I recently bought a pack of 2, 8.25″ x 8.25″ Arteza Watercolor & Mixed Media Journals online. They’re beautiful journals with a hard cover. Each journal has 68 pages of 110 lb, cold pressed, double sided paper. They also contain a ribbon book mark and an expandable pocket on the inside back cover.
As most of you know, watercolor is my favorite medium and normally I paint on 140 lb cold pressed watercolor paper. I thought it would work well enough since it is marketed as being “Ideal for Watercolor Techniques & Mixed Media.”
I’ve been using this journal for the ColorLoversChallenge and was really bummed when I saw how badly it handled water for my first full watercolor painting. Notice the clear clips on each side in the photo below. The paper was curling so bad that I had to let it sit overnight with heavy books on top to flatten it out and then use clips the next day to hold the pages down for the photo.
The painting below was made by coating the pages with gesso and then painting with acrylic paints. The paper still buckled and curled but no where near as bad as with the watercolor. That’s partly because the gesso and acrylic paints add weight to the paper to keep it flatter and there is less water/moisture involved.
But watercolors are my favorite medium so I had to improvise if I wanted to continue using the journal for the challenge. I came up with the idea to paint on 140lb watercolor paper, cut it to size and then glue it into the journal as in the photo below. The perk with doing this extra step is that if you don’t like your painting, you can toss it and do another one before gluing it in. This way you’re always happy with the end result 😊
Bottom line is these are well made journals with quality paper that has a slight texture to it. However, I would not recommend these for use with wet mediums because they just don’t handle the water and moisture well.
Out of a 5 star rating I give these a 3 ⭐⭐⭐
I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with colors in the challenge and it’s been a bit of a challenge working with this new journal. But I love an adventure!
I hope this review helps you before making a purchase and if you have any other questions about these journals, please let me know.
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