REVIEW: Hahnemühle Postcards

Every day my hubby goes to work, I slip a postcard, that I’ve painted or drawn, into his lunch bag.  I’ve been using rough Hahnemühle postcards in a metal tin since I began.  Last year, Hahnemühle introduced a cold-pressed postcard that has quickly become a favorite of mine.  

Hahnemühle Postcards Watercolor Examples

This year, two new padded sets are now available in the U.S. and Canada. One is another watercolor postcard -the Burgund, and one has the same paper as found in their Nostalgie sketchbooks. I was eager to try these out and immediately bought a set of each.

Today, I’m going to review these four postcard sets. Hahnemühle also makes postcards for printing photographs, but those won’t be included in this review.

The Video – Hahnemühle Postcards​

The three watercolor postcard sets are made from Hahnemühle’s Akademie watercolour paper, produced on a Fourdrinier machine, with natural felt used to obtain the surface structures. This paper is equally suitable for watercolours, gouache, tempera, pastel, charcoal, pencil and crayons.  It says so on the Hahnemühle site, and I’ve used enough of their papers to believe them.

Hahnemühle Postcards Address Back

All four kinds of postcard have the same address block on the back.

Hahnemühle Postcards in a Pad

Hahnemühle Postcards Nostalgie Burgund

The two sets introduced this year are the Nostalgie postcard and Burgund postcard.  The cards are square, which is a change from the postcards in a tin. They aren’t the 4 x 6 inch that we are used to in the U.S., being just a little shorter lengthwise and a tad taller width-wise.

Both of these sets are in a glued pad.

They have a really thick cardboard backing with a standard heavy paper cover.

Specs in Common

  • 4.1 x 5.8 inch/10,5 x 14,8 cm
  • No of Postcards: 20 sheets
  • Binding: Glued
  • Sturdy cardboard backing
  • Address panel on back

Hahnemühle Postcards – Nostalgie

  • Paper: 190 gsm, natural white, fine-grain, acid-free, age-resistant

One of these sets is not like the others. Three of the sets I’m reviewing today have watercolor paper. The Nostalgie, however, is a smooth, fine-grained paper formulated for pen and ink. It’s thin and flexible, but surprisingly sturdy.  And it does take watercolor well, but you won’t get the drippy effects or texture that you would with watercolor paper. The paper curls a bit with watercolor, but mostly while drying, not while you are painting. It is easy to flatten out afterwards.

This paper is great for pen and marker, giving you crisp, bold lines and color. The color goes on bright, and stays bright.

The Nostalgie paper also comes in several sizes of sketch journal, and I’ve been using it for a couple of years, so I say with confidence that this paper will take almost any medium, and is difficult to damage.

The paper is smooth, so there isn’t really much texture to show, but you can see how easy it is to create texture with the pen strokes.  If you apply pressure with a lighter color pen, and then color over with a darker, you can get a slight debossed effect as you see with the leaves in this close-up.

I used technical pen, masking fluid, watercolor and metallic gel pen in this example. There was no damage to the paper from the masking fluid or watercolor, so the pen used at the last went on as smoothly as the pen in the beginning.

Hahnemühle Burgund Watercolour Postcards

  • Paper: 250 gsm, natural white, rough, acid-free, age-resistant

The postcards in the Burgund padded set have a rough texture.  There is no standard in the industry, so the word ‘rough’ doesn’t tell a lot, except the texture will probably be easy to see.  The Burgund has a series of ridges running across the card. 

 

This texture makes is great for dry brushing – that is taking a brush that is almost empty of color and lightly stroking across the paper.  The color only goes on at the highest points of the textures.  It looks pretty broken up close, but at normal eye level, it gives a lovely light, textured effect. 

You can see from this close-up that pen goes down well.  The lines are not completely solid, but you have to very closely to tell that.  

Masking fluid covers well, despite the rough texture, and peels off easily.  I used it for the highlight in the eyes, on the nose, and for the whiskers.  Notice how that rough texture gives this raccoon a soft cloud of fur.  I used very little pen and very little paint for this drawing.  The texture made it all work.

I won’t kid you though. If you want very fine detail, or super-crisp lines, this won’t be your postcard.  I’ve used fiber-tipped pens on this kind of surface and seen very little damage, but I use sturdy pens.  It would be silly to think that a rough surface wouldn’t shorten a pen’s life-span.

And depending on their style, some artists LOVE this kind of surface (me!) and others hate it.

Hahnemühle ​Watercolour Postcards in a Tin

Hahnemühle Postcards Watercolour Tins

Hahnemühle’s Watercolour Postcards in a tin come in two different surfaces.  One has a rough surface and the other has a cold-pressed surface.

The Tins

Hahnemühle’s postcard tins deserve a section of their own. These are handy storage items, whether you use them to store your postcard art, convert them to paint palettes or just through bits and bobs into them.

There is a painting on the lid and an embossed Hahnemühle rooster logo.

Hahnemühle Postcards Single Watercolour Tin

The tins are made of light but sturdy metal. The top and bottom have a little flex, while the sides are stiffer. I’ve carried some around for a couple of years. They have no noticeable scratches or dents and the painting on the lid, which is fused into the metal is as clear and unmarred as it was brand new.

