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  1. #1
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    Toned Sketchbook

    Anyone know any good heavy weight, toned paper sketchbook? I wanted to start using a sketchbook that would be let me work with both dark pens and white gel pens, as well as white pencil.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    A friend of mine takes canson (or other gray paper) in whatever gray he wants and has a print shop cut them up, put chipboard on for covers and bind them. Not sure if there are any mid-tone gray sketchbooks out there yet.

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    I agree with the above poster... I don't know of anything grey-tone unless you pick out the paper yourself and have it bound up, IF that is what you're looking for.

    If you want a more "natural" brown colored paper there are a few more options. There are a few brands of recycled paper sketchbooks that use a paper similar to kraft speckletone, but it most likely isn't heavyweight unfortunately. (But look around, you might prove me wrong)

    There are also moleskines, which are my sketchbook . They are expensive and small but the paper is a nice cream and is great for pens. Moleskine paper isn't true heavy-weight per say but it would hold up the mediums you described. Word of caution, this note is only about the 8.2" x 5.3" x 0.7" sketchbook brand. They have a larger folio version but the folio doesn't use the same paper quality as the sketchbook.

    You could also tint the pages of a heavy-weight, white paper sketchbook by using thin watercolor washes or tea-staining (my personal favorite). You can actually get pretty lovely results this way and control the color.

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    hey Praemium how do you do the tea-washing btw? I've tried to use a thin water colour but unfortunately it doesn't exactly leave the paper in my sketchbooks coming out nice the otherside >.<. Is there any useful advice regarding tea-washing so that the paper comes out nice? Sorry if this a stupid question, just never tried it before .

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    unfortunately unless your paper is sturdy and thick it is likely to wrinkle after be stained. You may be able to iron it out though just make sure you put a barrier between it and the paper like a thick piece of cloth or you might burn the paper.

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    You could get a gray scale sketchbook, I have one and it comes with white, different shades of grey, and black paper. Here is what I'm talking about: http://www.fineartstore.com/Catalog/...ost%2cUnitCost

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    You miiiight be able to get a book of scrapbook paper where the paper is only lightly textured and mid-tone or something. Where the pages might look something like this:
    Toned Sketchbook

    I don't know. Just a thought.

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    Canson oatmeal scrapbook, unfortunately even though it's pretty heavy, alcohol based markers will still seep through to the other side a little, but not nearly as much as the recycled paper books.

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    I would reccomend newsprint. But I know a friend of mine made a toned sketchbook out of cardboard and paper bags.
    Also, doesn't Canson make a cream colored sketchbook?

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    @Praemium Tea staining produces beautiful effects, and I love it. Problem is that tea has tanic acids, which are not at all archival; your drawing will be dust in a few decades.

    @Minamongoose Grayscale sketchbook? Interesting, though I wish it was more like an actual sketchbook rather than a pad.

    @Manlybrian I would love a sketchbook with that kind of paper!

    @Jeffx99 That is a cool idea

    @cannibalcarnivale Sketchbook from cardboard and paperbags? Awesome! That'll be my next project.

    I despise the normal white paper that comes in most sketchbooks; I have to mar its sterility, normally by toning it with charcoal,

    A friend of mine gave me a cream colored sketchbook, though these are too expensive for me to buy normally.

    I used to use the cheap Border's (the bookstore) moleskine knockoffs before they went out of business.

    My favorite paper of the moment is a blue-gray paper, like this one I used for this drawing:

    Toned Sketchbook

    The tone of the paper can kind of be seen in the background, if a little obscured by the pastel.

    My friend gave me a lot of this paper as a gift; and I'm gonna be lost when my supply of this paper runs out, as I don't know where else to get it, or if it is even sold anymore.

    But my ideal is a sketchbook with this toned paper, or maybe velvet gray, which almost acts like a neutral brown.

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    I've been looking for the same thing and the best I could find was these Kraft paper pads from Borden & Riley. Probably not archival, but its a nice heavy surface for sketches

    http://www.dickblick.com/products/bo...ft-paper-pads/

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    Do what a friend of mine did. Out here in LA there is a store in pasadena name kelly's paper and what he did he just bough a bunch of heavy paper or a pack of 500 sheets for like $25 and the paper is really good it even holds markers and paint, so then he punch some holes in it and use the spiral from an old notebook as well as the leather cover and put it all together very nicely.

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    There are gray paper sketchbooks, i saw one on my school artstore, if you cant find a regular toned paper sketchbook you can always get this http://www.utrechtart.com/dsp_view_p...cfm?item=59946 which has brown paper in it

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    Finally found a real toned sketchbook at Utrecht.

    http://www.utrechtart.com/dsp_view_p...cfm?item=42265

    Its got a smooth finish and medium weight in a nice midtone brown color. Not quite as dark as Kraft paper or cardboard, but plenty dark enough for white chalk or pencil. And they come in spiral bound or hardcover in a few sizes and they're archival too.

    I have no idea why toned paper sketchbooks should be so rare. You'd think every decent manufacturer would have at least one in their product lines. Now that I've found these, I'll be stocking up on them

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  18. #15
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    I often go to a local paper store. (they sell nothing but printing paper. Shitload of them.) I buy a stack of Desert Storm paper whenever I go there. It's good for pencil, ball-point pen, marker, and white gouache.

