WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Subjects > Art Journals
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-08-2011, 01:51 PM
RainySea's Avatar
RainySea RainySea is offline
A Local Legend
California
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,766
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

I made a list of my favorites and have it at home. I will post it tonight in case anyone cares to see. . . its just my preference but I rated the ones I have in groups from A down to F (only one in the F cateogry, but quite a few in D)

An I totally have to research that GSM as it relates to the pounds now. . . its strange how the paper can be a heavier weight but have poorer GSM but does explain some things I encountered in my tests above maybe. I'm going to put both on my A-F list so I can compare and see how much difference that makes.
__________________
C & C are welcomed! Thank you.

Last edited by RainySea : 03-08-2011 at 01:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #32   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-08-2011, 03:15 PM
big foot's Avatar
big foot big foot is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 567
 
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Andrew

Hi. That Kokuyo sketchbook sounds terrific. 200 gsm sounds really hardy! Separately, I just noticed that the eye you have as your avatar moves! That is so cool. It made me smile when I picked up on it. :-)


Rainy

I'd love to see your list! That would be great!

Candace/Rainy, Jamie..

Yeah.. the GSM is a really good indicator. There is something kooky about industry standards. I mean, how can something be 100 lbs technically and so much thinner? it would seem that terms that describe the quality, weight and other characteristics of commercial paper should be easier to understand, more transparent..In addition to GSM and weight, the other thing is what the paper is made of. For example Stonehenge's 90 lb paper in its pads and Wired Journals is 100% cotton. Other papers are cellulose or some combination of cotton and cellulose and a wide range of other stuff depending what you buy by label..watercolor paper, pastel paper, mixed media. etc... So the ingredients effect the texture and quality and that can also be confusing. For example, I assume that 100% cotton is better than cellulose/cotton, but this is all over my head. I don't really know how to evaluate papers based on all these different metrics/factors. it can be confusing.. BUT>>>

That said, I am a novice at all this drawing, painting stuff and so, I don't need the elite quality that costs an arm and a leg. So, it's an academic interest in some ways. Still, it's nice to know for reference what the whole range of paper options comprise depending on what one is doing, what is being created, media etc. One of my favorite paper sources is pretty cheap, e.g. the 80 lb Dick Blick 8x10 sketchpads that I go on and on about sometimes..They are 130 gsm, 70 sheets and 4.99 each.

In the end, it's a personal choice. I mean, aren't most of us instinctively drawn to what we like when we feel the paper in a store and have a chance perhaps to try it out? All the abstract analysis might be a bit too time consuming.. I admit, it's just where my mind goes.. I tend to over think these things! :-) We need to have fun with what we have and enjoy the process of finding new materials. :-) Carpe diem..

Abby

Last edited by big foot : 03-08-2011 at 04:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #33   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-08-2011, 05:48 PM
Andrew's Avatar
Andrew Andrew is offline
A Local Legend
Charles City, Iowa
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,681
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by big foot
Andrew

Hi. That Kokuyo sketchbook sounds terrific. 200 gsm sounds really hardy! Separately, I just noticed that the eye you have as your avatar moves! That is so cool. It made me smile when I picked up on it. :-)


Rainy

I'd love to see your list! That would be great!

Candace/Rainy, Jamie..

Yeah.. the GSM is a really good indicator. There is something kooky about industry standards. I mean, how can something be 100 lbs technically and so much thinner? it would seem that terms that describe the quality, weight and other characteristics of commercial paper should be easier to understand, more transparent..In addition to GSM and weight, the other thing is what the paper is made of. For example Stonehenge's 90 lb paper in its pads and Wired Journals is 100% cotton. Other papers are cellulose or some combination of cotton and cellulose and a wide range of other stuff depending what you buy by label..watercolor paper, pastel paper, mixed media. etc... So the ingredients effect the texture and quality and that can also be confusing. For example, I assume that 100% cotton is better than cellulose/cotton, but this is all over my head. I don't really know how to evaluate papers based on all these different metrics/factors. it can be confusing.. BUT>>>

That said, I am a novice at all this drawing, painting stuff and so, I don't need the elite quality that costs an arm and a leg. So, it's an academic interest in some ways. Still, it's nice to know for reference what the whole range of paper options comprise depending on what one is doing, what is being created, media etc. One of my favorite paper sources is pretty cheap, e.g. the 80 lb Dick Blick 8x10 sketchpads that I go on and on about sometimes..They are 130 gsm, 70 sheets and 4.99 each.

In the end, it's a personal choice. I mean, aren't most of us instinctively drawn to what we like when we feel the paper in a store and have a chance perhaps to try it out? All the abstract analysis might be a bit too time consuming.. I admit, it's just where my mind goes.. I tend to over think these things! :-) We need to have fun with what we have and enjoy the process of finding new materials. :-) Carpe diem..

