Today I'm just going to give you the Giveaway information and review the look and feel of the N°18 dotPad. On Tuesday, I have a new tangle pattern step-out that I'll share. On Thursday, I'll show my calligraphy practice on this paper, and on Friday, I'll share how I used the dotPad to create my own drawing reference showing the proportions of the human face.
Look & Feel
Binding: Top staplebound
Paper: Clairefontaine, White, 80g Vellum, ph Neutral, Acid-free, Microperforated
Ruling: Dot grid (5 mm), light violet-grey dots
No of Sheets: 80 sheets
Cover: Soft cover cardstock on front and back; heavier cardboard insert in back for extra support
Size: A4 / 21,0x29,7 cm / 8.3x11.7 in.
The first thing that might catch your eye about the Rhodia dotPad is the heavy duty staples and score lines along the top. They give the appearance of a sturdy product, and indeed, the Rhodia dotPad is exceptionally sturdy. Both front and back have a soft-cover, and the back has a strong cardboard piece to add stability and strength.
I'm using a photo from one of my other Rhodia pads because the staples and score lines show up better. This is the orange color that five of the winners will receive, while the four others will receive black (because I got the fifth black one!).
Those score lines make it very easy to fold the top cover back and out of the way.
The paper is perforated just beneath that fold. It's a micro-perforation, meaning you can barely see it. Nonetheless, it's very strong and the cover protects it, so it doesn't tear easily by mistake. but if you start at the corner, and tug gently it separates without ripping.
The paper is vellum, so it has some weight without being stiff or as heavy as a cardstock. It's silky and smooth with little texture, so your pen glides across the page.
The dots look gray to my eye, but if I blow them up on the scanner I can see that they are a light lilac color. It's very easy on the eyes and definitely less instrusive than a full grid. I do know at least one person who complained they were too light for her old eyes, so keep that in mind if you need or prefer darker dots. Graph paper might be better in that case, and the Rhodia pads do come with a graph ruling!
The Clairefontaine vellum in this pad is high grade paper. I've been using it in my other Rhodia pads for three or four years now, and have found drying times are fairly long (as might be expected with vellum) but colors are bright, and in most cases, ink won't show-through or bleed-through to back of the paper.
For that reason, it's fountain pen friendly, possibly the most fountain pen friendly paper that I've found. My experience has been that only the wettest ink or paint bleeds through, and very little shows through.
If you want a pad for watercolor sketches, alcohol markers or markers that you blend with water then this wouldn't be the pad for you. The wettest parts will bleed-through, and the paper dimples somewhat. The texture changes and the paper takes on a crinkly sound. I actually like that sound, and do use the paper for watercolor on occasion just for that reason. The colors are very bright and while it retains some dimpling, overall the paper dries without much curl.
It may be too smooth for some, especially if you work with pencil, colored pencil or pastels. For some left-handed people, or those who are simply impatient, the drying times might be problematic.
Having said that, while I wouldn't use it primarily for pencil or watercolor, I've used both and been satisfied. I'm also left-handed, and have developed habits that ensure that I seldom smudge my ink even though it takes a while to dry. That's going to be a matter of technique and experience so consider your own experiences if you are also left-handed.
While appearing sturdy, the pad also has an understated quality about it, that make it a good choice for the workplace. The only problem you might have there is people wanting to borrow the paper (or the entire pad for that matter, lol!).
I can't leave you without some example of something I've done. I most commonly use the dotPad for tangling. Be sure to come back on Tuesday, when I'll have a new tangle pattern step-out to share!