Posts Tagged ‘Stillman & Birn’

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My Gear For The New Year

01/06/2017

Ink, pen and paper:

Sketching Kit:

Watercolor Supplies:

Accessories:

Want to purchase any of these items? Here ya go!

Ink, pen and paper: Pilot BBk,  Noodler’s Black, Diamine Mediterranean Blue, J. Herbin Cafe des Iles, Sailor Tokiwa-matsu, Stipula Calamo Sapphron, Stillman & Birn  Zeta Sketchbook, Tomoe River Paper from Paper for Fountainpens, Quo Vadis Plan & Note journal, Pilot Metropolitan, Platinum #3776 Century M, TWSBI Diamond 580 1.1, Staples ArcTraveler’s Notebook 013

Sketching Kit: Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils, Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser, Prismacolor Kneaded Eraser, Lowe-Cornell tortillions, Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook, Faber-Castell Sharpener

Watercolor Kit: Martin Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette, travel box, Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook, Arches 300 gsm watercolor paper, Schut Aquarelbloc 300gsm watercolor paper, Monaco Travel Case, Traveler’s Notebook 012

Brushes: Silver Brush Black Velvet Script #4, Round #8, 3/4″ Flat, Escoda Versatil Rigger #10, Isabey Petit Gris #0, SAA Gold Round #10

Tube paints for a watercolor mixing triad: Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, Winsor & Newton Aureolin, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose.

Watercolor Metal Travel Box with colors especially good for mixing: American Journey Aureolin, American Journey Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Winsor & Newton Winsor Red, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose, Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue, American Journey Phthalo Blue, Daniel Smith Phthalo Green (BS)

Accessories: Coccoina glue stick, American Crafts washi tape, Bigelow Earl Grey Green Tea, Numi Chocolate Pu-erh Tea, Sadaf Special Blend Tea with Earl Grey.

 

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Stillman & Birn Soft Cover Sketchbooks

12/28/2016

Stillman & Birn sent a few of their soft cover Sketchbooks and I am really enjoying them. The quality of S&B paper is always excellent and the hard cover version has been in my arsenal for years. It is equally fantastic for fountain pens, watercolors or mixed media. The soft cover has proven to be an even better match for my needs in several ways.

  • The soft cover journal weighs a little less than the hardcover. It’s enough to notice a difference carried in my travel pack.
  • The pages bend back a little more easily than the hardcover and become extremely flat. No barriers to painting across a two-page spread.
  • The corners are rounded which is a nice touch.
  • The soft cover has two more sheets of that lovely paper.
  • The cover is stiff enough that I can hold the book in my lap or hand to work.
  • The cover material is less inclined to slide on my desk than the hard cover version.

The question that remains is how durable the soft cover is compared to the hard cover and whether any difference is enough to matter in everyday use. My journals tend to get pampered with duty largely at my work table. They often look pristine even after months of use and so far the Stillman & Birn soft cover looks just fine. This is where the rounded corners are of benefit since they fray less easily than squared ones. Put that down to thoughtful design.

Frankly, you can’t go wrong with Stillman & Birn paper regardless of the application. Just match your paper selection to the intended use. Either cover will do the job so it’s a matter of personal preference. Both will protect your pages and provide a serviceable platform on which to work. This is truly the good stuff and very highly recommended.

Brenda Swenson review on YouTube and a second review here. Liz Steel review.

Portrait and landscape are both available at Amazon.

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First Take On A Few Products

12/24/2016

Busy, busy, busy here, but still moving forward on a few reviews. First take on several products:

  • Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks with soft covers are as good as it gets especially for those with arthritis and other hand issues.
  • Pilot MR Metropolitan 1.0 Calligraphy nib is an italic that proved to be a dry writer with Noodler’s Dostoyevsky. Will try either Pilot Blue-Black or an Iroshizuku next to see if either improves performance.
  • Lamy Studio Fine arrived with two very visible body flaws. Then I removed the cap to discover the edge of the barrel that meets the cap is ridiculously sharp and jagged. So much for quality control.
  • Coccoina adhesive smells like marzipan and is delightful to use.
  • Silver Brush Monaco Travel Case is somewhat large, but will hold eight brushes plus lots of additional tools. Looks durable, too.

