Order of the day – starting a new sketching year with a new sketchbook!

My trusty old PERFECT SKETCHBOOK has been finally completed in November when THE LAST SEAT WAS TAKEN, but I already prepared for that inevitable fact last summer when I got me not one, but two new sketchbooks to carry on the flame: VENEZIA from Fabriano and I LOVE ART from Gerstaecker:

The one branded as I LOVE ART is proposed by the art-material-distributor-vendor GERSTAECKER, but probably made by somebody else for them. It’s a 16X12 cm and 200gr Cold Press watercolor paper sketchbook, so a lighter paper than 300gr in TPB. That fact quickly became evident while working on the first sketch – the paper buckled more than paper in TPB, but luckilly not to a point that it was problematic. After drying closed it’s once again pretty flat. It’s not a bad paper, but different in feel and properties; lifting is far easier on it, which was a plus when I wanted to correct some highlights on the spoon. On the other side, when I wanted to apply an additional pass of glazing, the color beneath started lifting a bit, so I must take that in account and adapt my habits a bit.

Other difference is that it is just a bit bigger than TPB, but enough to prevent fitting in my EPSON A4 scanner; I had to scan the spread in two parts and then stitch them in Photoshop. It’s either that or working on single pages instead filling the spreads.

As for the sketch, I didn’t have much time, nor I had an intriguing subject, so just a typical coffee sketch realized for testing the sketchbook. It stayed pretty flat while working, not as flat as TPB, but enough that working on it was not oppressive and paint didn’t flow around where it should not.

The other one – VENEZIA by Fabriano – I haven’t tested yet, so cannot compare how it’s paper behaves. It has portrait orientation, and it’s spreads are consequently more squarish, but at least they will not be a problem to scan if I can manage to actually work in it. I have doubts because even just during the short photo-session it was obvious that it does not want to stay flat open; it just kept closing and closing. Hopefully it will “break-in” a bit with use, otherwise it might be too much of a nuisance.

And so another sketch-year started; let’s see where it might lead in the forthcoming months.