Abby

The difference between the US standard weights and gsm is because they are measuring two different things. 100# paper, for example, means that one ream of full sheets weighs 100#. But that ream can vary considerably. For ledger or bond paper, the standard size is 17"x22" (IIRC), book or offset paper it is 25"x38", cover stock (which may be measured in a double ream) is 20"x26" (or maybe 25" I don't recall), and tag stock or bristol is 24"x36". Watercolor paper gets even more confusing. If it is not 100% rag the standard size is 25.5"x30.5", but its 100% rag the standard size is 17"x22". But manufactures can define standard size on partial rag.

Gsm is a better measurement in my opinion. It is far more definitive.

Andrew
__________________
"Never ascribe to malice what adequately can be explained as stupidity"-- Robert J. Hanlon

“What a genius, that Picasso. It is a pity he doesn't paint.” - Marc Chagall
Reply With Quote
  #34   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-08-2011, 05:59 PM
CandAlArt's Avatar
CandAlArt CandAlArt is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,871
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Abby, you make a lot of good points (starting with Andrew's eyeball.. way freaky and amusing). Being a novice or non-professional, we don't need the Louvre-calibre most expensive things. But somewhere between gum wrappers and 100% rag is a happy medium (pun intended) that makes our work look its best, to our own satisfaction. It is frustrating to see little info or confusing figures on packages of paper. Some of the Blick YouTubes are very enlightening, as are the descriptions & reviews.

Finding cheap supplies or super sales on "good" stuff is fun because I am not so inh$bited about us$ng $t up. Heck I got a steal of a deal in Dec. from Blick on good art paper & still have to remind myself to use it, since it was not pricey on sale!

Store brands/ house brands are interesting- often quite good. I think maybe the price is good because there is no middle-man to pay to market the product. I am not surprized you found the Blick paper to be good. I am slowly sampling Master's Touch at Hobby Lobby- their house brand. Stuff like nice hard-spiral bound sketchbooks for half the other brands.

I also await Rainy's A to F Scale of Sketchbook with bated breath!

Carpe diem back at 'ya!
__________________
Candace
Runs With Scissors
Reply With Quote
  #35   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-10-2011, 06:10 PM
Kema's Avatar
Kema Kema is offline
Senior Member
Westerly, RI
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 179
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Thanks, Andrew, I was getting really confused reading all this. Guess I have to learn GSM after all :-P
Reply With Quote
  #36   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-10-2011, 06:17 PM
Kema's Avatar
Kema Kema is offline
Senior Member
Westerly, RI
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 179
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

P.S. I await Rainy's scale too. I don't think my ideal sketchbook exists, because I've done a lot of web searches. Square, something close to 8x8, hard bound, with something close to 45 sheets of 90 lb watercolor paper, not too rough. I'm disappointed with my little Canson - may be making my first homemade one early this summer.
Reply With Quote
  #37   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-10-2011, 06:18 PM
RainySea's Avatar
RainySea RainySea is offline
A Local Legend
California
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,766
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Oh, I totally forgot to do that last night. SORRY! Will try to remember tonight when I'm home. Sometimes I don't get online a lot at night since I am online all day at work.
__________________
C & C are welcomed! Thank you.
Reply With Quote
  #38   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-10-2011, 06:46 PM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,938
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by vhere


This Canson watercolour sketch book is one of my favourites. I love the cheerful red cover, it's robust and has lots of pages, the paper is heavy enough not to buckle. It's smoothish but with a tooth.

I've used watercolour, oil, mixed media, collage, pastel, charcoal, inks, coloured pencils, inktense and more in it and it behaves beautifully with all of them.

A lot of the work here was done in this book.

Vivien, do these pages open flat, to make it easy to draw/paint across a two page spread?

Jamie
__________________
My Blog/Website/Paintings/Demos/Studio Tours/Paintmaking/Pochade Boxes
If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
Reply With Quote
  #39   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-11-2011, 08:58 AM
Kema's Avatar
Kema Kema is offline
Senior Member
Westerly, RI
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 179
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

I missed this post about the red Canson watercolor book. It looks pretty good, actually. I couldn't get it to come up in a search until I typed it exactly as in that post, with all the spaces and the U in colour. I can only find it in one online store, in the UK, which does not ship overseas. Anybody know if it's carried anywhere in America? :-(
Reply With Quote
  #40   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-11-2011, 09:20 AM
RainySea's Avatar
RainySea RainySea is offline
A Local Legend
California
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,766
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

My sketchbook reviews after testing with stuff I like to use. This is just based on my preferences. And I have no favor for stitched vs wirebound, like them both. So that did not impact my test. It was based on how I liked the paper. The order within each list is random and not based on any individual rating with a grade, btw.

GRADE "A"
I really like all of these for their versatility with most all media I use and nice paper in all of them

AquaBee Super Deluxe
Handbook Artist Journal
Raffine Art Sketch
Strathmore Visual Journal (Watercolor 140 and Mixed Media, not tried the rest)
Pentalic Nature Sketch
Maruman Art Spiral

GRADE "B"
I also like these a lot, and while they work better with some media than others and thus did not make my A list, I will still buy them again for the uses I do like.

