Review: Black Book from Hahnemühle


I love drawing on black paper! Hahnemühle has a sketchbook I want to tell you about today! And I’m going to be giving a copy away in my Facebook group called Tangle All Around today as well.

They simply call it the Black Book. And that is totally what it is. A spiral bound collection of 30 sheets/60 work surfaces of 120 lb black paper. The book band says it is suitable for sketching and pastel work, so of course I tried several things that don’t fall into that category. Hahahaha! Actually neither of those. Let me walk you through my projects.

To begin with – I really love the spiral. You are able to fold back the pages you aren’t using and get a totally flat surface to work on. Many journals and sketchbooks don’t offer this treat. For my first page I pulled out some STA Metallic Pens that I purchased from Born to Sketch. (They are all over Facebook – Born to Sketch is. If you order from them, just know your product won’t get to you in any hurry. So don’t wait till the last minute.) I have a set of ten metallic pens and every one of them work great on this paper. The white pen is most deceptive. When you draw with it – you can’t see a thing. Looks like it doesn’t work. And then about 10 seconds later the color starts to appear. Crazy! But these metallic pens love the black book paper. Worked beautifully!

I was so encouraged by the results with the metallic pens, I pulled out a 12 pen set of Magic Glow Pens I purchased through Jet Pens. Apparently I paid way too much money for this set! They were advertised to work well on black paper and that is what this Black Book is all about. Well, I really love the way the pens went down all nice and smooth, no skips, no bad lines at all. They loved this black paper. Seven of the twelve pens did. The other five pens didn’t show up at all. And they should have. Stuffed those pens in the back of a drawer and that is probably where they will stay until I reorganize my studio again. Moving on.

Remember, the Black Book paper band said ‘sketching and pastels.’ Insert smiley face here. The marker idea was an excellent one. So I moved on to paint. Yep! Acrylic paint. Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Acrylic Paints. Such beautiful colors! And this worked so well I had to try it several times!

For each of these pulls – you get two pieces of art. The premise is easy. You take a length of string – basically twice the length of your page – and dip it into ink. Get it covered, then squeeze the excess off with your fingers. You can wear gloves if you need to but I like to get all the gooey mess on my hands. Hahahaha! Then start at the top of the page and loop your string back and forth, left to right down the length of the page leaving a tail off the end of the page. It is your handle. Close the book and hold it closed tightly (we placed a couple heavy drawers on top of our pages) and slowly pull your string out of the book. Open up the book and this is what you have. Kali flicked a little color off her hands on to the page – that’s how we got all those flecks.

My absolute favorite! Not using paint to paint, but using paint and string to make color. The perfect use for the Black Book! And the metallic colors just show up soooooo well on the pages! Love, love, love! Isn’t all that gorgeous squishiness awesome? Moving on. Again.

Here is my typical use for black paper. A white gelly roll pen. Love tangling like this! I didn’t used to like Gelly Roll pens for drawing in white, but they make them in larger nib sizes now and they work better. I used to use a white Uni-Ball Signo which is more expensive. The newer gelly rolls are perfect, you don’t need to spend the extra money.

This is as close as I got to pastels – a white charcoal pencil from General’s. Makes the perfect accessory for shading! A tortillon made smudging easy. The paper in the Black Book handled the shading and the smudging very well. I get to scrubbing pretty hard with that tort sometimes and I had no issues at all with this paper. I even have a new chop thrown in there. Can you find it?

This is most definitely my second favorite piece of art in the Black Book! I used neon gel pens. Gelly rolls again. They went on so smoothly with this paper. When you rub your fingertips over the paper you can feel texture. It is there. But the pens didn’t feel it. They ‘wrote’ smoothly and there were no skips. Anywhere you see boo-boos were my fault! Or intentional spacing.

You know how I am about Dylusions Ink Sprays. No, these aren’t the sprays but they are made by Dylusions and they match the sprays. Dylusions Acrylic Paint. I used a dry brush to just swirl on the colors. Once they were completely dry, I used a Sarasa Fineliner Pen from Zebra Pen to tangle my ribbon roses and tear drops. The Sarasa worked great on top of the paint on the paper! And my white gelly roll to add some little blips of highlights in the blank spaces. Love it all!

