Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review of the Rhodiarama Pocket Web Notebook

Rhodiarama Pocket Web Notebook







How can you not love a notebook with end pages that feature rainbow-colored zebras?


Front End Page



Back End Page with Pocket

Look & Feel
Specs: 
Size: 3 1/2 x 5/12 in (90 x 140 mm)
Format: Blank (also comes in squared, lined and dot)
Paper: Clairefontaine, 90 gsm vellum, ivory, acid-free 
Extras: Interior back pocket; Sewn in cloth bookmark; Sewn Binding, Elastic Closure, Rounded corners
Comes in 15 colors: Black, Chocolate, Taupe, Beige, Anise, Turquoise, Sapphire, Iris, Purple, Lilac, Raspberry, Poppy, Tangerine, Orange & Yellow.  

The notebook shown in this review is Chocolate.

If you've used any of the Rhodia Webnotebooks then you have a good idea of what the Rhodiarama is like.  It has the same lovely Clairefontaine fountain-pen-friendly paper, sturdy binding and subdued elegance.

The paper is smooth but not slick.  Some people prefer white, but I like the ivory.  To me, it seems easier on the eyes without taking away from the brilliance of ink colors.
It is stiff, almost enough to be a cardstock if it were thicker.  

The notebook is well-bound, and the pages lie flat with only a slight spring to them. Despite being a hard-cover, you can fold the book backwards cover-to-cover.  Doing so will eventually cause creases in the spine, though, so weight looks against convenience.



The notebook is medium weight for its size, not heavy, but it has a feeling of solidity to it.

Performance
Writing: 
I used a J. Herbin Roller Ball pen with the wettest ink I have--the J. Herbin Vert Empire.  There was no feathering or bleed-through. There was some show-through but I couldn't get it to show on a scan.  I wouldn't hesitate to write on the back of the page, even with this ink.




Example drawings

Bleedthrumanade with Marvy Alcohol Markers, J. Herbin fountain inks and color pencil.  Colors were bright but not brilliant.  Bleed-through was about 90%.  Usually I have a plastic sheet I put between the pages for protection.  I didn't have one with me when I colored this, and got spotting on page underneath.  

The amount of bleed-through was to be expected with alcohol markers, and they're perfect for my bleedthrumanades!  

I did my linework with the J. Herbin Rollerball and then softened some areas by using colored pencil.


Front of two-page spread

Then I turned the left page and drew on the back.


Back of the left page.


Lastly I turned the right page and drew on it.

Back of the right page.


Pentel Slicci & Energel X pens



I was playing with pen marks--hatching and squirkling, to see how the colors would blend.  I'm not entirely happy with the result, but learned much about the pens and now I want to use them in the future.  

There was no bleed-through, and surprisingly little show-through.  When you use a metal-tipped pen like the Slicci, you can get 'embossed' lines popping out on the back.  The Rhodiarama paper did dimple a little, but there was no 'embossing.'

Rubber Stamp & Pigma Micron pens




The worst show-through that I got came from stamping with StazOn solvent ink.  Even then I couldn't get it to show in a scan.  It was enough that some would hesitate to use the back of the page. 

I stamped the image in Timber Brown, then drew the border around it, and picked out some detail with black Microns to tie the two together.

Colored Pencils
Soho Urban Artist colored pencils were used for this drawing.  I drew the strings (and border along the sides) with Micron Pens, but everything else was down with the pencils.  I got up to four layers of pencil without any problem, but I don't think I'd be able to go much darker than this. 


For more examples that I've done using this paper, see my Review of the J. Herbin Roller Ball pen and my Wallbucket tangle pattern post.

Overall
The Rhodiarama Pocket Web Notebook is a sturdy book with quiet elegance.  I love the Rhodia Orange but am delighted that there is now a rainbow of covers to choose from.  
The quality is all I've come to expect from Clairefontaine paper and Rhodia products.  I can't wait for larger sizes to come out!

DISCLOSURE: Other than the products I'm reviewing, I did not receive any compensation from Exaclair, and all opinions are my own.  


I want to thank Exaclair for sending me this Rhodiarama Notebook.  It is always a pleasure to review their products!




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