Color Spree

Color Spree
My favorite color is "all of them." What's yours?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Moleskine Volant Micro Sketchbook

Moleskine Volant Extra Small Notebook -- For those who love miniatures!

Below is the example drawing I did in my extra small Moleskine Volant sketchbook, using a size 01 sepia Pigma Micron pen over an HB pencil gesture sketch. When you're drawing a live cat, it helps to get the general shape down fast within half a minute and detail at leisure because the cat will change posture, but his markings won't move around and his fur will still flow in the same directions.

Ari On My Lap by Robert A. Sloan, from life.

Moleskine makes a variety of different notebooks and sketchbooks. I got intrigued by the little Moleskine Volant ones. They're inexpensive, only $4.76 for a two-pack of the mini size I bought, $7.16 for the pocket size at Blick. Pocket size is the same as the other pocket Moleskines, 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" -- but the extra small size is great.

They come in two-packs in a variety of colors, most of them with one lighter and one darker in the same color -- green, blue, red, pink. They also come in black but the black ones are both black, not a black and a gray. Unlike the fancier Moleskines, the cover is just a stiff cover, it hasn't quite got the book-like construction of a regular Moleskine journal. It also doesn't have the ribbon bookmark, this is a simpler book intended for casual use. The paper though, that's excellent.

Good heavy cream colored drawing paper with a vellum surface, it'd hold pencil or colored pencils well and it's sweet for fine penwork. I tried a pair of black extra small ones. The extra small that I bought has 56 pages and the larger pocket size has 80 pages, so these little books are good for some time either for journaling in the lined versions or drawing in the blank versions.

I think it would stand up to some light washes or stamping or glue for people into doing art journals, and the pages are micro perforated so if you experiment and don't like the results, you can remove that page. Or if you do an ATC on one of the pages and pull it out to swap with someone. Just remember when doing ATC or ACEO (Artist Trading Cards or Art Cards Editions & Originals) that both sorts of art cards must be exactly 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", so you need to rule off a half inch at the bottom or top of a page in order to turn it into an ATC or ACEO.

If you're already used to doing trading card sized artwork, these little sketchbooks will be a convenience and a joy. If you hate working small, go the other direction and look for a larger sketchbook. It's a specialty item that I found well worth the money even if it hasn't got all the usual Moleskine amenities. It has the most important one -- really good paper in an easy to carry format with a cover durable enough to handle minor sprays and spills. That plasticated cover provides some moisture protection.

And it fits in your wallet, that's the cool thing.

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