My special order came in at Aaron Brothers. They carry the Strathmore watercolor Visual Journals in larger sizes. I wanted the tiny 3.5×5 inch size, which they special ordered as it was in their catalog. I picked them up today. I got them as an alternative to the pocket Moleskine. They are spiral bound, hard cover and heavier paper. I got them for my small sketch kit, which is where the pocket Moleskine travels.
On an impulse, I pulled out some watercolor paper from a pad and cut 2 pieces of mat board. The idea is Richard’s and this sketch details the tutorial. I forgot to add the cloth tape. I took this to Staples and they spiral bound it for me. So I have a custom sketchbook. This lets me use any paper I want in a book. The mat board is stiff enough that it’s like a hard cover sketchbook. The staffer in that section wasn’t sure the machine would punch through the board but it did. The only option was the smaller spirals, though.
I didn’t put very many pages in my custom book.
I may also give the spiral bound Beta Stillman & Birn another chance. The pages are still a bit warped, but if they need to be matted, that can be fixed. I prefer the 6×8 inch size (see the following).
After the possibility of entering sketches in a show, I want to both have them easily removable from the book and fit a standard matt size. My custom one, the mid-sized Visual Journal and the S&B Beta work for a 5×7 sketch. I’m marking out the boundaries of the mat size on the paper before I start. If I put the mark high on the page, it gives me a little over an inch at the bottom to write comments, journal style and add my maker’s mark. But if I want to matt the sketch, those won’t show. Best of both worlds….. uncharacteristically “keeping my options open” (that’s a “P” trait in the Myers-Briggs and I am usually very “J”).
I took my sketching backpack with me when I went to pick up the special order. My intent was to sketch the exterior of one unusual antique stores in Renton. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a convenient parking space near it. I had planned to shelter from the cold in the car. I drove around a couple times and then just went home. I might try on a Monday, when they are all closed and maybe there will be parking. The afternoon is best as the sun is shining on it then.