Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5-Minute Review: Daler-Rowney Simply Sketchbook

Up for review: Daler-Rowney Simply Sketchbook, 5.5" x 8.5", 110 sheets of soft white 65 lb/ 100 gsm* blank paper, removable front sticker, not much else; $6.00 at my local Wal-Mart.

I picked up this sketchbook, not because I needed another sketchbook, but because Hubby left me standing in the art supply section all by myself for 3.5 seconds. That is never a good thing. Something always jumps in the cart.

This particular book jumped in simply because it laid flat the first time I opened it. Woot! I don't think any of my other sketchbooks lays open flat like this.

Nice off-white paper, slick enough for pens, toothy enough for pencils. This book would be great for use as a written journal. The paper is that nice under pens, both OTC and fountain pens.

I'm loving it with my Parker gel pens. The black really pops off the page. Plus I wanted to show off these weird little shell thingies I keep drawing.

The paper is not designed for wet media so, of course, I had to slosh on some watercolor. I painted wet-on-wet in some places. In others I added more color before the original paint was dry. The paper performed like a champ given its weight.

This is the back side of the cathedral sketch. A little bit of crinkle, but no bleedthrough. I don't think I would venture to paint on both sides of this paper though.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this book was constructed and how well this paper performed. The price was reasonable too at $6.00.

The only negative I found was the cover material. It is quick to absorb oils and greasy stuffs from your hands. Oops. I cannot identify the offending stain.

I would buy more of these. Wally World's philosophy is, "If we accidentally stock a great product, we guarantee never to stock it again once it's gone," so pick one up post haste if you want one!

*Edited 14-Sep-2011 to add:

The paper weights for the Simply sketchbook are listed as 100 gsm/45 lb on all retailer websites as well as the Daler-Rowney website. However, the book in my hands is clearly labeled as having 100 gsm/65 lb paper. (Click photo to embiggen.)

I'm no expert on paper grammage, but 100/65 sounds closer to correct than 100/45. Something is amiss in Daler-Rowneyland.


Laure Ferlita said...

Looks like a very useful sketchbook. That back stain looks like a handprint—maybe a sweaty hand or greasy from lunch or hand lotion?

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

You forgot to tell us the price of this wonderful new book... Looks like it handled a bit of water ok... I like your shell things... they look cool...

Speck said...

Laure - I dusted my desk pen set with a bit of toilet paper, then laid the sketchbook on that wad of TP.

I would have sworn there was nothing but dust on the TP, but there is the greasy spot. I can't imagine what it is.

Maybe my TP has aloe and lotion embedded in it. Ewww. I'll have to check on that.

Speck said...

Capt Elaine - The sketchbook is $6.00. That info is buried down near the end of the post; sorry. Will go back and edit for clarity.

freebird said...

I have nothing but a Wallymart by me and so I think I will try one of these. I would try the wet paint on the other side of the paper. My thought is if it works so well on one side it will on the other. So far on most of my paper I haven't been wrong but I will admit to not putting something behind a page that turns out so special I might want to photocopy it for something else. Six bucks sounds good too!

Speck said...

freebird - I must admit my expectations for this book were not very high given the retailer and the price. Boy, was I surprised!

The paper might take painting on both sides, but my fear was the second side would cause a breakout bleedthrough and make a mess of both drawings. For just $6 I'm willing to use it as a one-side-only book.