More on the Aquabee 808 Super Deluxe Sketchbook

July 1, 2011

See the complete post for a review of this sketchbook paper by Karen Engelbretson.

KJE_AquabeeTestRuled Today we have
a guest post
from artist
Karen Engelbretson.

Left: A test page of the Aquabee 808 Super Deluxe Sketchbook paper from artist Karen Engelbretson. (Image ©2011 Karen Engelbretson.)

At the June meeting of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective I gave attendees a few pages each from the sample Aquabee 808 Super Deluxe Sketchbook I'd been sent, and which I review here. I asked people to test out the paper and let me know what they found. Karen wrote to me this week with her findings and a scan of her test page. Here's what Karen found during her testing:

Roz, I took a break and tested the Aquabee sheets you gave me. Here's a scan of what I did on the front side, the side with texture. I agree with you that it would be difficult to use this as a sketchbook with two different surfaces front and back.

The paper buckles significantly with the smallest amount of water. I had trouble doing a wash with my sketchbook brushes (Niji and the one that came with the Schmincke watercolor set). The paper doesn't take wet into wet very well, and the paint doesn't move around on the surface as I like it to. It sinks in and goes dead, or picks up too fast. I tried both gouache and Schmincke watercolor on it.

I also tried Derwent pencils because I had those out. Not too bad if you're working big. I wouldn't like it for tiny or detailed work. The tooth of the paper's too inconsistent. Didn't try any other pencils.

The Tachikawa pen [Tachikawa Linemarker A.T. pen] worked great on it, as did the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

So, those are my comments. Here is my page. Thanks for the opportunity to check it out. I'd use it for dry media but not wet.—Karen

A little bit about today's guest:
Karen Engelbretson is a Minnesota-based graphic designer and illustrator. Together with her husband Steve and daughter Rachel, Karen is helping to keep alive fine letterpress printing at Kiss Letterpress. She is also the creator of KJE Felties. You can keep up with the current KJE Felties news on Facebook. Karen is active in water quality conservation and natural habitat preservation. Beyond her felt creations and public activism, her love of nature can also be seen in her botanical and nature paintings. (And I'm trying to talk her into making a video of her really cool Michigan vacation journal so you can all see it.)

Editor's Notes: I added links to my posts about the two pens Karen mentions, in case you would like to read more about them and their characteristics. I particularly enjoyed using my Pentel Pocket Brush pen on this paper.

If you missed the June meeting of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective and would like a sample of the Aquabee 808 Super Deluxe paper please note that I will continue handing out samples at upcoming meetings as long as there are pages to hand out. Our next meeting is Monday, July 18; 7 to 9 p.m.. See you then!

    • Tracey
    • July 3, 2011

    I agree with her review. It seems like it is okay for pen and maybe marker work. To salvage my purchase of the book I coated some of the pages with D.Smith’s watercolor grounds. Would not buy again.

  1. Reply

    Tracey, I love your idea of coating the pages with D. Smith’s watercolor ground! That’s a great idea!

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