I thought I was done at this point, but someone in my Facebook group Tangle All Around asked if I knew a pencil that would show up on black paper. Hmmm. Perfect question and perfect timing. I pulled out my Derwent Aquatones and they worked great! I did try a couple run of the mill color pencils (think Art on a Shoestring variety) that did not work. But hey, Derwent! They worked great! Just long flowing marks, no water added. All pencil.

I do love the colors and the results I got! I was most impressed with the magenta color. More purple on this black background but I really thought it would not work due to the darkness of the color. But it did! I added little dots of white gel pen here and there and I love it! Long flowing lines were really easy to achieve with this paper!

One last thought for this book. I went to the very last page and tried various paints, pens, gel pens, and other tools to see what worked and what didn’t. I can totally see me creating some awesome dragons in this book at some point!

The Black Book is definitely worth your money! There are so many uses for it! Collage work is a real possibility, too! As well as scrapbooking! Everything I tried worked great! Even with that little feel of texture – it wasn’t a problem with any of my pages. From pens, to gel, to acrylic paint, to charcoal and pencils – they all loved the paper! No buckling, no warping, no anything bad. At all. It’s a perfect win/win situation all around. Hahnemühle has a great product here that you need. And I am going to tell you where you can find it 🙂 cause I am awesome like that. Hahahaha! Thank for reading through. Love you guys!

At the beginning of this post I mentioned I was giving one of these books away today, January 1, 2019. Come on over to Tangle All Around and look for the post to comment and enter.

Interested in the Black Book? You can grab one here, here and here.
Born to Sketch Metallic Pens are out of stock, but will be available soon here.
Magic Glow Pens (I wouldn’t spend any money on them but they) can be found here.
Finnabair Art Alchemy paints are here. (And so much fun!)
White gelly rolls are available here.
General’s charcoal pencils are here.
Tortillons are here.
Gelly roll pens in general are here.
Dylusions Acrylic Paints can be found right here. And I reviewed them here.
Derwent Aquatone Pencils can be found here.
Zebra Sarasa Fineliners can be purchased here.
Need a place to tangle with some like-minded friends? Click here.

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18 thoughts on “Review: Black Book from Hahnemühle

  1. What beautiful work, Alice, with so much eye candy! It seems this book has a lot to offer with so much versatility.
    Happy New Year! ? ???

    • it does have a lot to offer and I’m giving one away today in Tangle All Around 🙂

  2. I love that last feather with your white highlights & the piece you used as the post’s header is striking. I too love the Gelly Rolls; the number of white gel pens that have hit the bin………. BUT those Gelly Rolls always deliver. The ribbon rose piece is tied first with the floral Gelly Rolls & that feather – I cannot choose between them. I would think the wax based coloured pencils like Prismacolor & Derwent Coloursoft would work pretty well. Amazing what that General’s white does for shading the tangles – that piece seems to almost be luminous.

    • I would think those pencils would work well, too. maybe I’ll do a comparison 🙂

    • I was really pleased with the results. giving one away today in Tangle All Around 🙂

  3. Looks great!
    Not only are you a fantastic artist, but also an outstanding author!
    I have to say I chuckle a lot when reading your posts,
    You sure do keep things interesting with your humor!

    • hahaha! I pretty much just write like I talk. or at least I try to. glad you are enjoying your time learning tangling and glad I could be part of it <3

  4. Alice, I LOVE this comprehensive, detailed, well-organized review! I am very impressed. It takes a lot of time to photograph, compose, compile, edit, reorg, tweak and finalize … thank you!! Quite obviously a labor of love. ?

    • thanks, jan, I’m glad you found it helpful. I do love doing the things I do. I hope you will check in very often <3

  5. Wow! thx for the info. This is interesting — I’ve only used black tiles and white gel pens. The neon is fabulous – as are the metallic. A must-try. Thx for the info re. black book. I’ve never seen one before.

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