Like most artists that sketch, I’m always searching for the “perfect” journal. My collection includes purse-size 3″ x 5″ books, a 9″ x 12″ lightweight paper for pencil work, and different sizes with tan paper, black paper, and various weights (thickness) of cream and white papers.
The latest entry, and quickly becoming a favorite, is a wire-bound Super Deluxe journal from Bee Paper Company. The 9″ x 6″ size is easy to handle and large enough to work in comfortably.
I really like the paper in this book. It has some texture to it, but not so much that fine pens skip over it. The sepia Microns I used for this sketch flowed over the paper easily.
At 93 lbs, it takes watercolor pretty well, although it does buckle when it gets wet. (Happy to say it dries almost entirely flat.)
Since it’s a soft paper, the watercolor really spreads and creates diffused edges. Details need to be added after the paper completely dries.
For the third page, I sketched the design with a mechanical pencil, then inked over that with a 0.3 Artline pen. (Also a new favorite, as it seems smoother than a Micron.)
For color, I used watercolor pencils. This worked great, as the pencils provided lots of texture and vivid colors. They didn’t require much water either, so the paper didn’t buckle as much and dried quickly.
The only downside to this book is that the mechpencil smears easily on the soft paper. (Has anyone found a journal that doesn’t??) Since I prefer to ink in sketches and add color, that won’t be a problem. We’ll call this one a winner so far!