Could this be the Holy Grail of sketchbooks?

I have spent the last several years looking for the perfect sketchbook. I think I can honestly say I have purchased and tried everything out there. I have two cabinets loaded with partially used sketchbooks. I have also passed along several of my trial and error sketchbooks to a budding young artist.

What makes a perfect sketchbook for me? It really comes down to just a few key things. My preferred tools for sketching are pencil and pen sometimes together. I also use both fiber tipped pens and fountain pens, and I will occasionally use bottled ink and or art markers to add a little color. The sketchbook MUST be able to handle all of these. Smooth enough for pen, yet just enough tooth for the pencil.

That’s where the Landland sketchbooks come in. For me, these little books handle all those requirements with style, and a few additional perks.

Landland sketchbooks

Let’s start with the covers. Landland is a screen printing company, the amazing covers are their leftover and sample prints for their posters. Most of the covers in my collection have been hit multiple times, which I love. The front cover is folded in half making it a nice sturdy thickness. The back cover is also folded in half but they cut the inside flap creating a pocket, a really nice touch.

The paper is 70 pound text paper from the French Paper Company. French Paper is a family owned, US based paper mill. The paper has a great balance of smooth and tooth to handle both pen and pencil with ease. The 70 pound weight also makes it incredibly fountain pen friendly, and fiber tipped pen friendly. I can and have used both sides of the page with little to no bleed-through from both pens. I can also apply fountain pen ink with a brush from the bottle without issue. Now, my AD Markers do bleed through, but let’s be honest, they bleed through everything. The paper is also a nice soft white without being too beige or too bright, and it has a nice speckle to it.

011818 chickadee

Landland sketchbook with Robert Oster inks

011818 chickadee back

Reverse side of the chickadee drawing shown above

The two samples above show the amount bleed-through when using fountain pen ink applied with a brush.

chickadee 021218

Landland sketchbook with Robert Oster ink

wren 021318

Reverse side of the the chickadee drawing shown above

The two samples above show the bleed-through when using a fountain pen, the bottom image is the reverse side of the blue chickadee. The image ghosting through hardly interferes with the wren drawn with pencil and art pens.

garden journal 021518

Landland sketchbook with art pens and AD Markers

122917 geranium

Landland sketchbook with pencil

These books are bound on the short side, for landscape use. I thought that might bother me, I’m used to working portrait with binding on the long side, but I’m really enjoying this format. And because I drop them vertically in my messenger bag I don’t need to worry about the binding get snagged on anything in the bag. The books also have nicely rounded corners that I find keeps them from getting dinged-up.

I carry two of these sketchbooks with my everyday; one as a daily garden journal, and one for whatever I feel like scribbling around with. Unless Landland or French Paper make some serious changes to either product or format, I don’t see a need for me to keep searching for the dream sketchbook. I found my Holy Grail of sketchbooks

This is the link to Landland’s home page – http://landland.net/
This is the link to Landland’s store – Store
This is the link to Landland’s sketchbooks –Sketchbooks
This is the link to my favorite t-shirt that Landland sells – highly recommend grabbing this one, it looks way more fantastic in person – Awesome t-shirt

Disclaimer: This review is my own opinion of the above mentioned product. I was not asked, coerced, or requested to share my opinion. I was also not paid, threatened, given free samples, or bribed with a puppy.

Thanks for reading my not too long review – Erik!

Advertisements

Spring is slowly coming to the garden

This has been a wild week for weather in our garden. Tuesday morning the temperature was 16°F, by Thursday morning it was 49°F. This morning it’s a more seasonal 37°F.

I’ve started using AD Markers again with my sketching. I love these markers, best out there in my opinion. They do bleed through the Landland paper, but markers bleed through everything. It just means I’ll be buying more of these little sketchbooks.

garden journal 021318

garden journal 021418

garden journal 021518

garden journal 021618

Everyday that I get to go outside I feel better. Just smelling the dirt and hearing the sounds is so nice. This morning I could hear several song birds. Knowing they have returned to the yard is a real treat, a nice change of pace from the usual chatter of the sparrows. Nothing against the sparrows, they are good for keeping the bug population in check, but they aren’t my favorite bird in the yard.

wren 021318This is a quick wren I drew over lunch. I keep a limited number of colored pencils in my pencil bag, I think just this blue and green actually. Mixing these with the graphite pencil and pen gives me just enough color variety to keep it a bit fresh. I could invest in another pencil bag, but my messenger bag is already heavy enough.

