I have a new sketchbook to try. It is a Stillman and Birn Epsilon Series Hardbound Sketchbook.
I already have a Stillman and Birn Beta Series Hardbound Sketchbook which I briefly reviewed here and I love it, except for the fact that I'm not very fond of extra-heavy paper sketchbooks. I is great for painting, doesn't buckle but not for flicking through the pages... just a weird thing I have...
I got this new one because I wanted to try the smooth surface and I also wanted a less heavier paper.
First I customized the outside painting one of my mandalas in white acrylic. To protect it, when it was completely dry, I applied two coats of Matte Acrylic medium.
Then on the first page I painted a color wheel, using the watercolors I have on my Winsor and Newton Bijou box and labeling them with black ink and a dip pen.
I noticed the watercolors don't "run" or "spread" as freely as they do on watercolor paper and I can see the brush strokes but I don't mind, it is not design for watercolors anyway and I knew that before hand.
The ink takes a little longer to dry than in other papers, so I have to be careful if i don't want to get smudges. No feathering which is great.
Next step will be to try drawing with colored pencils and markers which these series are meant to.
For those out there who like me are afraid of the first page or a blank page, nothing as making mistakes on the first page of your journal! After the annoyment of messing the first page then you are free to carry on!!!