A few months ago, Global Art Materials sent me a couple of sketchbooks to check out. The Field Drawing Journal 160 is one of them.
I've been using this sketchbook mostly for sketching on the train. The sketchbook's almost filled up so it's time for me to share some thoughts.
This particular sketchbook has 40 sheets of 160gsm paper. The paper is fine grain cartridge paper. The size that I have is the landscape format 9 by 6 inches,
The spiral bound is quite useful because it allows me to keep the sketchbook small and portable. I can hold the sketchbook and sketch while standing without my hands feeling too tired. Standing and holding hardbound sketchbooks to sketch can be very tiring for the thumb. This is one aspect that I like about spiral sketchbooks, but otherwise I usually prefer hardbound sketchbooks.
For the Field Journal series, there are Sketch (90gsm), Drawing (190gsm) and Watercolor (300gsm). There's one discrepancy that I spotted. On the label above, it mentions that Drawing uses 190gsm paper, but the sketchbook I have says that it has 160gsm paper.
These are the different sizes available. All are spiral bound.
The paper can handle light watercolour washes. The paper isn't watercolour so it is not treated or sized to handle water. Generally speaking, cartridge paper would usually absorb water more readily and it's less easy to work with watercolour. With watercolour paper, the paint has more leeway to flow around.
The paper is white and watercolours are still able to retain their vibrancy quite well.
The paper works well with pen and ink. Lines appear sharp and do not feather nor bleed through to the opposite page.
When you use a brush quickly, you can easily get those dry brush effects.
I can't remember which pen I used for this. It's either a Pilot or Platinum desk pen.
With coloured pencils, you can still see the white of the paper easily.
Markers do not bleed through but you can definitely see the impression of markers from the opposite page. So it's best to draw on single page with markers.
That's the perforated page.
Overall, there aren't any surprises with the Field Drawing Journal 160. The fine grain cartridge paper performs as I expected. The paper is good for pen and ink with light washes of watercolour. The fine grain texture can be good for graphite and coloured pencils too.
At 160gsm, the paper will buckle slightly with watercolour. Some areas of the paper will become lower and paint tend to concentrate there so there can be unwanted effects. But it's not a big deal if you control your water usage. And after the paint has dried, you can just put something heavy on the sketchbook and the pages will become flat again.
After using the Field Drawing Journal, I've got to say that I'm quite interested to try out their Field Watercolor Journal too.