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Stillman & Birn offers a sketchbook system that gives artists a choice of paper weight, shade, and surface, allowing them to choose the sketchbook best suited for their media and techniques.
Appropriate for studies rendered with dry media and ink, as well as mixed media artwork, the robust paper is internally and surfaced sized to provide exceptional wet strength for layering of wet media, lifting of pigment, and repeated erasing without damage.
Available in both hardbound and wirebound formats, these sketchbooks contain multiple sheets of 100 lb (150 gsm) natural white paper with a vellum surface and a distinctive tooth. Ideal for dry media and light washes, the paper is both internally sized and surface-sized. The hardbound sketchbooks contain 62 sheets (124 pages) of paper. The wirebound sketchbooks contain 50 sheets (100 pages) of paper.
Available in a wirebound format, these sketchbooks contain 25 sheets (50 pages) of 180 lb (270 gsm), natural white paper with a rough surface. Ideal for multi-media renderings, the paper has a substantial tooth, as well as enhanced wet strength and tear strength.
Available in both hardbound and wirebound formats, these sketchbooks contain multiple sheets of 180 lb (270 gsm) ivory paper with a rough surface. Ideal for multi-media renderings, the paper has a substantial tooth, as well as enhanced wet strength and tear strength.
Available in both hardbound and wirebound formats, these sketchbooks contain multiple sheets of 100 lb (150 gsm), ivory paper with a vellum surface and a distinctive tooth. Ideal for dry media and light washes, the paper is both internally sized and surface-sized. The hardbound sketchbooks contain 62 sheets (124 pages) of paper. The wirebound sketchbooks contain 50 sheets (100 pages) of paper.
Available in both hardbound and wirebound formats, these sketchbooks contain multiple sheets of heavyweight (180 lb, 270 gsm), white multimedia paper. Internal and surface sizing enhance the paper's wet strength to accept multiple wet media washes, and its smooth surface assures exceptional line control for pen-and-ink and a full range of dry media. The hardbound sketchbooks contain 26 sheets (52 pages) of paper. The wirebound sketchbooks contain 25 sheets (50 pages) of paper.
™ Stillman & Birn is a trademark.
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(based on 45 reviews)
of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
Reviewed by 45 customers
Displaying reviews 1-10
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Best Sketch Books for Watercolor Artists Who Love to Travel
from Bellingham, WA
Comments about Stillman & Birn Archival Sketchbooks:
The variety of sizes and overall quality of Stilllman & Birn sketchbooks prove invaluable to artists who paint/sketch plein air. I love the smaller sketchbook size that conveniently fits into my travel purse. A few watercolor pencils, pen and a water-barrel brush are all I need for a day of exploring. The heavy paper quality (I prefer the Delta series) is perfect for multi-media work, too.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
Love the Zeta and Beta series!
By Picky Watercolorist
from Portland, OR
After discovering Brenda Swenson's watercolor blog and her suggestions for plein air supplies, I bought the Zeta series book. Fabulous smooth pages similar to 140 lb. hot press. Very little warping. Book opens flat. I like the size of the 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" book for travel. When ordering an additional Zeta, I mistakenly bought the Beta series but decided to keep it because the Beta is cold press with a bit of texture. I think it will still be suitable for pen and wash.
(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)
This is one the best sketchbooks I have ever used.
from Bad Wörishofen Germany
I do a great deal of sketching in pen and wash and also use other media in my sketches like coloured pencils and gouache. This sketchbook is absolutely ideal for all media.
Images shared by chammi
I used Artline pens and the Stillman and Birn Sketchbook with watercolour and gouache.
(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)
By Heath Quinn
from Woodstock NY
Stillman & Bird Archival-quality sketchbooks allow for a lot of value nuances while sketching. The papers in these books (I'm using both the Gamma and Zeta series) have density, strength and textures that grab pigment, but also release it if you need to lift or erase. For example, charcoal can be applied to almost black, yet also lifted almost back to clean paper with a kneaded eraser. This is outstanding, compared to other papers. I've only used dry mediums with these sketchbooks, so far. Will be trying inks and watercolors, as well. Very very happy. The sketchbooks seemed pricey until I started using them. Now I feel that, given their papers' quality and performance, the pricing is just right.
(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
Perfect sketchbooks - I hope Blick puts more in their stores
I've been eyeing this line for at least a year, but only recently purchased one - maybe I was intimidated by all the choices? Anyway, that was dumb, because the one I got is excellent. I bought a Beta 6x8 wirebound, and have so far used it with watercolor and a little ink, and it has performed beautifully.I am not disciplined when it comes to watercolors (or, well, anything), I used a lot of water and some scrubbing and generally made a mess, and it still had minimal buckling and the finished piece looks great. The notebook itself is nice and sturdy - I bought a wirebound notebook from the Bee Paper Company at Blick at the same time, and that one's wires are already bending, while my Stillman and Birn looks pristine, despite bouncing around in my backpack. It's just satisfying to hold and use, but it isn't too heavy to carry around regularly.My suggestion to Blick would be to carry a variety of their items in your physical stores - comparing all of their papers in person would be lovely, and I think these are sturdier and a better value than what I usually see on the shelves. I'd like to compare all of the lines intended for dry materials before I try one. Also I want to be able to spend my impulse-ooh-that-looks-pretty money on these people.My suggestion to the wonderful people at Stillman and Birn is nitpicky, but I would love to see a square sketchbook in hardbound or softcover, as currently I only see square wirebound ones. I like square sketchbooks because they give me the versatility of using a square page, or a nice long rectangle for landscapes if I use both pages as a spread, but that doesn't work for me when there are wires in between the two pages.
Love my Beta!
from Allentown, PA
Takes watercolor well, without soaking through. Also okay for colored pencil blended with mineral oil, but with a slight oil spot on the back. Also nice for ink.
Great sketchbook for multi media use!
By inspired to create
Purchased for use with an Urban Sketching workshop and found it very useful for Notan, pastel pencil and light watercolor.
Still searching for the perfect watercolor sketchbook...
By Artist Lydia Makepeace
from Naples, FL
As part of my hunt to find a sketchbook that's "just right" for watercolor sketches and plein air paintings I decided to give the Stillman & Birn Zeta series a go. Pros:- sturdy- high quality heavy weight paper- variety of sizesCons:- when breaking in the binding to get the sketchbook to lay flat I discovered that some of the pages had been glued together in such a way that rip marks appeared along the gutter :(Of the sketchbooks I've tried Strathmore's Hardbound 500 Series Mixed Media Art Journal remains the fave.
from Germantown, MD
I really like this sketchbook for inking and light washes of watercolor. I did make the mistake of doing a heavy wash on one of the pages, but there was minimal warping. I'll definitely look into the other sketchbooks Stillman and Birn has to offer!
Love these sketchbooks!
from Battle Creek, MI
These are wonderful sketchbooks. I love the the 6x8 spiral bound Beta sketchbook because I can throw it in my purse and whip it out when a scene strikes my fancy. Both the cover and paper are ideal for Watercolors on-the-go. I highly recommend these in all sizes!!!
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