REVIEW: Hahnemühle 100% Cotton Watercolour Bookmark Pad

Hahnemühle’s new 100% Cotton Watercolour Bookmark Pads are made with their Expression watercolor paper. It’s sturdy, holds up well to masking fluids and tapes, and allows you to lift color easily. It’s great for watercolour, gouache, acrylic, collage, crayon, fine liners, lettering, journaling and more. Do you like wet-into-wet techniques? Even with puddles of water, this paper does little to no buckling.

These pads are perfect for bookmarks, gift tags, journaling, and more!


  • Weight: 300 gsm/140 lb.
  • Surface: Cold Pressed
  • Size: 5,5 x 20 cm/2.2 x 7.9 inch
  • No. of Sheets: 15
  • Material: 100% Cotton
  • Binding: Top-bound Glue
  • Features: Surface-size, acid free, light-resistant, extreme longevity, eraser resistant
  • Uses: watercolour, gouache, acrylic, collage, crayon, fine liners, lettering, journaling and craft work

These bookmarks are a nice size, extending beyond the size of a paperback book, but are a little smaller than most hardbacks.  Bigger than gift tags, but small enough they could be used as one.

The pad is glued at the top with a flip-back cover. It’s a flexible paper with beautiful artwork by Rana. Once you’ve used up the bookmark sheets, you might decide to use this cover as a bookmark, too, or for journaling.

Each sheet is thick enough to make it sturdy, but not so thick that book won’t shut properly.

You could easily use them for collage, as well as drawing or painting.

The paper is cold-pressed, not too rough and not too smooth. Just right for getting a textured look when you want, while still easily drawing or writing with pen or marker.

I think the back has a slightly more linen-like surface texture – the wells running longer and a little less deep. It’s so slight a difference that it could be my imagination.

Here’s the whole bookmark, front and back. My main purpose was to highlight the texture, but like the look of the beeswax crayon on this paper. None of the color came off when I rubbed it, but I would recommend using a fixative on this medium if you intend to use this in a book.

First off, note that the texture looks much smoother in this example than it did with the crayon.

If you look closely, you’ll see it, especially where granulation occurs.

For this example, I applied masking tape and masking fluid. I used a wet-into-wet technique with lots of water – puddles of water. I didn’t stretch the paper or tape the bookmark down because I wanted to check for buckling. There was none.

I used masking tape and masking fluid on both sides before painting.

Oops! A warning — check instead of assuming that your paper is dry before removing masking fluid or tape. I assumed the paper was dry, it wasn’t and I did tear the paper.

Once the paper really was dry, both the tape and the masking fluid came off super-easy. Even in the area where I tore the paper earlier, I was able to lift the rest of the tape with no problem.

Then I went crazy with pens – a medium-sized flexible nib, a .01 stiff nib in black, and white broad gel pen. The lines were bold. You expect some rough edges with cold-pressed, but it was barely noticeable.

The lines are just a little more ragged where I tore the paper. You can see it in the top of the box I wrote in.

Expression paper has external surface-sizing. This means the paper was given a coating after it was made. That coating makes the color sit on top a bit longer, so it’s brighter, and makes it easier to lift some of the color.

The red is the most staining color on this example. That pinkish area is where I tested to see how close to white I could get. Not too close, but enough to make a definite contrast. I’ve used the color on other papers and barely been able to lighten it.

I decided to do another example featuring pen work.  This time I used lighter colors so the lines would show up more clearly. I didn’t actually learn anything new, just made it easier to see. The lines aren’t as crisp as they would be on writing paper, but nicely clear and bold despite the cold press texture.

I used a liquid charcoal for this example. It goes on like watercolor, but when it dries, it is a charcoal drawing. After it dried, I smudged it to create the background color. Although, I love the way it looks on this paper, I wouldn’t recommend liquid charcoal for a bookmark unless you intend to use a pencil fixative to it. The nature of charcoal, and that external sizing means the charcoal will rub off.

For the giraffe that I did on the video, I once again added huge puddles of water, and splashed on a rainbow of colors.  I sprinkled on some Malden salt flakes, (the larger flakes do better when there is lots of water because they don’t melt away as fast), and let it dry. Once dry and the flakes removed, I used a flexible nib pen to draw the giraffe. The lines are rougher here because the salt changes the texture of the paper. 

The paper bowed slightly while drying, the sides curling up. I placed it under a heavy book overnight, and it straighten right out.

You get 15 bookmarks in a pad of Hahnemühle Watercolour Bookmark paper. I like the size and the paper, and have used half of them already. They make a nice difference to the postcards I put into my hubby’s lunch bag each day.

Links of Interest

Hahnemühle Expression 100% Cotton Watercolor Paper Review

REVIEW: ZenART Verbena Brush Set and Art Nomad Pocket Travel Watercolor Brush Set


These are dealers that have order the Hahnemühle 100% Cotton Watercolour Bookmark Pad. It takes a while for new items to be listed, so you may need to ask for them:

Other tools

Schmincke – Liquid Charcoal, Cherry Pit Black, 35 ml

Stockmar Beeswax Stick Crayons in Storage Tin, Set of 8 Colors, Waldorf Assortment

ROSA Gallery Botanical Watercolor Paint Set, 28 ct.

ZenART Verbena 17-pc Brush Set for Acrylic and Watercolor

ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen With Black Ink

Uni-Ball Signo Broad Point Gel Impact Pen White (2 Pens)

Malden Sea Salt Flakes


Having received one pad of Hahnemühle’s Bookmarks for the purposes of this review. I received no other considerations, though this post may contain affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.


Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in Art Supply Reviews

11 thoughts on “REVIEW: Hahnemühle 100% Cotton Watercolour Bookmark Pad

  1. Hello Ms. Sandra,

    Thanks again for a beautiful review! All the bookmarks you’ve made are gorgeous and I’m wondering if you are also gonna contribute to the Bookmark Project. They’ll be thrilled to receive these. I love the charcoal bamboo and the giraffe the most.🙂


    Sparkling Heart
    • sandra-strait
      1. Yes I’m talking about the very one! They haven’t set up for 2024 yet but I’ve got a feeling they soon will. I’ve begun thinking up ideas🙂


        Sparkling Heart
        • sandra-strait

Leave Me A Comment!

%d bloggers like this: