Currently Browsing: commercially bound sketchbooks 23 articles

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In Context: Looking at the Arteza Watercolor Book Part 3

Here’s a page from the large Arteza Watercolor Book I’m reviewing. Nothing written on this page, so I’ll just spell it out. I started with direct brush ink wash, but wanted more, so continued with watercolor (with some white gouache added to some of the colors). Now you can’t see any of the ink wash. […]

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The Blackwing Notebook

Sometimes I simply can’t help myself when I find lined notebook paper. A few months ago I was in Wet Paint and they had small notebooks by Blackwing (the company that makes the pencils with the rectangular erasers—I use the soft lead version to do my daily sudoku). The notebook is about 3.5 x 5.5 […]

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The Field Artist Watercolor Journal: A Review

It has been several months since I first picked one of these up. This review will be heartbreaking for me to write. They came so close with this commercially bound journal—sewn signatures, paper that actually liked watercolor, several convenient sizes, a covering material that’s pleasant to hold… So What Is Wrong With This Book? The […]

Detail of the female portrait.

Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook Review: Part 3

Today is the final part of my three-part review on the Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook. See Part One of the review here. See Part Two of the review here In today’s post I wanted to write about the book structure itself. I’ll then wrap up with a final comment about the paper quality. Binding and Covering […]

Platinum Carbon Black ink fountain pen sketch with watercolor washes. This page was taped off with Nichiban masking tape. The tape removed cleanly. As mentioned in the text the paper buckles from the watercolor application—this is clearly see at the top of the scan where the page is wavy even when placed weighted on the scanner. I made this sketch later in my use of the book and am starting to grow accustom to water usage on the paper. The cold press texture of the paper allows interesting puddles of paint when using sedimentary colors like Azure blue. Mixing colors on the page is possible because of the quality of the sizing and the flow it promotes. (I was testing a palettes of new colors for this sketch.)

Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook Review: Part 1

Today I’m going to begin a three part review of the Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook. I suggest that you read all three parts before purchasing. I will write more about this in a moment. This sketchbook was released in 2017. I purchased two in the summer of 2017 but was unable to work in them until […]

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Another Look at the Handbook Watercolor Journal

Things change over time. It’s a fact when you use art materials. Papers may be made for 400 years at a mill, but over your lifetime any paper you change will have subtle if not significant changes. The same is true for paints, and brushes. Some ingredients for paints might become scarce or no longer […]

Mixed media sketch on Zeta—Pentel Dye-based brush pen, water brush, watercolor, acrylic marker background and collage. On most smooth papers I've used the dye-based ink of this particular Pentel brush pen lifts off well and creates interesting effects. That wasn't the case on this paper. Lifting this water-soluble ink on this paper was problematic and even gentle attempts led to pilling of the surface.

Part Four: Working in the Smooth Zeta Soft-bound Journal from Stillman & Birn

Today is part four of a multi-part series on the Stillman & Birn (S&B) smooth surface Zeta journals. You can read part one here. This post deals with some mix-media approaches and some pros and cons I discovered about this paper. You can read part two here. In this post I write a bit  more […]

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Sometimes People in an Audience Catch My Eye

Above: Line of people sitting in front of me at the opening performance for “Orphan Train.” In the pocket size Hahnemühle Nostalgie book with a Sakura Pigma Sensei. I had the great good fortune to go to “Orphan Train” at the Minnesota History Theater on opening night. My friend, composer and musician Charlie Maguire did […]

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Eyebrow Update: Another Gouache Painting in the Nostalgie Sketchbook

Above: Gouache sketch in a large A4 (8.27 x 11.69 inch) portrait orientation Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook. Dick sitting on the TV room couch. Direct brush painting (orange paint) then some areas of gouache added—using up paint and not getting white paint out. Left: Detail from todays image. Some days I think the journal page says it all. So […]

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Review of the Seawhite of Brighton Sketchbook

Left: Water-soluble Color Pencil sketch of actress in the British comedy “Hebburn.” I first opened my first Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook in June of this year. I thought I’d be finished quickly (even though it’s a nice thick journal) and would write a comprehensive review.  Then life interrupted. I continued to work in the Seawhite […]

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