View Full Version : Joseph Zbukvic sketchbook

05-08-2013, 10:20 PM
Hello everyone. I am new to Wet Canvas and am getting back into drawing and watercolor after years away.
I am looking for a good sketchbook that handles pencil as well as watercolor well. I was wondering if anyone who has been to one of his workshops knows what kind of sketchbook Joseph Zbukvic uses because they appear to handle both well.

05-09-2013, 01:55 AM
Here's a link with a picture...maybe someone will recognize the brand:


Quinacridone Gold
05-09-2013, 03:10 AM
Stillman and Birn make sketchbooks with ivory paper - it could be that. There are many different types - Alpha, Beta, Gamma etc. The heaviest are designed to take heavy applications of watercolour or mixed media and come in white and ivory. I think they are 300gsm or maybe 280 - a good weight though. They are Beta and... Delta perhaps? Anyway - a nice range of sketchbooks for watercolour. Good range of sizes, shapes and spiral or bound. I bought a square spiral Beta...

05-09-2013, 04:54 AM
I can't tell from that photo. Perhaps you could go to Joseph Zbukvic's webpage, drop him a line and ask. Or if he has a workshop listing, there is a supply list that could provide the information.

On of my favorite watercolourists David Lyle Millard, used the Aquabee Super Deluxe (maroon cover). And it has become one of my favorites, especially when out with watercolours. I also like the Global Art Handmade Watercolour sketchbooks. It is very heavy and rough paper, but I can keep layering and lifting until I am happy, not worry too much about bleeding through.


virgil carter
05-09-2013, 09:06 AM
The issue for sketch books is that "sketching" is a dry medium (pencils, charcoal, pastels, etc.), while painting (or even sketching with paints) is a wet medium (watercolor paints, pens, etc.).

Thus, rather than look for a "brand" of sketch book or someone's "autographed" materials, one might be better advised to find a sketch book with paper of sufficient weight and surface tooth that will take both dry and wet media reasonably well.

For example, there are sketchbooks from Internet art retailers using 140 lb and 300 lb watercolor paper. There's good threads on WC about making one's own sketchbook using paper cut to a preferred size.

Good luck with your search.

Sling paint,

05-09-2013, 09:48 AM
I did as Virgil suggested and made my own.I got a consignment of Bockingford 140lb and made various size pads,1/4 sheet and 1/8 using rings from Staples that Charlene was kind enough to send me because they can't be gotten here and cardboard hardcover which I got ordered with the paper from Jacksons Art in the UK.They work great.

05-09-2013, 10:35 AM
The image of the Joseph Zbukvic sketchbook does not appear to me to be a Stillman & Birn sketchbook. It looks more like a toned paper sketchbook from Cachet or Strathmore. Both will accept light washes.

05-09-2013, 11:22 AM
The B&S Delta books are ivory and take both ink and watercolour as well as pastels. The Beta is a WHITE and will also take pastels and watercolours.

I agree, email him :D

Lawrence Fox
05-09-2013, 12:29 PM
The Alpha Series B&S books are heavy weight paper, natural white, 100#, 150 gsm, vellum surface; their website says "suitable for all dry media and multiple washes". (I have some of these as hardbacks--large and small).

The Beta Series are extra heavy weight paper, natural white, 180#, 270 gsm, rough surface, and described as "enhanced wet strength suitable for mixed media renderings". (I have one -- wirebound).

I love them both; they're really fun to use and take watercolours (and w/c pencils) quite nicely, although they DO buckle a bit (but will straighten out nicely if the washes are not too heavy). OTOH, it does give the book a nice "used" feeling as you start going through it. (And it IS a sketchbook). It takes fountain pen ink quite nicely (I often write notes about what & when I've sketched along with the weather etc) and I've done a couple of small sketches in fountain pen ink and then washed them to get shades.

I've done more work with the Alpha's right now and only one or two sketches in the Beta (I'm filling a Canson wirebound one first :). Softer graphite pencils, however do seem to smudge a bit, if you really lay on the graphite.

So far, so good. If you're looking for a good sketchbook and don't want to make one on your own, I recommend them. (And to be honest, they're one of the ONLY hardbound sketchbooks that I could find in Canada that would handle watercolours nicely--I'm often jealous of the selection available to our UK and US-based members!)

I don't work for S&B, just a happy customer.


Saint Ragdoll
05-09-2013, 06:54 PM
I have the Aquabee sketchbook with a moroon cover and I love it for watercolor sketches. Cover says made in France for Lana by Creative Mark. The paper is 100lb paper and the 9X 12 size has 48 sheets. Spiral bound. And the paper seems to me to be more towards cream than bright white....
Saint Ragdoll