Review: Hahnemühle Cézanne Watercolor Block

Watercolor Painting & Sketching Group, Community, and Blog Forums Art Supply Reviews Review: Hahnemühle Cézanne Watercolor Block

  • The review at my blog is also a giveaway that ends on Oct. 22, 2017 at 11:59 PM PDT.

    Recently Hahnemühle sent me an amazing number of fine art papers for reviews and giveaways.   Please consider visiting their Facebook page or website to learn more about their wonderful line of products.

    No. of Sheets-10
    Size-24 x 32 cm/9.4 x 12.6 in
    Bound-Glue & Webbing to ensure flatness when wet

    Color-Natural White
    Weight-300 gsm/140 lb.
    Type-Matt/Cold-pressed/Grain Fin
    Content-100% Cotton Rag
    acid free
    age resistant
    Suitable for wet painting techniques: watercolour – especially glazing – lavis, gouache, tempera and acrylic.

    Look & Feel
    Hahnemühle Watercolour Blocks are both glued and gauzed on all four sides with one unbound corner (see photo).  I’ve cut the paper free with nothing better than a used gift card.  I did get a few shaved curls at the edge doing this, but when I used a plastic knife and little care the page cut free easily and cleanly.

    The paper on the block puffed when I used large amounts of water for wet-on-wet techniques but not enough to cause significant problems with color pooling and leaving darker areas.

    The block comes with a front cover that is very like a glossy magazine stock, and it has a heavy cardboard back.  There are 10 sheets of paper.

    The paper is mould-made, 100% cotton, acid free, lightfast, and age resistant, cold pressed 140 lb. It is surface-sized so the pigment sits on the surface a bit longer, which keeps the colors brighter.

    I scanned in a painted section to help show the texture of the paper.  The scan exaggerates the texture more than it shows up in real life, but not by much.

    I taped a sheet into four quarters for my initial test.

    In one quarter, I splashed on two types of masking fluid and some strips of masking tape.  One of the masking fluids is a cheap brand that tears most papers (but not all) and the other is a more expensive brand that I’ve never had a problem with.  I did a wash over the entire section and left the tape and fluid on overnight.

    There was no problem peeling off the tape, and both masking fluids came off easily.  Another wash of color revealed no damage to the paper.

    My second test was done with lots of water, highly re-active and staining colors, and some wet-into-wet with scrubbing.  The color moves well, but not as well as it did with the William Turner.  Where the colors blended, I noticed an interesting starburst sort of effect.  It only seemed to happen with colors that explode in the water.  I’m hoping I can make this happen on purpose later.

    I wasn’t able to get to white without damage, but I continued despite some pilling. All of this was done while the paper was wet or damp.  After the paint dried, the damaged areas did still take color, and the damage only shows through less vivid color.  Poor technique, but now I know how far I can go before damaging the paper and what damage I might be able to ‘save’.

    In the third quarter, I used less reactive, non-staining, highly granulating pigments.  They love this paper!  I didn’t get the starburst effect with these colors.

    Since I tested wet on wet the second quarter, I let this one dry completely before trying anything.  I found that I was in love with what was happening so I was kinder to the paper than usual.  I wasn’t able to get all the way to white without some damage.  I did that to the hair, but stopped before it started pilling.  I was able to paint over the lifted area evenly.

    For the last quarter, I painted wet on dry, glaze on glaze, and a bit of dry brush painting.  I was pleased with the results.  The paper handles all of these nicely.

    Now, my finished painting is supposed to be done after I’m finished experimenting, but I recently got some watercolor sticks, and decided to try using them in this piece.  Turns out that if you apply them directly to the paper, you get streaks that won’t dissolve completely.  It left ugly side-to-side streaks around the elephant’s legs, but I used it to effect with the trees in the distance.

    It means this painting isn’t as representational of the qualities of the paper as I meant it to be, but I ran out of time to do another painting.  But no worries.  I’ll be doing more (and better) paintings on it soon!

    The Hahnemühle Cézanne Watercolour Cold Pressed Block has mould-made 100% cotton paper with surface-sizing.  The color flows well, but not explosively even when the paint is highly reactive. It handles masking fluid and masking tape well.  It is possible to lift some color if you take care.

    I know that some of the people here would like to know how the Cézanne paper differs from the William Turner paper.  The Cézanne is surface-sized and doesn’t absorb the water quite as fast.  This means colors may be brighter, but also that they don’t flow as quickly.  Both papers are great for granulation.  The Turner has a more noticeable texture and paint lifts easier.  In fact, it is easier to accidentally lift color with the Turner.  My feeling is that the Cézanne is a better paper for those with less experience because it is easier to control the paint.  But I feel the Turner is better for wet-into-wet and an experienced user can do more with it.  Your own painting style and preferences will have a lot to do with which one you prefer.

    I also love their paper and have some I’ve not tried yet… Good review!  Love the images of your artwork on it!

    Awesome review and work you have done!!!  Thanks

    Thank you! They do have awesome paper!


    Thank you!


    Great review, Sandra. Thanks.

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