1. Venezia Book by Fabriano.
I have been wanting to try one of these for ages, so two weeks ago when I saw one on the counter at my local store – The Artscene – I couldn’t resist.
The first thing I did was what I do on every the first page – a sketch of my current palette. While I normally do this as a way of tracking what I am using and any minor tweaks (the tweaks are getting less and less… truly!) it is also a great way of testing the paper.
I can test
– use of watercolour pencil (a few guidelines – I don’t really need to do this but it is a good test)
– use of ink
– how it takes all the different type of pigments in my palette. Granulating ones and staining ones that are prone to blossoming and hard edges.
– how bright the colours are – since I try to use each colour at full intensity
– and the list goes on….
I also did a teacup test (surprise surprise!) but since I overdosed on my yellow cup last week, it is the pink one. I hope you can read my notes. I will be testing this book further over the next few days (I am going away for a few days for a much needed break)
I know that this paper isn’t really suited to the way I use watercolour but I am interested to see how I go with it. There is no doubt though, that it is a beautiful beautiful book.
2. Travel Sketchbook by Hahnemuehle
(thanks to The Art Scene…do you realise how many different types of sketchbooks they have in the store!)
140g/m2 62 pages high quality sketch paper 13.5 x 21cm landscape
This is a beautiful boundbook similar in size to the moleskine ‘large’ sketchbook but thicker. I like the quality and feel of the book and paper a lot. Colour is off white.
3. Leuchtturm 1917 Sketchbook…. in Berry
(thanks to LarryPost – they have an amazing array of Leuchtturm books… oh ah! I could roam their shelves for hours)
96 pages, drawing board with 180g/m2 , white, 14.5 x 21cm portrait
I love Leuchtturm books – I have used their notebooks for a number of years for various writing based notebooks (prefer them over moleskine notebook paper) They have the most delicious range of coloured covers… don’t get me started.
This is a stunning book – the paper is bright white and thick and the quality, like all Leuchttrums, is outstanding.
Ok – this is not a full review but just the starter…I just couldn’t stand to have those books sitting on my shelf looking at me.
I did a palette sketch for each and that was certainly enough to confirm that both books do not really suit a serious watercolour painter. Depending on how you use watercolour the Hahnemuehle might be ok (ie. more for simple block colours) and I certainly liked the tooth on the Hahnemuehle for both ink and watercolour pencil.
Anyway – I have plans for how I am going to use both of these books for some development projects I have coming soon – so I will be able to report on how they are holding up to different media and uses
But in summary: Neither of these two would be suitable for ME as a daily sketchbook.
Looking forward to playing with the Venezia book though!