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Blog

Trying New Sketchbooks

Anais Lee

I've heard many artists loving Stillman & Birn sketchbooks, so I wanted to try it. I like Moleskine but sometimes the paper is too sleek for colored pencil. This Alpha series sketchbook from S & B is perfect for pencil work! (The food drawing from last week is an example of using colored pencil on this paper)

The Moleskine journal is still good for pen and ink drawing (below), and now I use it mainly for writing.

PITT artist pen and patterned paper on Moleskine Daily Planner

PITT artist pen and patterned paper on Moleskine Daily Planner

I tried pen and ink on S & B Alpha book (below). The book has medium grain surface so the pen doesn't run as smoothly as on Moleskine, but it still works well.

PITT artist pen on Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook

PITT artist pen on Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook

Although it's for dry media, light wash and ink, it doesn't buckle too much when I applied multiple layers of watercolor wash. It actually takes watercolor pretty well. I really really love this sketchbook and want to try other series by S & B.

PITT artist pen (dark sepia), watercolor pencil, and watercolor

PITT artist pen (dark sepia), watercolor pencil, and watercolor

I also got Strathmore Mixed Media Art Journal. The paper is 90 lb. but feels thicker than S & B Alpha book. I have used Strathmore 500 series single sheet paper for colored pencil before, and I liked it. This book uses the same paper. I did a colored pencil and light watercolor sketch of Punchy in this book (below) and it didn't disappoint me. 

PITT artist pen sepia, colored pencil and L'aquarelle Sennelier watercolor on Strathmore mixed media paper Art Journal 

PITT artist pen sepia, colored pencil and L'aquarelle Sennelier watercolor on Strathmore mixed media paper Art Journal 

They both work very well with the media I use (colored pencil, pen and ink, watercolor). S & B comes with more options in size and paper though. These two books have become my favorite choices for sketchbook now.