I found these in two sizes in Powerbooks. The Derwent Sketch notebooks seem to have been a holiday gift favorite, as the branches I visited (Shangri-la Mall and near Greenbelt 4) had only one or two left.
The smaller size is a Moleskinealike, with a rough suede-alike cover. The paper is thick white card stock. It feels thicker and sturdier than the one used inside Moleskine Sketch notebooks, although more “toothy” to the touch. Paper with a little texture holds on to colored pencil and graphite better, and this isn’t at all a surprise given what Derwent’s really known for.
A first stab at copperplate resulted in feathering. I’ll try another nib-ink combination tomorrow.
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I’d give it an A for looks an a C+ for paper performance.
I bought several Moleskine reporter notebooks in Fully Booked, the unruled version. The format interested me: compact, with the binding on top instead of on the left side. Ever since Chiqui introduced me to Moleskines, I’ve always had at least one on standby. The flavor I prefer is the sketch notebook. The paper is substantial, and has a tinge of warmth. I’ve had issues with fountain pen ink beading on the paper surface, but it has become an additional texture to my calligraphic work rather than an intrusion.
I felt let down by the flimsy paper inside, but gave it a shot anyway, creating two detailed calligraphy exercises, using nibs with high flex. As I expected, I got bleeding and feathering – but not as bad as I had feared. Ink bleeds through and makes the reverse of the page I’m working on useless, but at least feathering is kept to a minimum. So if I skip every other page, my work still looks clean.
The vertical format is good for me. My first stroke doesn’t go where I usually put it – on the upper left of the page – and that is an intriguing change.
The Reporter notebook’s paper feels like it will be more amenable to crayon, graphite and collage work. Perhaps there lies another Moleskine adventure.
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