The rough surfaced watercolor postcards have been sold for 11 years and each year, the tins had a new limited edition painting on the lid. Last year, the cold-pressed watercolor cards were introduced with a different painting than the rough, so now there are two limited editions tins each year. The older tins are hard to find and are eagerly sought by collectors.

I haven’t managed to get this year’s tins yet, but these are examples of the artwork. I can’t wait to get my hands on some!

The Postcards

Specs In Common

  • 6.5 x 4.5 x 1.1 in / A6 / 10,5 x 14,8 cm
  • 230 gsm natural white color, archival, acid-free, age-resistant, unbleached
  • No of Postcards: 30 per tin
  • Address panel printed on back
  • Rounded corners on both tin and postcards

Cold-Pressed Watercolour Postcards

Hahnemühle Postcards Cold Press Blank and Address Back

‘Cold-pressed’ surfaces vary from very smooth to almost rough.  Usually, you can feel the texture more easily than see it.

Hahnemühle’s cold-pressed postcards have a light, but definite texture pattern.  It’s even throughout.

It’s good for wet-into-wet but also allows for good detail.  Color lifts easily enough, and the paper will hold up to a small amount of scrubbing.  Both are limited though, so fussing should be limited.  Masking fluid goes on and peels off easily.

The paper doesn’t buckle or dimple, but will curl if lots of water is used.

Pen lines are not solid, but you have to look closely to tell.

Rough Watercolour Postcards

Hahnemühle Postcards Rough Blank and Address Back

These are the original postcards in a metal tin and they’ve been around for eleven years!

 

The rough texture on these postcards is ridged.  I discovered that some of the tins have the texture running the length of the postcard, while others have it running the width.  I believe this is done so that full sheets can be used completely when cut to postcard size.

Color moves well and some lifting is possible, though it works better while the paint is still wet.  It’s hard to get the paint out of those ridges once dry.

Although the texture is pronounced and clearly visible, pen goes down well.  You can get fairly solid lines if you apply enough pressure, but you will ruin your pens that way.

Masking fluid goes down and peels off easily.

Hahnemühle Postcards Painting Example Buffalo by Sandra Strait

These cards are perfect for conveying shaggy fur and other textures!

Hahnemühle Postcards​ Overview

Whether you want postcards that are perfectly smooth and formulated for pen and marker, or medium texture suitable for line and wash, or rough for extra texture, Hahnemühle has a postcard that will suit.  All four kinds are in European sizes, so are not quite 4 x 6 inches.

The new Nostalgie postcard has the same paper as the Journals and both it and the new Burgund postcard come in glued pads of twenty, making them more affordable.  These cards are square.

The cold-pressed and rough postcards in a metal tin are more expensive, but the tin is a collectible and handy to keep your postcards in or as a decorative storage for your bits and bobs.  These postcards have rounded edges and are closer to the 4 x 6 inch size than the padded cards.

Tools

Other Hahnemühle Reviews on Doodlewash

About Hahnemühle

The oldest German papermaker,  Hahnemühle manufactures papers for traditional and digital artists as well as industrial papers. Their ability to combine tradition with modern technologies is a distinguishing feature. They developed the first acid free and archivable machine made paper and the first Fine Art Inkjet papers.

Disclaimer:
I use these postcards almost daily and purchased them for myself. I received no consideration, though this post contains affiliate links which help support Doodlewash community features. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in Art Supply Reviews
20 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 3 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing this review Sandra. I really appreciate the information.

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

      Thank you, Karen! I’d be lost without these postcards!

  2. mjmarmo 3 weeks ago

    Your reviews are always filled with good info! Love your postcards!!!

  3. Susan Cuss 3 weeks ago

    Great review Sandra! Thanks. As always, I love your art.

  4. Bekki Page 3 weeks ago

    Wow–didn’t know about rough in tins or the Burgund pads: I’ll have to try them out!

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

      The Burgund just became available in the U.S. earlier this year.

  5. Mary Roff 3 weeks ago

    Thanks so much for the review! I do love Hahnemuhle paper!!!

  6. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 weeks ago

    Thanks for all the info Sandra. It is most helpful 🙂

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 weeks ago

    You do all the work, Sandra, and we get to play without ruining a lot of paper in the process. Your art is always a treat, and it seems that Hahnemühle is a reliable company that puts quality first. I’ve been (slowly) working on Hahnemühle accordion books, purchased after I saw the one you painted for your hubby, and I love the results I’m getting.

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

      Thank you, Sharon! I love the ZigZags and have been trying to get started with a second Diggory book – life keeps getting in the way though.

  8. carolboss2222 3 weeks ago

    You talent is amazing and your attention to detail refreshing! I’m sure it all comes from your genuine passion.

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 3 weeks ago

      Thank you, Carol. Genuine passion and good paper – a perfect combo!

  9. Stephanie Louise 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for this awesome and comprehensive review. Your paintings are lovely too

  10. Dominik Neuffer 5 days ago

    Lovely review I use the postcards in a tin myself as presents.

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 4 days ago

      Thank you Dominik! I love the postcard tins – the tins almost as much as the cards, lol.

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