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Old 05-28-2010, 04:52 PM
Zenica Zenica is offline
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Question Zen's Journey

Hey guys,

Not sure if its okay to post questions here, but I'm currently ordering some Lama Li Travel Journals from Dick Blicks. I heard that they were pretty good for pen and ink as well as marker sketching and light watercolors. Has anyone tried this handmade sketch book? I heard that quality can vary on handmade stuff but I wanted to see if anyone likes it.

I will post images of my work in one when I get it and for proper use on this section I'll post them in this thread too! Maybe I'll post some loose leaf stuff I've already done too.

Zen
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:20 PM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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Re: Zen's Journey

I have a couple of Lama Li watercolor books with handmade paper. The texture was rough and really interesting, almost like cloth, fun texture but I need to paint large in them. They're the book you got free buying enough Blick Artists' Watercolors last year, 100% cotton rag rough paper with deckle edges. Pretty good and rather specialty.

I also bought a tiny Lama Li journal for only being 2 1/2" x 4" or something like that, very small, but it was bound inside the hard covers like a paperback and a couple of pages have come loose. I don't use that one much but the drawing in it is very good.

So I think it varies with what the book is.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:43 PM
Zenica Zenica is offline
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Re: Zen's Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2
I have a couple of Lama Li watercolor books with handmade paper. The texture was rough and really interesting, almost like cloth, fun texture but I need to paint large in them. They're the book you got free buying enough Blick Artists' Watercolors last year, 100% cotton rag rough paper with deckle edges. Pretty good and rather specialty.

I also bought a tiny Lama Li journal for only being 2 1/2" x 4" or something like that, very small, but it was bound inside the hard covers like a paperback and a couple of pages have come loose. I don't use that one much but the drawing in it is very good.

So I think it varies with what the book is.


Thanks Robert,

I appreciate the time you took to reply. I wasn't sure if anyone knew what I was talking about. The one's I ordered were from Dick Blick, the smaller ones on http://www.dickblick.com/products/la...avel-journals/.

There was one review on that site that was from a marker user (is there a formal term for one who paints with markers?)

This was my primary reason for ordering them, although I am a bit of a sketchbook fanatic. It was a jump from my favorite HandBook Journals. I recently put an order for the huge gift pack 48 set of the Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens. I got the set's price lowered to $76 with a coupon and decided to buy a new sketchbook for them too.

I got the urge to try a pack of 4 from michael's yesterday when they were clearenced to $12. I had been thinking about them for over a year... I am mostly a watercolor/pen and ink lover but I have leaned toward the "brush pen" side of illustration.

I loved the set of 4 so much that I couldn't put it off. I think I got a fairly good deal too. I have seen that set go for $120+... I still wonder if I paid too much :

Since I looked at a few other artists who use the lama li travel journals I have found out that they are fairly decent for that specific use. I doubt they will remain "pitt pen only" for long.

Zen
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:16 PM
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Re: Zen's Journey

This one says signature binding, so you probably won't have the only problem I had with any Lama Li book -- losing a page to its having neat binding (that's what gluing the pages in like a paperback is called). They're good quality and I think you'll enjoy them.

With markers, whatever the book, I always want to slide a bit of cardboard or heavy paper under the page I'm doing and work on one side only. Very few papers stand up to markers without bleed-through, and it's cheaper to just use one side than to use both sides and the next couple of pages have to work around splotches and dots of strong color.

Except for Pitt Artist Pens. Those don't bleed through on anything I've used. They're great that way. I really like them and bought that same set of 48, though I may have to replace it soon as I'm finding more and more of the colors are used up. I have the set sitting upside down (I have been using it heavily for five years so don't feel TOO bad!) to try and squeeze a little more use out of them, but I'll replace it sometime this year. They're so versatile and they're archival. I might move up to the Big Brush ones though.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:17 PM
Zenica Zenica is offline
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Re: Zen's Journey

Hey again Robert,

Thanks for the tip about the "signature" versus "neat" binding. I don't think I've bought any sketchbooks with neat binding, most of the market is signature... I suppose for the same reasons you suggested.

I had a little struggle making the choice between the regular brush pens and the big brush pens too. I really wanted the larger range of 48, but they don't make all of those in big brush pens. The largest set you can buy for those is 24... I think it goes for $120+ which is pretty steep. I worked out a deal for myself so I wouldn't over spend. I decided to get the regular full set and buy two packs of 4, one in the classic and one in skin tones, those being the ones I think I'll use the most.

As I said before, I got the classic set at a deal for $12 so I could try them out. I really didn't plan on buying it but it was the quickest way I could really check out the tools. I also ordered the skin tones too because I work a lot 'plein air' sketching of people. I do a lot of portrait work to relax after a long day.

Once I tried them I figured out that I really like the big brush tip. Mostly because its so loose it almost makes you work that way instead of "tiny" details. So if I run out of those 2 sets by Christmas or early march next year I may go for the 24 pack of the big brush ones to complete the full thing. As for the moment, I think I'll have plenty of things to work with.

I think Dick Blick's has the best price on all of the things, cheapest and best rates for shipping. Also, ASW (aswexpress.com) sells the big brush sets at discounted rates, they don't charge too much for shipping either.

Zen
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:15 PM
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Re: Zen's Journey

That is so great. You're going to be happy, but your budget won't. Blick carries the 48 color set of Big Brush now for $125. My small tip ones are wearing out (or all the pigments descended away from the tips because they were stored tip-up) so I'm getting 48 Big Brush soon (sometime this summer). I haven't decided whether to replace small brush yet or not, depends on whether turning the box over recharges them. I may just have to be careful to store these pens on their sides so the pigments don't settle to the bottom.

