This is my first shot at designing sketchbooks for fellow artists to use. Being a full time urban sketcher myself, I know at first hand what sketching conditions are like on location. This is my creation together with AlsoDominie, to produce a B6 landscape (17.6cm x 25.0cm) format size sketchbook. Here's the rational behind the choice of materials used.
There are plenty of A4 and A6 (hardback) sketchbooks out there, but only a handful of A5 and B6 hardbacks. It makes a difference when you are out there sketching on location for about 30-45 mins, standing up and holding your sketchbook. What may seem like a 400gm A4 can miraculously turn into a 10kg dumbbell after 15-20 mins of sketching. A
An A6 (10cm x 15cm) sketchbook doesn't really do justice for me. I use a Moleskine Large (21cm x 13cm) every once in a while in my travels when I know that my schedule is very tight, and I do feel the difference. The 21cm x 13cm doesn't allow me enough space to express what I want to say. The A4 landscape for me is always my personal choice of preference if I had all the time in the world to sketch. :)
I am a lover of landscape format sketchbooks. They allow for those long panoramas!
Enough said here. :)
The B5 is a format that allows me to sketch what may seem like an A4, but in a much shorter span of time.
AlsoDominie and I had to come to a compromise. I was looking at heavy weight 300gsm Fabriano, but given the budget for the project, we settled for 180gsm Maple Leaf.
I've finished using 2 books so far, and my take is that it's great for inks, pencil sketching, and a light wash.
It never hurts to have an extra pocket especially when you are travelling. It's a good place to store maps and tickets for quick references.
Never underestimate a gust of wind! A small elastic band does wonders when you are frantically finishing a sketch before the looming storm. :)
I use the hardback as a table during those moments when space is tight or if I am standing up for a sketch. It can also balance my watercolour kit and water container at the same time!
A4 - 21cm x 30cm
B5 - 17.6cm x 25.0cm
A5 - 15cm x 21cm
Moleskine Large - 13cm x 21cm
A6 - 10cm x 15cm
The Sketchbook at the Taipei Art Book Fair 2017
To purchase copies, write to:
AlsoDominie (in Asia and the Americas):
Spectrum Art and Framing (in Europe):
The Alvin Mark sketchbook is a collaboration with AlsoDominie Print and made its public appearance at Inkling: Vol 2 on 4 August 2017.
Here a run through of my Sketchbook Volume 1 using a time-lapse format.