Did you know that Exaclair, Inc. is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Clairefontaine, Exacompta, Rhodia, Quo Vadis, G. Lalo, Brause, J. Herbin, Mignon and Decopatch products? I've been raving and reviewing about the Rhodia line, with their seductive 'R' pads and awesome dotGrids but today I'm reviewing one of Exaclair's other products--the Quo Vadis Habana Pocket-sized Blank Notebook. As usual, I have lots of photos, so I've broken the review into two parts. Part I covered the look and over-all performance and Part II covers the results I got with various media.
Stabilo Point 88 Erasable & Colorkilla pens
Note about the tangle pattern. I was thinking of magnifying lenses when I started drawing this page, but when I'd done a few, I thought "Oh look! I've drawn Looking Grass!" I had to make it a pattern, Lol!
I've covered pens in Part I of this review so I won't say much more. I do find myself less inclined to cover the entire page, because I like the bold contrast I'm getting...
...well, sometimes I'm less inclined to cover the entire page. Bleedthrumanades just seem to call for it!
This is the front page of a bleedthrumanade (got lemons, make lemonade. Got marker bleed-thru, make bleedthrumanade!). The color is a bit muted, possibly because the bleed-thru of color to the back is about 95%.
Alcohol Marker, Stamp Pad Ink and Tim Holtz Distress Markers
The left side of this page is the back of the bleedthrumanade. The right side is water-soluble distress marker. I liked the way the two looked together, so I treated them as one.
Distress Markers go on like alcohol markers, but you can blend the colors with water. The paper worked very well wet--no dimpling or buckling at all.
The doilies are stamped images using Viva Las Vegastamps! Medium Doily and Ranger's Waterfall stamp pad ink. The image stamped very clearly, but when I added the water to Distress Marker side the ink ran. I like the effect. I ended up smearing the other two a bit by accidentally letting the book close momentarily while the page was still wet. That was the ink and me, though, not the paper.
Twinkling H2Os watercolor paint
I was very excited by the performance of the paper while using the Distress Markers, and I had just bought some Twinkling H20 paints, so I did two full-page spreads. Outside of real watercolor paper, this Habana has given me the best performance of any notebook I can remember. I got these pages very wet, and there was barely a dimple to be seen. The colors are brilliant (I wish the scanner would pick up the shimmer better).
I used Derwent Metallic colored pencils for this page. They are a hard, thin-tipped pencil, and not overly rich in color. Still I was able to build up hard-ediges and lay down several layers with little wax build-up. The Habana paper doesn't have much tooth, so this was another surprise.
The Quo Vadis Habana is surprisingly flexible, both in physical design and the ability to take a range of media. I'd recommend it more for drawing than writing because of the amount of show-through. If you really want 'wet' media a watercolor book is still the best bet, but handles wet better than most comparable notebooks I've tried. I'll probably be using it mostly with my Distress Markers and Twinkling H2Os.
Thank you Karen! And thank you Exaclair! You can learn more about these Exaclair products at their website, the Rhodia Facebook page, and the Rhodia Drive blog.
Karen sent me several products. I've recently reviewed the Exacompta Basic Pocket Portfolio and sometime next week I'll be reviewing a Decopatch Frame kit, and the Clairefontaine GraF It sketchpad. Be sure to come back and check them out.