I wanted to use my Tombow Mono Drawing Pencils last night, so it drew a pencil sketch of Frosti in the Moleskine Japanese Album. The paper, is much like that in the Moleskine Sketchbook. It is fairly thick and smooth with a coating on the paper that is slightly water resistant. Even with a fairly hard lead, I was able to blend the pencil lines easily on the smooth paper. My lines erased clean without leaving any graphite behind. The paper is fine for pencil sketches, but there is a quirk about the journal I don’t like.
After working with the Moleskine Japanese Album in my lap for a few sketches, I decided that I would prefer using it on a hard surface. The accordion style of the pages can become a little cumbersome when perched on a leg or other unstable surface. The pages tended to open up and fall out unless I was very still and working flat. By working on a hard surface I was able to open the accordian pages all the way and have a firm surface below the pages in use. Sketching on the notebook when it is opened like a book, the zig zag pages feel springy underneath, which can be irritating if you are trying to create a tight drawing. If anyone has a creative solution for this, I would be interested in hearing about it.
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I came home from a big box office supply store the other day with a few goodies. The most exciting was a huge set of 120 colored pencils by Prismacolor. I had not used this brand of colored pencils before and they were on clearance, so needless to say I had to have them.
I’ve been inspired by my dog Frosti lately, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do a quick sketch of him using my new colored pencils. I am in the process of finishing a mini album of him using a Moleskine Japanese Album, so this is where I would do my first drawing with the Prismacolor pencils. I won’t do a full review in this post, but will do one sometime in the near future using a few different notebooks with the pencils.
Frosti rendered in Prismacolor colored pencils in a Moleskine Japanese Album
The Japanese album has a smooth, thick paper, not ideal for colored pencils, but acceptable. Paper with a bit more tooth would be preferable because the pencils are somewhat waxy and would blend better on a paper with more texture. The areas where I used a lot of pressure ended up appearing somewhat shiny and have a burnished look. This is not usually how I like my pencils drawings to look, but it could be interesting in the right situation. I also noticed some tiny off-white specks, similar to the ones I discovered on the paper in the Moleskine Sketchbook. These specks do not take color very well and I am assuming that they are the result of a coating on the paper and have nothing to do with the pencils.
I was pleased with the selection of grays in the set. A good variety of both warm and cool grays in both light and dark tones would be perfect to render my furry, white dog. There were a lot of interesting colors in the set including some metallics and fluorescent colors. While not much use for this illustration I can see using them in some other illustrations down the line. I found myself using the darker pencils first, getting lighter as I went along. I was able to blend the darker colors and smooth them out by using pressure with a light gray or white pencil. This created a nice softening effect and was easy to do with the smooth surface of the paper. Maybe this smooth paper wasn’t so bad after all.
If you look closely in the dark area of the eyes, you can see small specks of off-white where the color was not accepted. This is something in the paper and is not a problem with the colored pencils.
By the time I had finsihed the illustration, I was comfortable using this combination. I can’t wait to do a few more of these in some other notebooks.
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Frosti was sleeping next to me while I was watching a movie. He looked so cute while he was sleeping that I just had to capture it on paper. I started with a pencil sketch, which eventually turned into a pen & ink rendering.
- Frosti in his normal state, sleeping at my side.
I decided to sketch in an unfinished Moleskine Japanese Album I started years ago. The paper is ivory in color which I thought would be a nice backdrop for crisp black line. No surprises with the paper, it was smooth and accepted the ink well without feathering or bleed through. Even though the paper is similar to the paper in the Moleskine Sketchbook, it does not have the same coating as the sketchbook. The paper is more porous making it a better choice for washes or watercolors.
I sketched the illustration in a Moleskine Japanese Album that I had started years ago.
The plain black cover of the Japanese Album lends itself perfectly for customizing. I pasted a photograph of Frosti on the cover to illustrate the album's contents.
The format of the Moleskine Japanese Album is unique. It consists of 60 zig zag pages that allow you to create long visual stories or extra wide landscape illustrations. In this case, I am using it as a small photo, memory album of Frosti. I would like to explore this more in the future as the backdrop for a panoramic illustration or even an animation sequence. More on that later.
The zig zag pages in the Moleskine Japanese Album are great for creating a continuous photo or art story.
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Not much inspires me more than my devoted companion, Frosti. I couldn’t resist painting him in my Moleskine Watercolor journal. While this doesn’t look exactly like him, it does capture his sweet essence. The portrait was created using basic watercolor paint and a pigment marker for the eyes, nose and mouth.
My dog Frosti was painted in my Moleskine Watercolor Journal using watercolor and a pigment liner.
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