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Posts Tagged ‘Sketchbooks’

WalknTalk’s Tom Sawyer Journal in a rich brown leather.

WalknTalk journals are uniquely designed journals crafted in an old world style. They are handmade in the US with sumptuous high-quality leathers and eco-friendly paper. Their designs make a bold statement and are unexpected in the world of journals. If you are looking for a beautiful, unique journal, read on.

The edges of the pages extend beyond the cover forming a soft point.

I have had the opportunity to use WalknTalk’s Tom Sawyer journal for a while and this is what I have discovered. There are a few interesting features with the most obvious being the simple binding. Forty five sheets of unlined paper have been hole punched and sewn into a thick leather cover using a Roman Numeral stitch pattern. This yields ninety pages or 180 sides to write or draw on. When the journal is folded closed, the pages protrude from the cover into a soft point. While this makes it easy to find a page in the first half of the journal, it does leave the page edges susceptible to dirt and damage. It also makes it difficult to tuck into a pocket or bag as this edge tends to get hung up on things. This type of binding does not allow the journal to lie flat when opened unless you are on the center spread, and even then you will need to manipulate it a bit to convince it to flatten out.

The binding system does not allow the journal pages to lie flat when opened.

The center spread almost lays flat when opened.

I did find the paper lovely to write on and found it compatible will all but my most difficult pens. The paper is a thick, eco-friendly vellum, smooth for drawing and writing. It is Rainforest alliance approved (http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/) and meets the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard (SFI) (http://www.sfiprogram.org/). In my pen test, I found that all of my pens performed beautifully with minimal feathering and no bleed through with the exception of a Copic permanent marker, which bled through the back as expected.

The paper accepted all inks from the ballpoint, rollerball and fountain pens with ease. There was no feathering or bleedthrough. The Tombow watercolor marker performed beautifully, too, but the Copic permanent marker bled through and feathered as expected.

The only ink that bled through was from the Copic permanent marker, which was expected.

The leather used to make the journal is simply beautiful. It is thick, soft and fragrant. This is my favorite part of the journal. The two-toned, rustic stitching is a nice compliment to the design and seems to be very sturdy. There is a built in pen holder on the back cover of the journal is a nice touch, but I had trouble finding a pen or pencil to use with it because the diameter of the opening would only hold the thinnest pen I own, the Tombow 707 Zoom. Perhaps this would stretch out over time with use, but it is quite tight to begin with.

Two-toned stitching contrasts well with the rustic leather.

This is a very nice journal with beautiful materials and high-quality construction. Is it my dream journal? Almost, but with a few small changes this would be as functional as it is beautiful. WalknTalk also make other fine journals and pads, including the refillable Infinity Pads which are bound with a nickel-plated screw in the top of the journal which pivots to reveal the pages below. Please visit WalknTalk for more information. You can order WalknTalk journals directly from their site and at other fine retailers.

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Are you interested in participating in a collaborative Sketchbook Project? Check out this post by Mari over at CreateWriteNow.com for details of an exciting opportunity for creative journalers.

Attention all creative journalers! Your art journals, travelogues, memoirs, to-do lists, short stories and other masterpieces are wanted to join a traveling exhibit with the Brooklyn Art Library.

The Sketchbook Project , created by Brooklyn-based company Art House, is a global collaborative art project that encourages anyone – writers, artists, accountants, mechanics, chefs, children, you! – to take a blank sketchbook, fill it with personal thoughts, designs and emotions, then return it by January 15 to be included in a traveling exhibition and permanent collection. Talk about journaling on a global scale!

Here are the basic rules:

  1. Anyone, anywhere in the world can participate (“This project is for anyone who craves an outlet for that undeniable creative bug.”). Thousands of people participate each year, and every sketchbook is a unique piece of art.
  2. It costs $25 to join the Sketchbook Project (and $30 more to digitize your book and make it available to anyone around the world – books receive half a million viewers each year), which includes a custom-designed 5×7, 32-page sketchbook made in Portland, Oregon.
  3. To participate in the 2013 exhibition, you need to send your completed sketchbook back by January 15, 2013. It will then go on tour, hitting cities across North America, including San Francisco, Austin, Toronto, Chicago and Atlanta. Your book will keep in touch from the road, sending you an email or text message updating you on its journey.
  4. Your sketchbook will then take up residence in the Brooklyn Art Library’s permanent collection and play an important part in journaling history.

Interested in participating in the Sketchbook Project this year or in the future? What kind of journal would you create? Share your thoughts in the comments, and read more about the project

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CraftyKatePalmer recently reviewed the Fiorentina Amalfi Leather journal on Youtube. If you want a closer look at this beautiful journal, be sure to check it out.

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This month’s carnival, hosted by Kristin at JournalingSaves, has several notebook reviews you’ll want to check out. Thank you, Kristin, for taking the time to share these reviews with us.

Julie (Okami) reviews the Ecosystem Artist Journal on her blog, Whatever. The review features lots of photographs and observations about this beautiful journal.

Nifty posted a great Blackwell Notebook Review over at Notebook Stories. Nifty’s journal reviews specialize in showing us how different pens behave on the paper and other essential information for notebook lovers.

Check out Clement Dionglay’s  Notebook Review: Flower Wow by Daycraft for a look at a floral notebook design.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper using our Carnival submission form. The January Carnival will be hosted by Pocket Blonde. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Laser transfer in an Ecosystems Sketchbook

This final image was created using a combination laser transfer, acrylic paint and oil pastel.

