Giveaway & Review - Hahnemühle Harmony Rough Watercolour Paper - Spiral Bound #Hahnemühle_USA #HarmonyWatercolor #Watercolor @Hahnemühle_USA #WorldWatercolorGroup

This is the third of three review/giveaways, one for each surface of the new released Harmony Watercolour paper.

Giveaway information is at the end of the review.

The other reviews:
I've done a quick review on video. The written review is more in-depth.

All three versions of the Harmony line can be found in many different sizes and formats - spiral, block and sheets.  Today, I'm reviewing the Rough paper, in an 8.3 x 11.7 inch/21 x 29,7 cm size, with 12 sheets, and spiral-bound format.

Paper Content: Alpha Cellulose
Surface: Rough, Surface Sized
Color: Natural White
Weight: 300 gsm/140 lb.
Characteristics: acid free, age resistant, eraser resistant, suitable for masking fluid and tape
Available in spiral bound, glued blocks, sheets and rolls
Available in several sizes

Hahnemühle Harmony rough watercolour paper is an alpha cellulose paper with a natural white color.

Alpha cellulose means the paper is student grade, but it's good quality, with even flow, nice absorbency and it doesn't buckle easily.

The spiral binding has a double coil that allows the paper to move easily but has room for expanding if you are using the paper for chunky mixed media.

Why Use Rough Paper?
Hahnemühle's Harmony line is available in Cold-pressed, Hot-pressed and Rough.  This is unusual and it's the only brand that is available in all three surfaces.

Many of you, especially those who prefer a spiral binding. may have never used rough paper!  I thought you might want to know you might want to use it.

Rough paper has a felt-like texture with pronounced wells in the paper.  This means that heavier particles in a pigment will sink deeper creating more granulation.  This also makes glazing and wet-into-wet techniques more effective.

The upside is also the downside. That rough texture means lots of texture, and that can interfere with fine detail. 

It can be better for:
  • Wet-into work with:
    • Granulation
    • Soft, delicate colors
  • Glazing
    • Many layers of color
What it is less good for:
  • Highly detailed work
That said, I was able to get surprising fine lines on Harmony Rough using both pen and brush. I found the Harmony Rough texture to be rather smooth compared to some other rough papers. I've used cold-press that was as rough.  

This makes it a good choice for those who want plenty of texture, but still want detail as well. If you want extra granulation or a great deal of texture, this might not be the rough paper for you.

Brush work
I actually did this test for brushes that I was reviewing, but I was surprised at the smooth lines I was able to capture with the brushes. You can see here I was able to get fine lines without warping or breaking, smooth washes and interesting textures with dry brushing.

Mixed media

For this painting, I used masking tape and masking fluid and painted over it with Brushos water-media crystals.  The tape and masking fluid peeled off with no tearing or damage. I used technical pen, mildliners and white gel pen to add detail.

I was surprised at the level of detail I was able to get.  Neither the technical pens or mildliners pilled and I was able to get bold lines from both.

Pen Drawing
I decided to do a pen drawing and scan it before painting it. The scan picks up the texture of the paper but you can see that it doesn't affect the line all the much. While not as crisp as the line you would get on smooth paper, the line isn't broken or feathered.

Colored Pencil over Watercolor Wash

I've had some problem judging the quality of washes on this paper.  The weather has been dry and water is drying almost immediately which causes streaking. I've had the problem with all my papers, even the highest quality ones. I was able to get a smooth wash in my brush test above, but it was small.  

As before the technical pen went down well. The colored pencil was interesting because it picked up the texture of the paper very well. The effect was rather like the squirkling that I love but I only had to put down a light layer of pencil.

If I weren't using this pad mostly for testing, I would dedicate it to colored pencil over watercolor.

Colors are bright on this paper, even with this swatch chart I did for some cheap watercolors ...

... but not so bright that you can't get lovely muted color or delicate tones.


Most rough watercolor paper allows for beautiful texture but not much detail.  Hahnemühle Harmony Rough Watercolour Paper has a very moderate rough texture. It handles more like cold-pressed than rough, with just a little more texture. It works well with watercolor, technical pen, marker or color-pencil.

It would be good for someone who wants to stick their toe into rough waters for the first time or those who want more texture than cold-pressed paper gives, but still want some delicate detail.

Where to buy or find Reviews of Hahnemühle Products

The Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive:
  • A Spiral Bound pad of Hahnemühle Harmony Rough Watercolor Paper, size 8.3 x 11.7 inch, like the one in the review.
To enter: By August 15, 2018 11:59 PM PDT/06:59 AM GMT
  • Send me an email at 
  • with 'I want to win Harmony Rough' in the subject line  
US/Canada only.  I'll contact the winner by responding to the email they send as an entry.

Hahnemühle sent me two pads Harmony Spiral bound Rough watercolor paper, one for review and one for giveaway.  I have received no other consideration, and all opinions expressed are my own.