That’s all for today, thanks for taking the time to read my rambles…Erik

 

 

 

A new garden journal

I’ve decided to start a sketchbook/garden journal this year. Starting this during the winter is proving to be a challenge, but I if I can keep this up until spring kicks in I will be golden! I am currently using a Story Supply Co. pocket notebook for this. I love the compact size of these notebooks and the faint grid. The paper is also very friendly to fountain pens, art pens, and pencils. This allows me to use both sides of the paper without fear of anything bleeding through.

For those who want to try Story Supply Co. notebooks, or refill their stash, feel free to us this link to save 40% off your order – http://storysupplyco.refr.cc/erikdavis

I’ve also started using bottled inks with my artwork. I’m finding the colors to be much more intense, and I like that the inks work great with sketch paper and Bristol Board. I was finding the watercolor paper to be very challenging when using pens and pencils.

That’s all for today…thanks for taking the time to read my post…Erik

Sketching with AD Markers and planning this year’s holiday card

I haven’t had time over the last week for watercolors, but I am trying to find time for some quick pen and marker sketches.

We are growing a cutting garden this year and one of the seed packets we bought was a mix of mini sunflowers. They look so fun in the garden, and they make great cutting flowers for bouquets inside! They will be making a return next year. Down the road from the office there is a large construction site, a bean field is being turned into a hotel. The other day I spotted these two surveyors walking the site, their bright orange shirts really stood out against all the piles of fresh rock. The Post It Note was from a coworker who thought I needed a task for the day. I’m glad she gave me the task!

I’m also working on new ideas for this years holiday card.

I am currently leaning towards drawing B, with the two figures walking in the snow. I haven’t decided if I will paint the finished design in a loose watercolor style or go with the pen and watercolor sketch. I will post all updates as I go along.

Thanks for stopping by…Erik

Sketching with fountain pens and AD Markers

I’ve been mixing the AD Markers with my fountain pen sketches again, and I’m loving the results. I was planning to do some pen and watercolor sketches, but I don’t enjoy the results I get with the fountain pens and watercolor paper. I have truly tried every watercolor paper and watercolor sketchbook out there, and I just haven’t found a combo that works for me. My favorite watercolor paper is Saunders Waterford from St Cuthberts Mill. The cold press is great for watercolor, but the texture is a bit too rough for my pen lines.

I’m still bouncing around between a few different sketchbooks, no one ever said you can only work in one at a time!

Each of the three sketches are in three different sketchbooks. The potted white zinnia is in a blank Leuchtturm1917 A5 journal, the tree is a Strathmore 400 series sketchbook, and the pink zinnia is in an A5 Paper-Oh grid notebook.

That’s all for today…thanks…Erik

A busy week for art

Last week was a very busy week for art. I had several request for custom Field Notes covers, something I really enjoy! I also squeezed in some time for sketching for myself. I’ve been using both the Field Notes and the Leuchtturm1917 journals. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. I find myself favoring the Field Notes because of their size, and I am a sucker for the  multiple cover options. The Leuchtturm1917 journals are very nice, the paper is great with pens and pencil, but I still find the size and thickness a downfall. I really doubt I’ll stick to one size or style of notebook, I honestly have a serious addiction to paper and notebooks/journals!

That’s all for today…thanks for stopping by…Erik

Daily sketching and looking for spring

We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather this week in NW Ohio. Last weekend the temperature climbed into the mid 60s, which led to several long walks. This week has also been warm. The forecast calls for more cold and maybe a bit of snow this weekend, but we know spring is coming. Our daffodils are pushing through the dirt and standing tall, the crocus are showing some green, and the snowdrops are blooming everywhere.

 

I took some time this week to make a sketch of our empty garden containers sitting on our deck. It’s been a while since I actually enjoyed a little urban sketching. I decided to switch to my Leuchtturm1917 journal for this one. I went straight with the pen, no pencil layout, just pen. There is something exciting about going into a drawing with a pen, you can’t erase, you can’t undo, you can only keep going forward. I like that. I also took a walk out in the yard this morning and decided to capture a little clump of the snowdrops. I used the Leuchtturm1917 journal for this one too.

I’d like to spend more time working on the observation drawing, or urban sketching. It’s fun to be creative and imagine something, but it’s also a lot of fun to actually be part of your environment while your sketching.

That’s all for this post, thanks everyone…Erik