Fabriano Artist Journal with colored pages
Canson Mixed Media XL
Bee Pen Sketchers (my fav for zentangles but wish they came in smaller size)
Daler Rowney Cachet Earthbound

GRADE "C"
These are still nice, but do not work well for some media AND also I do not find them outstanding for any specific thing either like I do those in the B category.

Pentalic Sketch black hardback (Borders)
Blick Drawing
ProArt
Canson Field Sketchbook

GRADE "D"
These ones I would not purchase again but will use the one I have

Porfolio
Strathmore 400
Co-Mo
Moleskine Sketch (thin paper, don't like the creamy color, CA 65 warning)
Moleskine Watercolor (CA 65 warning)

GRADE "F"
All the others I like for some purposes, but just don't like these at all, not even for writing in. Would not even use!

Set of two hard black wirebound sketchbooks from Aaron Bros.
__________________
C & C are welcomed! Thank you.

Last edited by RainySea : 03-11-2011 at 10:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #41   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-11-2011, 01:19 PM
big foot's Avatar
big foot big foot is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 567
 
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Wow! Rainy! This is really helpful!!

Thanks!

Vivien

Is the red Canson watercolor sketchbook available in the US? If so, where? I haven't seen it. It looks really nice. How many sheets? Thanks for the links to your work in this book. Nice stuff!!!

Abby
Reply With Quote
  #42   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-12-2011, 02:01 AM
CandAlArt's Avatar
CandAlArt CandAlArt is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,871
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Rainy, Thanks! Fun to scrutinize your list! How come the low score on Strath 400? The off-white? That's why I like it, but a lot of artists prefer the bright white for their purposes. Lately I have used the Strath 400 Drawing with my waterbrush & various water-sol pencils. It buckles less than my Canson Mix Media. Weird. It flattens out later in the sketchbook. I like several of the ones on your list- esp Handbook, cool cover and paper and size.
__________________
Candace
Runs With Scissors
Reply With Quote
  #43   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-12-2011, 10:49 AM
RainySea's Avatar
RainySea RainySea is offline
A Local Legend
California
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,766
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Candace, first. . . the Strathmore 400 Drawing was my FIRST sketchbook when I started drawing a few years ago!

BUT I should mention that it was the DRAWING version. . . I never tired the watercolor/Field version! UGH. . . I wonder if a moderator can change that? Don't want to give folks the wrong idea.

Anyway, I put the Strathmore 400 DRAWING in the category lower than the ProArt and the Canson Field for two reasons. First is the super flimsy cover (my sketchbooks tend to get left laying around a house full of dogs that might knock them off onto the floor, lay on top of them on the couch, drool on them, etc.) so a good heavy cover is a nice thing to have. AND because the paper in that one has more tooth/texture than does the other two I mention. My personal preference is I like drawing on a smoother surface. I bet I will really like the Strathmore Visual Journal Bristol versions, just have not picked one up yet. I think Strathmore really moved forward with the Visual Journals because of all the variety of paper AND the nice hard cover. Plus all the sizes to choose from!! The Strathmore 400 Field does not come in smaller sizes it seems That is maybe why I have never tried it. I don't tend to like 9x12 size. . . too big to take places in my bags.

Anyway, so that is why I say the list is very individualistic as someone else might prefer more tooth for their pencil work and thus rate that one higher and the other two lower! I totally agree with you on the Handbook, all those sizes are great. . . I love being able to get smaller sizes in sketchbooks that I can take with me and such pretty colors is a plus an that paper takes my waterbrush grand.

Anyway, hope this helps explain it. . . and sorry I didn't put DRAWING in the title. UGH. . . now that I think of it, there are a few that have different varities that I should have research and put in more exact title.
__________________
C & C are welcomed! Thank you.

Last edited by RainySea : 03-12-2011 at 11:06 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #44   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-12-2011, 12:18 PM
DrDebby's Avatar
DrDebby DrDebby is offline
WC! Guide
Nowheresville, Idunno
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,087
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Thanks for this list Rainy. That's a pretty good way to rank the sketchbooks.
__________________
Debby
Guide - Fiber Art Forum My Website_My Etsy
Reply With Quote
  #45   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-12-2011, 02:12 PM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,938
 
Hails from United States
Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Rainy, it's great to see your list. The problems I've found with the Hand Book Journals are related to the fact that the paper is an unsized vellum. Because of that, many other issues follow --- fountain pens don't glide over the surface, watercolors sink in and lose their luminosity, and inks don't "wash" as well with a waterbrush as they do on a sized surface (because the ink sinks way into the paper instead of sitting on top). The off-white color also cuts the luminosity. If they could do a heavy bright white paper with a sized surface (like the Fabriano Venezia paper), that might be my Dream Book!

Jamie
__________________
My Blog/Website/Paintings/Demos/Studio Tours/Paintmaking/Pochade Boxes
If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:09 AM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.