Have finished another sketchbook- always a nice feeling. This time it was a cheap Moleskine imitator from Asda. I think it was a £2, which is ridiculously cheap considering the quality of the paper is pretty good, it has the Moleskine style curved corners and the handy built in elastic to keep it all together. The features where the corners have been cut are the cover and the binding. The cover is a ‘fine leatherette’ which translates as a slightly padded vinyl. It’s clearly just a cover for the cheap cardboard underneath, unlike the integral cover of a proper Moleskine, but it doesn’t impact the function of the book too much. The binding is a different matter. A brand new book is pretty neat - it doesn’t fold as flat as a Moleskine, but does pretty well when you want to do a double page spread. I tend to do that a lot since the thickness of the paper enables me to draw of both sides without much bleed through. The binding only starts to complain once you’re about two thirds of the way through the book, where it starts to come away from the spine, making the book a lot more unstable.
For this sketchbook I experimented with stabilising the binding by replacing the spine with strong carpet tape.As you can see it’s not pretty but it did help a little. Maybe the fact the book starts to fall apart might encourage me to draw more in an attempt to fill it up before it disintegrates.
The three months it’s taken me to fill this one covered a pretty busy period -
I went to the always excellent IWMW2013
and did sketches on holiday in addition to the usual notes, practices and doodles.
Looking back through I’ve noticed that I’m using far more watercolours in this book , and the more I do the better I get at not having my watercolour effort descend into a muddy mess. You get better with practice - who knew?