They feel juicy, but no color comes out on a lot of the grays and about half the colors. Some still seem to have color but not as vivid as what's in my sketchbooks -- once used they are beautifully archival. So... Big Brush should last longer with five times the ink, right? I can get fine details with big brushes, I might not need both sets.

I'll find out when my Big Brush set arrives. Right now I'm very keen on my latest set of watercolor pencils, using them so much the little set is starting to get snaggly! I'd be thrilled if I had to replace it by using them up.
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Last edited by robertsloan2 : 05-29-2010 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:17 PM
Zenica Zenica is offline
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Re: Zen's Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2
That is so great. You're going to be happy, but your budget won't. Blick carries the 48 color set of Big Brush now for $125.


Ouch, I didn't see that. Ahh well, I don't think I'll mind the regular ones at all. They may not be 5 times the quantity of ink, but the pen tips look like they are about the same as a regular pen.. I really love doing ink and watercolor mix.

A few months ago I got some Derwent Aquatones and Regular Derwent WC Pencils. I like using them a lot, mostly for journals and stuff, but with a clear coat of UV standard fixative they are very lightfast so I don't worry about that. I've done a few paintings with them that I posted in the watermedia forum.

I didn't pay even half of that price for my regulars... maybe I'll order a set later on but for now I think I am happy with my 8 big pens and 48 regular ones. Few questions for you since you have this set.

Do you find the regular set's gift box handy or do you put the pens in something else? Have you taken them out for sketching outside? How big is the box, like small enough to fit in a backpack? Is it particularly heavy, like lets say 5lbs including the pens, or is it lighter?

How do you use your pens? Do you have a sketch or painting currently done with them that you wouldn't mind sharing? No criticism, just curious. Maybe you have a few pens that you use the most? Like lets say limited palette of 5 or 6.

Thanks for answering which ever ones you like, I really appreciate your advice too.

Zen
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:09 PM
Zenica Zenica is offline
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Re: Zen's Journey

I'm going to post a few pictures here. They are not in a new sketchbook. Just loose papers I put into a binder. I just feel like putting some work here before I get the new supplies on Monday.

Here are two painting/sketchwork images that I have done.
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File Type: jpg Horse and Rider002.jpg (65.2 KB, 162 views)
File Type: jpg Blacksmith001.jpg (57.4 KB, 162 views)
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:33 PM
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Re: Zen's Journey

Wow! Nice ink and wash on the cowboy scene. I love how the horse is turning its head. The blacksmith is phenomenal -- that one's just awesome. I love every detail of it. My daughter's a blacksmith (farrier, does horse shoeing) and I've seen her tools, that is spot on.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:18 PM
Zenica Zenica is offline
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Re: Zen's Journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2
Wow! Nice ink and wash on the cowboy scene. I love how the horse is turning its head. The blacksmith is phenomenal -- that one's just awesome. I love every detail of it. My daughter's a blacksmith (farrier, does horse shoeing) and I've seen her tools, that is spot on.


Thanks Robert!

I got that cheap'O paper in a free grab bag from cheap joes that I got after buying a certain amount of stuff.

*I figured out its real name... the stuff is from strathmore, called watercolor 700 series, it says its 140lb watercolor paper but it can't be... its only cold pressed on the top side. The bottom side is like regular paper or something.

Its almost useless for anything but doing those ink and wash techniques. They don't work with regular watercolors or big washes. Fortunately they are okay with wc pencils and ink. It's harder to do, because a single bit of water afterwords will erase the whole painting. The colors do not soak in, just sit on top... Ink drawings or something that isn't water-soluble after it dries, that stuff works fine.

I almost got rid of this stuff but I always try my best to find something that works on it so it doesn't go to waste. I think my Pitt pens work well on it. I've used the smaller 4 set I got earlier and I love the texture that shows through. Maybe that is what I will do when I get the big set on monday!

Zen
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:38 PM
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Re: Zen's Journey

Nice paintings. That blacksmith is great!
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:24 PM
Zenica Zenica is offline
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Re: Zen's Journey

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Nice paintings. That blacksmith is great!


Thanks Debby!
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:47 AM
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Re: Zen's Journey

I know the feeling. I've got cream smooth paper in my Moleskine Folio Sketchbook and the tiny Volant sketchbooks. It doesn't take a lot of pencil because it doesn't have much tooth, it can't take any wet media at all, it was very frustrating paper until I started doing pen drawings on it. Now I think what I've got there is a pen drawing sketchbook -- just penwork beginning to end. Pencil erases easily so I can pencil first when I want to be careful and it looks good.

Any good art paper will have at least one medium that works well on it. You just have to find out what it is to be able to use it.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:40 PM
Zenica Zenica is offline
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Re: Zen's Journey

Hey! Its the 7 of June. After a bit of struggle with the post office/FedEx my package finally arrived. Everything seems in order, the sketchbooks are very new for me, kinda a large leap from where I usually go with them. The pages seem very thin and I haven't tried to write in them yet.. mostly because I haven't been able to pick between the two sketchbooks..purple-ish blue and tan ahh such a hard choice!



I will post another image once I figure out where to start. Probably with a color chart or something!

Zen
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Old 06-07-2010, 04:55 PM
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Re: Zen's Journey

These look great! I'd say start with the purplish-blue one. If they're both the same inside, you might as well pick one and enjoy. I think those pens would work well on thin paper, based on my experience with them.

Color charts are always a good start. Go for it!
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