I currently use an A5 En Maruman 126.5 g/m² sketchpad daily. It’s the right size and easy to lug around. I also do my daily journaling in MS Color-A-Month. I haven’t been drawing as much as I wanted to over the last few years. I used to draw a lot when I was younger.
I have a bunch of notebooks that are ready to sketch, though I am weary of starting or continuing my A5 Watercolor Moleskine. I feel that I need to rediscover and get better before starting on those. I’ve even got a big A4 Moleskine Sketchbook that I’m waiting to start. For now, the Maruman does well.
I have also got a few other Marumans that I’ll be continuing. A Maruman SOHO 201 and 301. The 201 is B4 (9.8 “× 13.9″) and the 301 is B6 (4.9″ × 6.9″). Both feature 126.5 g/m² paper. I bought them a few years ago and they are barely started. The B4 is really nice and big, with enough space to do a lot of details, while the small B6 is a neat pocket size. The paper is of great quality and they were pretty cheap to buy here in Taiwan.
I mainly use Sakura Micron Pigma archival quality ink pens for drawing, in varying widths from 0.05-0.8. Another tool that I use quite often is my ink brush. It’s a disposable model that almost finished, but I’ll buy a more interesting model this week. The ink brush is really neat if you do a lot of inking. The varying width that you can attain with the nib lets you even do calligraphy quite well.
I use my Tombow ABT brush pens daily. Each pen has dual nibs, but I rarely use the traditional nib. I always use the brush nibs. I find them a lot better than the Faber Castell Pitt brush pens, which pale in comparison to the ABTs. The ABT have a much bigger and longer brush tip, making them almost like brushes.
Although I don’t have much time for sketching, I do it everyday. I start out with my MS Color-A-Month page. Sometimes I do 2 pages at once, but this gets me started. I then move onto my Maruman En sketchpad. It takes between 2 to 6 days of sketching to complete a drawing. I don’t sketch more than an hour a day.
My latest drawing uses some Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolor pencils. I used them with my Sakura Microns and Tombow ABTs. The end result is interesting. I like how vivid the colors of the ABTs are.
On Colour-A-Month Moleskines
I really enjoy the Colour-A-Month Moleskines. They are neat to take around and sketch something quickly. Sure, the paper could be of better quality, but it’s the perfect size and you finish your sketch pretty quickly.
One thing that I am somewhat disappointed in are the stickers. The stickers help you number the months on each little Volant book. None of these actually sticks well, because once you open up the Volant notebook, it applies pressure to the sticker and it peels away. All of the Volant notebooks that I’ve used in 2010 needed some extra Scotch tape to hold it firmly in place. It’s kind of annoying, because I almost lost one the other day.
Most of my entries in my Colour-A-Month Moleskines are private, they’re a way of processing what happened to me during the day and it’s completely uncensored and involved in my life, which is why I haven’t been posting them. However, I think that a few are good enough to post and I’ll try to do so this week.
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[¹]: Done in a Maruman En A5 sketchpad with Sakura Pigma Microns, Tombow ABTs, Faber Castell Artist’s Watercolor Pencils, Ink brush.