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Old 06-28-2011, 06:46 PM
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Stillman & Birn New Journals

I'm combining all five of these glorious Stillman & Birn journals into one thread, otherwise I'd have five threads going. It may eventually get hefty, but that's better than spamming the forum!



First journal tested - Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook, archival quality rough ivory paper. I love this paper. It's toothy like a shark!

I used my Derwent Watercolour Pencils on it for my first sketch on the top of the first page and it just ate it up, like using pastels almost. Ate it up and wanted more. I went lightly but I'm pretty sure if I went at this paper with Prismacolors or Coloursoft I'd get some interesting effects.

The wash - sturdy and wonderful. No trace of cockling or bleed-through. This is a heavy, splendid substrate for putting anything on it. I'm going to love these. This one's a delight and I know I'm going to be trying some crazy combinations and mediums in it.

Enhanced wet strength suitable for mixed media renderings. I think the next trial has to be some very loose soggy washes!


White Horse
5" x 6"
Derwent Watercolour Pencils and wash
Stillman & Birn "Delta Series" archival journal rough ivory multimedia paper.
Photo reference by Canis_Lupess from RIL.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:15 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

well done white horse!! very nice shadowing and modeling on him
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:23 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

I echo your impressions of the journals, Robert. They are really excellent. I did three pages so far, using pen and wash and watercolor and the paper behaved wonderfully.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:20 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Great start on the reviews. I think it's a good idea to keep 1 thread for this, so we can readily see/compare the offerings within this brand. I don't think I have ever run across a spiral sketchbook with wc paper this sturdy, at 270gsm. Veerrry interesting!
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:10 AM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Nice start to the book!!! Looks like the pages take washes well! I'll have to try these out after I get back from Italy.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:59 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Wonderful first sketch! Always exciting to start another new journal.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:51 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Ooooh goody a new book
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:22 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Great start on a new sketchbook. So far I've only heard good things about the S&B sketchbooks.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:22 AM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Thank you! I wanted to give it a heavier field test before I review it on my blog, so on the 29th, I attacked it with a lot of water. I used a 1" brush to wet the whole page leaving maybe half an inch bare to the edges and started drawing into that with Daniel Smith watercolor sticks.

Wow. The paper soaked the water up very fast. I was almost sketching on dry with the sticks by the time I finished doodling the ammonites. So I threw more water around them and started putting color in with a wet brush to get soft-edged swirling shapes. Again, the paper wicked it up very fast, even though I was using strong color in a good wet brush. Wow.

I can do very heavy washes and wet in wet passages with this paper. The main thing about doing that is being sure I've got enough water on it to keep them wet in wet!



You can see how dry some of the tentacles are on the ammonite. I'd have had to spray those to soften them, but I decided to leave a contrasting texture. Truly a multi-media book, I love this journal. Best of all, it's archival! This is one that I'll enjoy for years and years.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:22 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Great information. Very cute ammonites.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:42 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Thanks for the review, Robert! I just got a couple Deltas. . . YAY!
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:36 AM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

good paper is so important - I don't think we get that brand over here but I generally like a heavy weight of paper in the ones I use.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:34 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

I've used acrylics, inks, gouache and watercolor in my Delta, often with washes or one medium over another. The paper definitely takes a lot of abuse and keeps on performing. I find it's not really a "rough" texture, as fountain pens can still write on it; I'd say its more like a cold press surface. I have the same 6x8" book that you have. It's a great size for on the go sketches.

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Old 07-07-2011, 03:39 PM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Robert, I have the same Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook that you are reviewing. I have gone through three and started on my fourth of them as a journal for the last year of my battle with treatment of cancer. I have done at least a small drawing or painting every day in pastels or water souluble ink pencils or a combination of both. The heavy weight paper is great and takes every thing I have trown at it. Bill
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:37 AM
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Re: Stillman & Birn New Journals

Thank you! Bill and Jamie, I can understand why you keep getting these. I love this paper. I'm sure I'll replace my Delta when it's full. I love the freedom of being able to wash or not. Rainy, that's great you got a couple of these!

I chose this journal for my trip, this is the one I'm taking in carry on for my move to San Francisco.

Today, Sascha came into my room to draw so together we did the WDE cat image. Sascha thinks Patches is so cute!


Patches
4" x 5" approx.
Colored pencils on Stillman & Birn ivory heavy multimedia paper
Photo reference by Catherine1 for Weekend Drawing Event 7-22-2011

Sascha, age 7, drew Patches too with her colored pencils on rusty red mat board. One more Grandpa & granddaughter drawing session!

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