Month: June 2010

R1 and R2 both got summer jobs as umpires this year.  I was waiting around and got to see a t-ball game R2 was umping.  The little kids were soooooo cute!  They looked like tiny bobbleheads with their batting helmets on.  I tried to get a little practice sketching them but they were so wiggly that I gave up.  I did manage to sketch R2.  He says it doesn’t look anything like him and unfortunately, I agree! LOL!  Still, it was practice and it burned up a little more of the Reflexions sketchbook ( nasty paper, only good for pencil work IMHO).


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I just got in a Raffine Art Sketch book and did a quick trial page full of doodles to compare it to the Aquabee Super Deluxe that I am currently using.  First, I used Noodler’s Beaver ink in a Conklin Crescent pen placed on the paper with a light and heavy hand and rubbed over at various intervals to test smearing. I tested the marks at one, five, and ten minutes.  I was going to leave it overnight but thought that was overkill and tried the last rubbing about six hours later instead.  In both books the ink was still smearable after ten minutes, but had finally dried in the Raffine in six hours.  I take notes in my Aquabee during class and close the page on them with no waiting and no smearing so I think this really is only a problem when doing pen and wash.  The pen and wash drawing of my fountain pen posted previously, was hard to control because the ink had not dried and was still sitting on the surface of the paper in the Aquabee.  Platinum Carbon ink was permanent in both books with no smearing when rubbed at five minutes.  It was also permanent and did not run when I washed over it with water at five minutes.  The Noodler’s ink, (not a waterproof or bulletproof version) handled a wash of water about the same in both books.

Pencil seems to handle about the same in both books as does watercolor.  I lifted off color using a “scrubber” brush marketed to do that job and also with a soft haired flat.  The scrubber roughed up the paper in both books (a tad more in the Aquabee), the soft brush did not.  I think my problem with lifting out color was that I was using the scrubber brush and it is just too aggressive for the paper.

Bottom line- both books seem to perform the same to me.  The Auabee is 6″ X 9″ and is 93#, 152 gsm and the Raffine is 5.5″ X 8.5″ and  100#, 220 gram.  The Aquabee front cover does feel a bit thicker and more sturdy.   I’m going to finish out my Aquabee and then move into the Raffine.  Maybe after I work in the Raffine for a while I will be able to  tell  more about it.

Aquabee Super DeluxeAquabee test

Raffine Art SketchRaffine test

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I took a bit of a break but I’m back drawing and posting.  I just got in a new sketchbook, the Raffine Art Sketch, from Jerry’s Artorama and had to try it out.  It reminds me a lot of the Aquabee Super Deluxe Sketchbook.  It has nice heavy paper, 100 lb, that didn’t buckle with watercolor.  Unfortunately, like the Aquabee, attempting to lift off color fuzzes up the paper.  I need to do some tests with pen and ink to see how that works out.  The sizing in the Aquabee I’ve been using keeps the ink from sinking into the paper and it takes a while to dry and smears easily.  Hopefully, the Raffine will do better with ink.

Here is my quick test watercolor in the Raffine sketchbook.  Yes, those are my real, natural nails and yep, they are green this week.  I love polishing my nails with fun colors!  Unfortunately, my sketch didn’t do the color of the polish justice.  It is a really nice, shiny emerald green that has a sparkle to it like the  green paint on my van.  What can I say, I’m a redhead and I think there is a rule somewhere that we have to love green!


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