Global Arts Materials Toned Paper Pads Review

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  • global arts materials Kona toned paperGlobal Art Materials generously sent me both colors of their Kona toned paper pads. Their Kona paper is made from “a unique blend of recycled coffee bean bag fibers and post consumer fibers.” This makes for strong paper with a good tooth, perfect for artists who work with dry media like watercolor pencils, pencil crayons, charcoal, pastels, markers and graphite.

    The paper comes in wire bound journals, pads and individual sheets. Here’s the breakdown of sizes for each:

    Global Art Materials send me the 8″ x 10″ grey and classic tan pad. I really loved the paper. Each piece of paper is micro perforated so you can take it out of the pad easily. All of the Kona paper is 88lb/130gsm. The weight of the paper and the tooth made it perfect for watercolor pencils. I found both colors worked beautifully and I could add layer after layer of color with no preemptive burnishing. I could even move the watercolor pencil color around with the addition of a tiny bit of water and there were no ill effects. For pads, this was my favorite paper and since my mother has already “commissioned” me to do her two large pieces, I see the 14 x 17 pad in my near future. Can you say Christmas present? LOL.

    This really is great paper and so fun to work with. I also really enjoyed both colors. I tried the grey pad first. As you can see with the pencil, there was few “holes” left from the texture. With more layers I found that the nooks and crannies filled in beautifully. I left the shadow a little more grainy to give the right impression.

    In the next piece, my compass, I used the Classic Tan Kona Paper. This compass took so many layers of Faber-Castell watercolor pencilcolors I was surprised the paper didn’t scream. I went darker and darker then I threw a little water on it to smooth out the color. Then I added even more color, ink then finally white gel pen. I have to be specific about the ink I added. I tried all my pens but the one that slid over all the watercolor pencils and actually deposited ink consistently was the Staedtler Pigment Liner. I used both the 0.1 and the 0.3. I will be buying more of these in every size. They really worked beautifully on all the toned paper, I was surprised that it made a difference with the brand. On watercolor paper it usually doesn’t.

    This last piece I did for my social media book blog. I found that the use of acrylic white paint curled the edges of the paper around the book. It straightened out when I weighted it down for a while but I’d have to say, acrylic liquid paint isn’t really the medium for this paper. Although 88lb is a heavier weight, Kona paper does well only with dry media. But oh how well it does! The best thing is that it’s a really great price too. They’re such a great price I can afford to get the largest size without the “ouch” factor. But it just might be cheaper to order it from (if you’re Canadian) and pay the currency exchange + shipping instead of purchasing off of Amazon Canada. I’m therefore putting both links so you can decide and calculate. (below)

    Amazon US
    Kona Classic (tan) Field Journal in 5 sizes
    Kona Grey or Tan Toned Paper Pads in 5 sizes

    Amazon Canada
    Kona Classic (tan) Field Journal 8″ x 8″
    Kona Tan Toned Paper Pad 8″ x 10″
    Kona Grey Toned Paper Pad 9″ x 12″

    (For links in this article go to Just Add Water Silly)

    Finally, here’s how I used the book I did above. I “stitched” my bee onto the book so I have a new mascot specifically for my new book blog. The blogs are almost finished and we’ll be having a grand opening in the next two weeks, so watch this space.


    Great review! I haven’t tried this paper before, but I’ll definitely be giving them a try in the future.


    Great review. thanks.

    thanks so much Sharon. I just added a new review for S&B Nova series in the art supplies review section.

    After reading this review I bought a tan and gray each. I have the impression the tan is somewhat more textured. Really love the paper!  Glad I saw this review!

    thanks Nancy, so glad you found the info helpful. Global Arts Kona paper is amazing especially for the PRICE! Great stuff!

    Great review!  (yes I am just getting around to these things.)  I’ve wanted this book but what has held me back is I rarely use colored pencils… Good review.  When I get done with Bright Ideas I may try one!  Now if it only smelled like coffee beans!

    Oh wouldn’t that have been awesome Kate! If it smelled like coffee I’d never use anything else!!

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