Recently I was given a Moleskine Sketchbook, nice gift. I have used their watercolour books before, I lashed out and bought some when I did an overseas trip, but the sketchbook was new to me. Time to put it through it’s paces. I decided to use my fountain pen with black ink and then try some watercolour washes.
OK, I was rather surprised to see my black ink get sucked into the page so that there was only a medium grey colour left behind. Not promising. Then the watercolour wash ‘beaded’, very finely, on the paper with as much paper exposed as covered. My ink isn’t permanent so there was quite a bit of ‘running’. I wasn’t too happy. But then I looked at the page as it dried and decided it wasn’t so bad after all – I’m referring to the top half of the image below. I quite like the way the watercolour and ink has worked on the red backpack.
I then tried reversing my approach, laying down some washes and a bit of watercolour sketching. The teapot on the left was far more subtle than I expected. I discovered that I could draw back into the wash, after it had dried a bit and the ink remained a lot darker. As you can see the ink didn’t bleed even though the paper remained somewhat damp.
I’ve also done more drawings on the back of this page using washes and I’m really pleased to see that there is no bleeding from one side to the other. I did leave the page to dry out a bit between drawings. The washes dried reasonably quickly, enough for me to be convinced I could get a rapid sketch with washes done and still have it dry enough to close the book up after only a few minutes drying time.
The main drawback for me to effectively use this journal remains the ink. Given that I like to make notes to go with my sketches using this fountain pen with the current type of ink clearly isn’t going to be too successful. Particularly if I want my notes to remain visible. I did see that Moleskine has a rollerball pen that can be clipped for easy carriage onto the sketchbook, but at just under $20 for the pen and $5 each for the refills I think I’ll pass on the “innovative rectangular design” that is “fashioned to specifically compliment the shape and personality of a Moleskine journal”, for a more rudimentary ball point pen!