Hahnemühle Blog Series
Uses and Products
Exploring a brands products and uses is highly important when choosing the right paper for you and something we feel very strongly about here at Perfect Paper. Providing you with all the knowledge we know means that you can purchase a product that is well suited to what you need it for. This third part in the Hahnemühle blog series will explore how you can use this paper and with what technique whilst also highlighting some of our most popular products.
As we explored in part two, Hahnemühle creates high quality artist paper that is environmentally friendly. They source materials from sustainable suppliers and take extra precautions with their environmental impact.
A Quick Overview
Hahnemühle is the perfect paper for dry art techniques such as sketching. However, it can be used for various other techniques as well as some paints. Gouache does work well on the Grey Books, but we suggest either using small amounts when applying so the paper doesn’t lose its shape or choosing a more appropriate paper for wet-techniques.
If you have never used this paper before or intend to purchase it as a gift, some of the most common art techniques used are;
- Calligraphy – The paper works fantastically well with Indian ink, although it may bleed through, as it is a smooth surface it will glide over the page leaving marks that flow.
- Urban Sketching – Because of the mixed-media nature of the paper it can be used for a multitude of dry mediums, combining pencils, ink, oils and markers all on one sketchpad; something that urban sketcher looks for within a pad.
- Journal Writing / Travel Journal – The hard-back sketchbooks are great for writing and drawing on the go, the smaller sketchbooks can easily fit into a bag and are light to carry.
Although our quick overview highlights key uses we have gone into further detail below and also explore some of Hahnemühles most popular products so we can highlight techniques used for those singular products.
Many of Hahnemühle’s papers have an entirely different texture and/or performance on the opposite side, especially the ones that aim to have that hand-made feel. Some sketchbooks are a lot more smooth which we will highlight when we talk about some of the sketchbooks, these are more suitable towards dry based mediums. As a general rule of thumb If you want a paper that will work well with pencils and graphite, Hahnemühle would be the brand to go with. Hahnemühle is slightly thinner even with a thicker gsm like 150 so if you are wanting a thin paper to use watercolour on we would recommend a different brand like Pink Pig.
The Hahnemühle range offer various sizes and weights (gsm) of paper, available from A6 to A3 and even square sizes to cover all artist’s needs. They also offer unsized (from 60gsm to 700gsm) and stock sized (from 90gsm to 600gsm) paper. With stock sizing, the size is added to the stock in the vat when the paper is being made, it helps protect the paper and will reduce bleeding if using things like ink. Hahnemühle use a synthetic mixture for its sizing making it vegan friendly. Unsized paper means it will absorb water more easily but could deteriorate quickly because it doesn’t have the protection sizing provides. We would recommend generally going for a sized paper, so you wouldn’t have to add any additional additives yourself as well as minimising any kind of bleeding and protecting the durability of the paper.
Additionally, they offer smooth and rough Sketchbooks dependant on the art technique you are using, unlike Khadi for example, some pads may only be rough because they are specifically aimed at watercolour. We would suggest that if you are primarily working with pens go for a smoother surface, if you are working with watercolours go for something rough that has a little bit more tooth to it. Because of the double-sided nature to these papers, the upper side (also known as the felt side) is smooth, soft to touch and is subtler than an emboss. The bottom side (also known as the wire side) is in contact with the wire during the production, this results in a wire mark on the sheet that it is slightly more uneven. The bottom would be the side that provides the more handmade characteristics.
Here are some of their key products;
Nostalgie Sketchbook (190gsm in A5 and A6 sizes- Landscape and Portrait)
This sketchbook is the perfect paper for mixed-media but works especially well with pens, ink and acrylic markers. It has a thick enough weight that can easily take on a light wash or water-based techniques such as fountain pens, however, because of it’s smooth surface we would suggest more dry art techniques.
The Cappuccino Sketchbook and The Grey Book (120gsm in A5 and A6 sizes)
The two sketchbooks only vary in colour, but everything else is the same. They are very smooth books that work exceptionally well with dry based mediums like pencils and fine liners, this is down to its texture and how the pen glides over and sticks.
Overall, Hahnemühle produces some exceptional paper. Their range is most suited towards dry art techniques and is catered for more pen and calligraphy work. However, mixed-media and watercolour with a light wash can easily be applied to these products. If you are looking for a pad for watercolour art we would highly recommend a paper that is specifically for that medium such as Bockingford.
Want to know more about this brand? Check out part four of our Hahnemühle series which explores some of the products further by looking at additional extras such as type of cover and bind.