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    Quote Originally Posted by papageo View Post
    Finally found a real toned sketchbook at Utrecht.

    http://www.utrechtart.com/dsp_view_p...cfm?item=42265

    Its got a smooth finish and medium weight in a nice midtone brown color. Not quite as dark as Kraft paper or cardboard, but plenty dark enough for white chalk or pencil. And they come in spiral bound or hardcover in a few sizes and they're archival too.

    I have no idea why toned paper sketchbooks should be so rare. You'd think every decent manufacturer would have at least one in their product lines. Now that I've found these, I'll be stocking up on them
    This looks like the best I've seen, thinking about ordering some. I'm a little concerned about the tooth, worried it will be too smooth. Have you tried conte or compressed charcoal on it? Do you have any photos of drawings on it we could see?

    Up until now I've been getting by with this cardstock I found at Michaels. 65lb, average tooth. The colors in that picture are a bit off. The left is more grayish, the middle is more yellow and creamy, and the far right is a perfect light brown.

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    Awesome Oatmeal

    Not to resurrect an old dead post buuuut I love the utrecht oatmeal sketchbook. It takes pencil and acrylic really well. I have been amazed at how durable and thin the pages are. It also erases like a champ. Every once in a while I leave it under a big stack of anatomy books to flatten it out as it will puff up over time. My favorite thing to do is sketch out a mess of under drawings in pencil and seal the page and drawings with acrylic matte medium. You can take more acrylic, markers, ink, white out, sharpie paint markers over the top of the sketches. I got a little brush pen I filled with isopropyl alcohol so I can erase and liquify the markers and acrylic paint if I feel the need. Anyways, its an awesome sketchbook and I highly recommend it.

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    I've always been puzzled by how hard it is to find toned sketchbooks too. I find them indispensable.

    I am in the UK so I don't know if the same products are available in the US (if not I'm sure they're still easily ordered online), but I haven't seen anything like these mentioned, so I really want to tell anyone interested about the Murano pastel pads I use - there are three different ones available, each with six different colours of high quality paper in them. The "neutral" (greys, blue-greys, neutral browns) colours are my favourite but I love the "warm" (reds, yellows, warm browns) and "cool" (blues, greens, purples) pads too. They come in A3 and A4. I haven't seen any others like them and they are awesome.

    I also have an "Earthbound" recycled sketchbook with a kind of oatmeal brown paper, probably similar to those mentioned by others.

    I'm really interested in the tea staining idea - how is that done, is it just a matter of painting a wash with tea? (I love tea, and the idea of using it in my art appeals to me!). And would it help the longevity of the paper if some sort of sealant was used over the artwork?

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  22. #19
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    I found this at Barnes & Noble today.

    Cachet Earthbound Recycled Sketch Book

    It had tan or light brown pages. As you can see from the photos I took, the one I found was spiral bound, which I would prefer. I might go back and buy it later.
    ...oh and the one I found was like ten bucks. Way better price.

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    My Sketchbook

    And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.
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  23. #20
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    Sorry to necro this, but would coffee make a suitable replacement for tea for the purposes of adding a bit of color to my sketchbook paper?

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    Last edited by Norkagar; July 27th, 2012 at 07:30 AM.
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  25. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falchion View Post
    Sorry to necro this, but would coffee make a suitable replacement for tea for the purposes of adding a bit of color to my sketchbook paper?
    You can use acrylics. Just pick your color wet the paper first before applying color and do a very thin wash with a big soft brush.

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  26. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia412 View Post
    unfortunately unless your paper is sturdy and thick it is likely to wrinkle after be stained. You may be able to iron it out though just make sure you put a barrier between it and the paper like a thick piece of cloth or you might burn the paper.Toned SketchbookToned SketchbookToned SketchbookToned Sketchbook
    If you want something a little more sturdy but still oatmeal colored, you could get a scrapbooking album. However it's a bit pricey.

    http://www.amazon.com/Canson-Scrapbo.../dp/B0023AZFWI

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  27. #24
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    Strathmore are finally coming out with toned sketchbooks. Theyll have all grey and tan. I think they will come out next month, if not I'll let you know when.

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    i want a cachet earthbound sketch book i think they would be awesome to work with, but i stay in new zealand and we dont have them

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    My sister's spending some time in Brighton, which gave me ideas for Christmas suggestions. That got knocked on the head when I found out the factory shop's fifteen miles outside Brighton...

    Doing okay with coloured card, though. And this:

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    You can use acrylics. Just pick your color wet the paper first before applying color and do a very thin wash with a big soft brush.


    ...which is only my opinion.
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  30. #27
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    I make my sketchbooks myself, so I can use whatever kind of paper I want.
    Another option is making/buying a sketchbook with sturdy watercolor paper (not the one with texture, and not the ones that soak up all the water. But more normalish paper but very thick so it doesn't wrinkle), then paint it with a wash of ink or bister. the best way to get a beautiful toned paper, that does look natural.

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