Sunday, January 06, 2008


Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Right now in my quest for the perfect sketchbook I am using multiple sketchbooks side by side. It bothers me that nothing is chronological right now, but I am willing to live with it to find out what I really want to
use for ever and ever. At which point I will stock up when they are
on sale and go for it. Or maybe I will decide it is OK to constantly
go between various sketchbooks and keep the good sketches
chronologically on my blog to be published as a book. Who knows, so
without further ado, here is my opinion...
I have a small handbook which is square and I find it too small for
me to use. I don't like the way it works for watercolor, and I am
not fond of the way it takes pen and ink. The paper quality is
similar to regular drawing paper but lighter in weight I think. I just tried my hand book again for watercolor. I like a lot of water in my watercolor. There is no such thing as a light wash when I am working so that must be my main problem. I also like to use watercolor pencils at times and after getting wet, the handbook paper can't take more pencil. The Dvorak books (see below) can do this.
I like the feel of the Moleskine but hate the way it takes water
media. I love how it takes ink though. I don't like the watercolor
moleskine for their orientation. Picky of me, I know. But I also
don't like how hard it is to use the backside of the paper in that
I am using the 6x9 artist drawing pad from Dvorak (http:// and I do like the paper in it for both
ink and washes but it does not have a hard cover and it does not have
a pocket. And it has the funny orientation but it has more pages and
is cheaper so I don't mind not suing the back side. Right now I have
it in a prismacolor portfolio set (a small) so it is stiff enough to
take out anywhere and use and my pencils are handy to boot. I have a
little blank book by him too but again, it is very small, like the
hand book. Still, it is handy to keep in my purse for sketching
emergencies and I did all my travel sketching in it in Europe this
summer. Which is not as much as you might think or expect of me but
it was some.
I used to always use the hardbound Canson sketch books and I think
those are still the best, but they are big and hard to lug around.
And watercolor is not super but OK. Sometimes I use a small watercolor pad to do watercolor on but then I
have to carry the extra thing and anticipate that I am using
something I want to watercolor.
I also have an accordion of watercolor paper that sits inside my
moleskine sketchbook that I can use for watercolor. I haven't used
it because I used paper I don't really like. I don't know why!!!
Why would I spend an afternoon trimming and cutting and pasting and
folding a paper I don't like? Because I did not want to waste the
"good stuff". Maybe now that I know how I want to do the accordion I
can make another one with good paper.
I also saw the Komtrak inspiral sketchbook online but I am not sure
how hard the cover is, and I sort of want to touch the book and get a
feel for how it is and all. It has looseleaf pages that you can cut
yourself or order from them. It is expensive though. I like the idea of being able to use just the right paper for just the right thing, and then putting them together in a final permanent ringbinding later in chronological order.
I think I am a paper snob, but I need to think more about what I want
to use my book for. Perhaps the perfect paper, handbound in my spare time...
And speaking of handbinding, sticks and string podcast recently had
an episode about hand binding books. he did it for the same
reasons. To get the paper he loved in a size and hard bound book he

No comments: