Sketchbook Dilemma

In April I finished my small Moleskine sketchbook (portrait 9 x 14 cm). I loved the ease of always carrying it with me, yet I’m not particularly fond of the papers’ yellow tinge and smoothness. For the quick casual sketches I preferred the paper in Daler-Rowney Ebony Artist’s sketchbooks – it could take a light layer of watercolour, but didn’t feel too precious, like thick paper in watercolour sketchbooks does, to waste on simple pen sketches.
Quick pen sketch of chickens

Pilot G-TEC-C4 pen in Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook (14.0 x 21.6 cm)

At the moment I’m using Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook (14.0 x 21.6 cm). In three weeks since starting it I left it behind few times thinking my bag already too full or too heavy and of course regretted not having any sketching materials with me when unexpected sketching opportunities presented themselves. So either I need to resolve to carry it with me at all times or get another smaller sketchbook. I don’t mind having more than one sketchbook on the go. We, humans, very rarely recall events in strict chronological order – the mind jumps around, the chain of memories loosely linked by various associations – places, times, people. Why should my sketchbooks be any different? Why should one start only when another finishes?


8 thoughts on “Sketchbook Dilemma

  1. anniekitching

    Oh – it just seems “orderly” – I guess that’s why it would tend to be most people’s intuitive pattern. I don’t have much opportunity to sketch anymore, but I am SO sensitive to the texture of paper (and also know what you mean about certain papers seeming just “too precious”….) Sadly, that’s why when I look back, many things I have done that I have been most pleased with are on really unsuitable papers. The lovely sketch of Anastasia on lined notebook paper along with math homework – or the pencil drawing of Leo Tolstoy which my mother has framed and hanging on her wall – though it was done on newsprint.

    1. Zoya Post author

      Dear Annie, I so much would love to see your sketches. I wish I lived closer and could come over with some paper to gift to you and maybe get you to sketch for few minutes with me. *hugs*

  2. kestrelart

    I am using exactly the same two sketchbooks as you. I also preferred the Daler Rowney book but for a few weeks have been experimenting with the Moleskine. That yellow tinged resistant paper makes for interesting distribution of wash when I apply water to the ink lines. Still experimenting.

    1. Zoya Post author

      Kestrelart, I love your sketches in Moleskine – somehow you make the paper work for you.
      How are your experiments in lino printing progressing?

      1. kestrelart

        Hi Zoya
        Good question. I am desperate to get on with some printmaking but it keeps falling by the wayside. Work commitments keep eating into my own time. Still, I am planning to get some plates and experimenting with intaglio in the field – sketching direct onto the plate. It will reverse of course on printing but might be a start. Thanks for asking. Nothing like encouragement to make this actually happen.

    1. Zoya Post author

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. While looking through my previous sketchbook I realised that my favourite sketches were of the birds, so I’ll aim to do more of them.


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