There are at least a dozen inks to review along with several brands of paper plus two Fountain Pen Revolution flex models. The next few months are going to be very busy indeed.

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New Faves For 2016

12/18/2016

This past year I made some new friends. Links are to sources for the products.

Art Supplies

  • Silver Brush Black Velvet watercolor brushes – Acquired several this year. Supple, retain shape very well and hold lots of fluid.
  • Daniel Smith Prussian Blue and Transparent Red Oxide watercolors – Good additions to my transparent palette.
  • Aureolin by Winsor & Newton or Daniel Smith – Excellent yellow combined with Permanent Rose or Quinacridone Rose and Cobalt Blue for mixing a full range of colors. This has become my “Less Is More” triad and a staple for my mini kit. (h/t Pat Weaver)
  • Pentel Touch Brush Tip Felt Pen – Good at line variation whether for writing or drawing.
  • Uniball Air marker – More durable than a felt marker and glides effortlessly across the page. Makes my hand happy.
  • Buddha board – Great tool for practicing strokes without wasting ink, paint or paper.

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Sunday Reads From Pens To Ink To Paper

10/30/2016

Three videos in one post. YouTube sucked up far too much time this week, but it was also inspirational. Anything that encourages using a fountain pen is okay with me.

Platinum #3776 music nib with Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrün on Stillman & Birn paper

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Weekend Watercolor Winners Meet Stillman & Birn

10/15/2016

This past week incoming goodies included four brushes and a tube of red watercolor providing the perfect opportunity to test the new softcover Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook. This wasn’t planned, but it could have been. What a wonderful way to spend a bit of the weekend.

Now where to fit in that J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre ink that has patiently waited for its measure of attention? Perhaps during the week if things get slow. Heh. As if.

Where to buy:

Stillman & Birn Zeta Softcover Sketchbook

Silver Brush Black Velvet #8 Round

Silver Brush Black Velvet #8 Script

Silver Brush Black Velvet 3/4″ Oval

Loew-Cornell 7400 1″ Angle Shader

Daniel Smith Watercolor in Quinacridone Red

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World Watercolor Month And Supplies To Get You Started

07/02/2016

Yesterday was the first day of the very first World Watercolor Month. It might not be on your calendar, but don’t let that stop the celebration. Angela Fehr sent an invitation to participate and I’m game. Check out Doodlewash for inspiration and use the #worldwatercolormonth hashtag when you post your watercolor sketches.

If you are new to watercolor painting, Angela has a YouTube channel that can help you get started. Her style is to let the paint do the talking without using pen or pencil to draw a scene first. It’s very loose and exciting to see the colors mix together on the paper.

Another method is to draw a subject and use paint to fill in the color. It reminds me of a coloring book and works very well in a journal. Teoh is an urban sketcher who does it that way.

Want to give it a go? All that’s needed is paint, brush, a container for water, and of course water. Here are some products from Amazon.com to get you started.

If you want to minimize your investment, Cotman is as good as it gets for student grade paint and it is much better than the stuff sold for kids. Student grade can have more fillers and be less lightfast than artist grade, but it’s good enough to get acquainted with watercolor painting. The box can be refilled with artist grade colors as needed.

Just as important as the paint is the quality of the paper. Crummy paper will yield unsatisfactory results even with top quality paint. Buy the best you can or you may never know how much fun painting can be.

For a newbie, a synthetic brush can offer more control than natural hair and provide a good transition from writing and drawing to painting with watercolor. If you are only investing in one brush, buy one with a good point for lines and details. You can always paint with the side of the brush when more coverage is needed.

So there you go. World Watercolor Month and the few tools needed to participate. Are you on board?

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