Today, I'm reviewing the Quo Vadis Habana with White Paper. It's a bit of a tease because Habanas with this color paper are no longer being produced. You might find them in stores here and there though, and wonder if it is different enough for you to buy.
The Habana comes in both lined and blank versions, with covers of Black, Anis Green, Red, Orange, Raspberry and Turquoise, whether the paper inside is white or ivory. The informational paper band that wraps around the front cover has probably changed over the years, so I can't be sure what it might say. None of mine mention the paper color, so if you can't open the book because of plastic wrap, you should look at the paper's weight. The white paper is 90g while the ivory paper is 85g. (I'll discuss this more under Performance, because you are probably wondering if that weight difference makes a difference).
During this review, my comments are specifically about the white paper Habana, except where I am comparing the two papers.
You can see the difference here, between the ivory and the white paper.
As I mentioned in the beginning, the paper weight in the white paper Habana is 90g vs 85g in the ivory paper Habana. It does make a difference, if not a dramatic one. There is less show-through, less bleed-through and it handles wet media better all around. Having said that, the difference is noticeable, but not great.
Color is bright on this paper, though not brilliant.
I had no problems with feathering, skipping, or pilling. Some people would not want to use the back of the page because of show-through where I used fountain pen ink but I would have no problem myself. With pens such as the Pigma Micron artist pen, there was almost no show-through. With the saturated inks there were dots of bleed-through. (Note: It looks like there was skipping in the sample of Rouge Hematite below--that was a fountain pen issue however, not a paper issue).
Drying times were on the slow side, most significantly with fountain pen inks. Even quick drying pens such as the Pigma Micron were somewhat slower than usual. This could be a problem for those that drag their hand across the page.
Colors show up as brighter on the white paper than they do on the ivory paper.
I had to use photos to show you the difference in brilliance between the white and ivory papers. This leads to the most significant difference I found between the white and ivory papers. When I tried to scan, I couldn't get the show-through on the back to scan on the white paper, but I could with the ivory paper.
I used a variety of fountain pens and J. Herbin rollerball pens for this drawing. I reached the same conclusions that I had with my writing examples. Considering how thoroughly I saturated some areas with ink bleed-through was to be expected. It wasn't too bad, mostly spotting. Some dimpling occurred where I applied the ink the heaviest.
Although the 90g paper isn't a heavy one, I decided to see how it would do with the weight of acrylic and glue and added ephemera. I used sprays and acrylic paint to color the background, then glued on paper and waxed string with polymer medium. A glitter brush pen was used for the red and the linework was done with a Pigma Micron.
Although journals like the Habana are seldom used for watercolor sketching, I like to try it out. It just tells me so much about the paper.
I totally dished it out this time, with heavy applications of water and scrubbing and lifting color. The paper curled badly while I was working, and while most of the curl flattened out with weights, there is still some left. There is a lot of dimpling.
Still, I've had heavier paper do worse. I wouldn't recommend the Habana for watercolor--but mostly because it doesn't have enough tooth and the washes don't move well across the page. For a paper not designed for wet medium, it handles the moisture well.
If you have a preference for brighter colors, white would be better for you. If you like more subtle coloring, the ivory would be. If you like both--you'd like either one.
The slight difference in weight might be important for those who use highly saturated ink, wet media or intend to glue down photos or ephemera. Note, that I've done all those things with my ivory Habanas with no problems. If I intended to use the Habana for mixed media I would buy the white paper over the ivory paper, if the choice was available. Truthfully, though, I'd want both--because I want at least one of every journal/sketchbook in the world, lol.
The quality is there with both versions, so I think it is just a matter of preference.
I want to thank Exaclair for their generosity and for giving me the opportunity to review this product.
Disclaimer: I received this Habana but no other compensation. All opinions and statements are my own.