if you had a place to see all the different varieties of papers that Art Friend has, and also to show you what their current promotion is about.

  I apologise in advance to all the international readers who get art materials envy from this post. However, there will be a giveaway at the end of this post. :)

Hand lettering done on the back of a Canson Arches Esquisse paper.

  Here are the Canson papers Art Friend stocks. I hope the pictures will give you an idea on the texture of the papers...

Canson Arches Huile Oil Paper Pad. 300gsm. 23cm x 31cm. 12 sheets. $24.50/pad

Canson Arches Aquarelle Rough Watercolour Pad. 300gsm. 23cm x 31cm. 20 sheets. $44.90/pad.

Canson Arches Aquarelle Cold Pressed Watercolour Pad. 300gsm. 23cm x 31cm. 20 sheets. $44.90/pad. They also sell a hot pressed version of this paper. The Aquarelle range of papers are all wonderful.

Canson Arches Dessin Drawing Pad. 200gsm. 23cm x 31cm. 16 sheets. Comes in extra white or cream. $21.40/pad.

Canson Arches Esquisse Sketch Pad. 105gsm. 23cm x 31cm. 20 sheets. $18.50/pad.
This one had different textures to each side of the paper. It kind of reminded me about Fabriano's Goffrata sketchbook from its Bouquet of Notebooks series. (What are that? I have a post where I show you the Bouquet Notebooks. It's towards the end of this post.)

And back of paper.
I used the little ridges as gauges for my hand lettering picture at the top of this post. Not my wisest idea as I did have trouble keeping my lines straight. But hey, not all of our ideas work out, eh?

  You might be interested in: Prices of Art Materials in Singapore

  And the "heart the art" promotion Art Friend is currently holding looks like this:
"Friend Friend got lobang one" *dies laughing*

  In case you can't read the promo card in the picture properly, it says... If you're an Art Friend member, you can get 40% discount on Canson products in the promo...
See all the yellow tabs? 40% discount if you have membership. 
That's about $3 to $10 for each sketchbook in the Canson range.

$2... Now with 40% discount.
There are five colours in the Canson Notes- light blue, orange, royal purple, magenta pink, and grass green. But I only saw the pink and green on shelves. *sad face* I'd have liked a purple one.

*strong urge to grab five of each sketchbook*

  Art Friend is selling A4-sized 100 percent cotton paper in packs of five for 50% discount with every purchase of qualifying products....

I cut my Extra White paper into small squares to use when I teach my Zentangle classes.

They also had the paper in "Cream" colour.
The ones with the blue and yellow covers are (in order from left to right): Prominent Grain 160gsm, Cold Pressed 300gsm, Fine Grain 250gsm, and Hot Pressed 185gsm.
It's anywhere from $1.50 to $4 for each pack of five sheets.
Here's what I did with my Fine Grain paper. Done with Uni-ball Signo pens- nothing fancy.
The white circles spaces for me to add jewels to it.

  Art Friend is also selling certain papers in bulks- great deal for art students. So many choices.
All paper packs under $10!
A staff at the store saw me standing here contemplating which pack I should buy and said to me, "Just buy lah. Buy all, also can. Once these stock run out, we won't sell in bulk anymore." 
... I proceeded to put two stacks into my shopping basket.

  Art Friend... why you do this to me? My wallet was crying after. (But such good deals. Cannot pass up on them, am I right? The struggle is real...)

  As a side note, I was at the Plaza Singapura branch and they had these cute little monkeys in the glass display area in celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year.
Paper mache oranges! Ahhh~ So cute.

And love letters! (For those of you who don't know, love letters are this thin wafer that is usually rolled into skinny cylindrical shapes. Westerners call them "biscuit rolls", if I'm not mistaken...?)

  Chinese New Year happened on the 8th of February this year. It is the year of the Fire Monkey now. Here at Everything Is Art, we gave out candy, chocolate, and new year goodies to our students. ^-^   Perhaps I should also do a Chinese New Year craft next year... Hmmm...

  Anyways. Back at home, I did a watercolour project with the papers. I used my Derwent Inktense blocks, and as always, the colours were really vivid and beautiful.
The top ones are Prominent Grain papers, and even though the cover didn't say that they were meant for watercolours, they took water really well.
The small paper on the bottom was a leftover Huile Oil paper that I still had. I think the colours were a little more streaky on this paper than on the other papers, but I'm not complaining since it was originally meant for oils. It was just a little fun experiment.

In this picture, the top row are the Aquarelle Cold Pressed paper.
And the bottom one is the Aquarelle Rough.
  I didn't stretch any of the papers because I just wanted to lay colours on them so that I could then cut them up into smaller tiles to draw Zentangle on. I'm thinking of doing art swaps with them.

Look at all the pretty tiles that I now have.
Here's one Artist Trading Card that I created with the papers.

Close up of the Huile Oil paper. I cut it down to about postcard size.
I think the granulation and streaks actually add character to the paper.

  Onwards to the sketchbooks... From what I understand, the papers within all the sketchbooks are the same, all 96gsm Crob'Art paper. It's just the binding and size that makes them different. They're more suitable for sketching, and ink, with maybe some light watercolour washes.

The "Inspiration" line has stitching on it. Each come in a bundle of two books, and you have four colours to choose from- navy blue (really pretty, and I seldom see that colour, so I bought two sets. I know... I have self control issues...), earth brown, deep purple, and your regular jet black.
The sketchbook reminds me a lot of the EcoQua by Fabriano (that one is stapled not stitched, though).

The "180°" line, of course, has the ability to open flat. The spine is a cloth finish to enable that.
And yes; tried and tested- it really does open flat.

It has a magnetic clasp to hold it close, and has a faux leather sort of finish. I got one to use after I finish my tiga sketchbook.

   The "Universal" sketchbook is your Moleskin alternative- with its sturdy finish and elastic band closing. They're really beautiful sketchbooks and a much *much* cheaper alternative to Moleskins.
It's all in the small details... Embossed Canson logo on the back.
You can also see the textured finish of the sketchbook better in this picture.

Little pocket at the back to keep your loose bits of papers, sticky notes, tiles... whatever floats your boat.
  It was one of my New Years resolution to get better at hand lettering. I'm currently using one of my many Canson Inspiration sketchbooks as a place to practice. Just know that the paper takes ink very well. However, the paper is thin, so I can only use one side of the pages. I'm not complaining, though, as there is no bleed-through even when I'm very heavy-handed. If you'd like to see a video of what I've done on my Canson sketchbook, click this link.

  And that's about all I have for you. I hope you had fun seeing the Canson range from Art Friend, and the little projects I did with the new materials I got. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section below. And to all my readers based in Singapore, I'm so sorry if you decide to make a trip to Art Friend... I will not be held liable for any overspending on Canson products whilst there.... You have been warned. :P

 I bought so many things at Art Friend, so I'd like to share some of those goodies with you, too! It has also been too long since I did a giveaway... One lucky reader will win a set of A5-sized Canson Inspiration sketchbooks.

Here are the rules:

  • If you've been a long-time reader, you should know that this isn't the first giveaway I'm hosting... Like my previous giveaway, this one will be opened worldwide. So matter where you live, you're eligible to join. I'll cover the postage fee so you don't have to worry about that.
  • The giveaway starts on 15th February 2016, 08:59, Singapore time, and ends on the 14th March 2016, 09:00, Singapore time.
  • Please provide an e-mail that I can contact you with if you win the giveaway. The winner will be drawn randomly and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends.
  • If you have any additional questions, feel free to send me an email-

Other than that, you can join via the widget below. Anddd~ Good luck!

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