I love combining digital art with traditional art and one easy way to combine the two is by using laser transfers from your laser printer in combination with paints on paper.

This image was created using a laser transfer as the base image in my Ecosystems Sketchbook with layers of acrylic and oil pastel on top. Laser transfers are not acid-free, but by covering the image with acrylics and a final coating at the end, you will be able to make it last long enough to enjoy it. Please note that this method uses chemicals that should only be used in a well-ventilated area and that you should take adequate precautions when using petroleum-based thinners. Please read the precaution on the can of the product you are using and follow the safety instructions.

A color laser print out of a medallion was used to make the base image. I did not create a mirror image because I didn't care if the image was reversed from the way it was originally created. If you are using type or another image that needs to be in a specific orientation, be sure to you your printer's settings to print an inverted or mirror image of your design or photo.

To start, I designed and printed out an image using my drawing program. I intentionally used bright, saturated colors because some of the intensity is lost during the transfer process and I wanted my base image to be visible below several layers of paint. If I would have used lighter colors, the image would have been much more subtle. I printed the image on a color laser, but you can also transfer black and white laser images using this method.

Next, I placed the image face down onto my journal. Once the image was positioned, I applied a rag saturated with lacquer thinner to the back of the laser print and rubbed it into the page until I could see the image through the back of the paper. Note: It will take some experimentation to learn how your thinner works with your laser print, so if you are unsure of what results you will get, try the transfer first on a scrap piece of paper until you are happy with the results.

I applied the thinner to the entire image and burnished it to press the color into the paper. More burnishing produces stronger images although the transfer will never be as clear and sharp as the original printout. If you require more perfect transfers, other techniques which add another layer of material will work better such as Lasertran and inkjet transfers or Water Slide Decals.

Laser transfer in an art journal.

Once the transfer was complete, I peeled away the color laser print out to reveal the image. Note the image is much softer than the original printout. This is quite normal and is to be expected using this technique. I can give your art an aged look that is difficult to achieve by hand.

The final image transfer. Note how it is much softer than the original print.

The image transfer. Note how it is much softer than the original print.

I added metallic gold, acrylic paint that had been thinned with water to create a shimmery, aged look. It took several layers of this to build up enough color to create the effect I was after.

I added metallic gold, acrylic paint that had been thinned with water to create a shimmery, aged look. It took several layers of this to build up enough color to create the effect I was after.

Art Journal

I used multiple layers of acrylic paints of different colors to add depth and intensity.

Adding text to an art journal.

Once I had the background color the way I liked it and the paint was dry, I added horizontal pencil lines so I would be able add aligned text on top of the image. The pencil lines were very light to not obstruct the image.

The final image including hand-written text.

I added hand-written text on top of the art using a white oil pastel. The oil pastel is dense and enabled me to create opaque, cursive text on top of the image. Once I was finished, I coated the entire piece with a clear acrylic spray to seal it and to prevent the oil pastel from transferring to paper or hands. The sealer also protect the artwork from dirt, grime and moisture.

this is filler

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I thought it would be appropriate to create a pencil sketch in Ecosystem’s Sketchbook since this is what it is designed for. According to the folks at Ecosystem, this journal is named the Artist and it shares the same great features as their planners and journals. It is made from 100% post consumer recycled paper and is entirely made in America.

Pencil sketching was predictable on the paper. I was able to create crisp lines and smooth shading.

The paper is bright white, fairly smooth and has just a little bit of tooth. The slight texture is visible in areas where the shading was the darkest, but this is typical with most papers and it adds a bit of softness to the illustration. I was able to create crisp lines and smooth blends without any issues. Overall, it is quite nice to sketch on although it would be nicer if the paper were a little bit thicker.

This is another image from an Affirmation Journal I started to aid in creativity. More will follow soon.

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Affirmation Journal spread created with acrylic paint and pen and ink.

Affirmation Journal spread created with acrylic paint and pen and ink.

I have been using a variety of mediums in an affirmation journal I am in the process of creating. This spread was created using acrylic paint. The abstract design was inspired by the hand design on the cover that I previously blogged about. To get a better idea of the flow of this journal, please see my earlier reviews Illustrating the Cover of an Ecosystem Large Sketchbook and Color Laser Transfer in an Ecosystem Sketchbook.

The watercolor paint and parts of the laser transfer from the previous page had bled through the paper a bit leaving me with a hand shape and backwards letter on this two page spread. This inspired me to continue the theme and to create an abstract flower.

The laser transfer from the previous page bled through a bit, which inspired me to create an abstract hand image for this spread.

To start, I outlined the hand shape on the left page and applied paint within the pencil lines. The remaining color and design was added on top using a brush.

To start, I added paint on top of the had image that showed through the page.

Ecosystem Sketchbook

I painted only on the left page, so I could press the pages together and create a mirror image.

When I had finished painting the left page, I closed the journal and pressed the painting onto the right page, creating a mirror image.

I pressed the pages together by closing the journal. When I opened it again, I had a good background for my image.

The paper buckled quite a bit during the painting process, but flattened out somewhat when the paint dried. There was a little bit of show through on the backside, but nothing major. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend using acrylic paints with the Ecosystem Sketchbook. The paper ends up very wavy and the pages were weakened where it is perforated. Perhaps in the future I will try again using a primer of some sort.

Once the initial layer was dry, I repeated the process using additional pinks, golds and yellows.

I used pen and ink to create the text. The ink was very compatible with the paper in the Ecosystem Sketchbook. There was no feathering, show through or bleed through and the lines were crisp and black against the bright white paper.

The final illustration including text.

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