Some of you might remember my long article about the change in the paper of the Moleskine Watercolour sketchbooks back in 2014 when the labels became white and pink. Basically the quality of the paper dropped significantly with a very noticeable difference between the front and back side of the paper, and a strong mechanical grain on the back side. I was devastated but continued to use Moleskine sketchbooks as they were my favourite.
Since 2014 the paper quality has improved but there was still these two issues, but to a lesser extent. I was very conscious of the difference between the front and back sides when I was doing all the demos for my SketchingNow Watercolour course at the end of last year. I preferred the smoother side (what I call the ‘back’ side to be consistent with my 2014 article) to the front side as the grain was sometimes too strong. (I know that it looks quite nice in this example but on a full sketch it was sometimes overpowering.)
This April (2018) I ordered some more Moleskines for my big trip from Book Depository. The image on the website showed a pink label but when they arrived they had a blue one. I didn’t think much of it until I was travelling and then I suddenly realised there was no longer any strong grain on some pages.
There is a slight difference between front and back sides of the paper but it is not very noticeable and the mechanical grain is hard to see. The grain is still there (just) but no longer a strong diagonal in washes. Yay! I’m a very happy girl.
I don’t think a lot of websites have updated their images to show the new label yet but here is the image on the Moleskine site. From what I have heard from participants of SketchingNow Watercolour, it seems that the blue label is what is being shipped now.
Note: Apart from the removal of ‘cold-pressed paper’ the information about the paper in the book is the same on the new label.
Has anyone else noticed this?