Etchr Lab has released new square and panoramic sketchbooks and I've received a few to review. These new formats will be added to the landscape and portrait white hardcover sketchbooks the company are selling. I've actually reviewed those sketchbooks before and these are good quality watercolour sketchbooks.
The new sizes are 6 x 6, 8 x 8 and 8 x 4 inches.
These new sketchbooks are not listed on Etchr Lab website yet and prices are not known to me at the moment. FYI, their A5 sketchbooks are around USD 30.
That's my first sketch in the small 6 x 6 inch sketchbook. I do prefer square format over portrait because it's easier to compose my scene with square rather than vertical framing. And you can draw and paint across too pages to get a landscape scene.
The pen ink and watercolour sketch above probably took me 1.5 hours to complete. If I go with the 8 x 8 watercolour sketchbook, I would probably take 2 hours to sketch the same scene since I would have to draw more details. The smaller sketchbook is good for those who don't have much time to sketch and those who prefer something more compact to bring around.
This 52-page watercolour paper is only available in coldpress at the time of review. The 230gsm paper is made with 100% cotton and can handle medium to heavy washes. Wet on wet techniques can be used but there could be streaking (see my review).
Pages 2 and 3 are glued too much because page 1 has to attach to the inner cover. Since it won't be nice to draw across those two pages, I stick stickers that I receive from friends on those pages.
Here's a sketch from the hotel room in Hong Kong.
These are the boats at Cheung Chau island in Hong Kong.
An interior of the ship. There's a lot of detail to be drawn but due to the small size of the sketchbook, I had to simplify a lot. If I had a larger sketchbook, it would take me much longer to complete this sketch.
The company has also released The Perfect Sketchbook 2023 signature series. These sketchbooks are usually released as limited editions occasionally and this time there are 1,000 copies for coldpress and 1,000 for hotpress.
The price is USD 72.50. Pricy.
Update: I had previously listed the price at USD 100 which was actually SGD 100 but the currency on the Etchr website wasn't obvious so I thought it was USD.
The Perfect Sketchbook was original released as an A6 hardcover in a Kickstarter campaign in 2014. The first sketchbook was a collaborative effort between Bynd Artisan and Erwin Lian, an artist and teacher. Etchr Lab took over the making of The Perfect Sketchbook years later and introduced different sizes.
Today, The Perfect Sketchbook is available in B5 format which is shown in the photo above beside the 8 x 8 inch Etchr Sketchbook.
There are 44 pages in this portrait format sketchbook. The paper is 300gsm Fabriano Artistico 100% cotton watercolour paper, which is one of my favourite watercolour paper. Fabriano Artistico (review) is very high quality watercolour paper.
The sketchbook still has those hand torn edges. The hot stamped Fabriano branding is now less prominent and on fewer pages -- there's only one in this sketchbook. The big prominent Fabriano logos in previous sketchbook weren't well received by people so the company acted on that feedback to make the logo less conspicuous.
This sketchbook can open flat, just like the Etchr Sketchbook.
10 years ago, finding sketchbooks made with 100% cotton watercolour paper was difficult, but nowadays there are more options. The quality of The Perfect Sketchbook is definitely top notch. As to whether it's worth the money, you can decide.
Anyway if you are interested to get the sketchbooks, visit the Etchr online store.