Monday, July 28, 2008

Fountain Pen (ink) Friendly Fabriano Classic Artist's Journal

An artist I admire on Flickr, Jessica Doyle, recommended the Fabriano Artist's Journal to me. It's a pricey book - from Blick, it was $20 for the 5x7 book. (I had a 30% off coupon)

To make it simple, let's just say that NOT ONE of the above used inks bled even a little bit in this book. It's an acid free sketching paper, and it has a little bit of tooth. Every single pen with every single ink wrote butter smooth on this paper. EVERY ONE. I did a quick drawing on the reverse side of the paper, and unless you really look for it, you can't see the opposing side through the paper.

What a glorious little book. While it doesn't exactly lie flat, you can crease the spine and force it relatively flat.

It comes with a ribbon bookmark ala Moleskine. The signatures seem securely sewn together.

The only thing that makes me really like this book vs LOVE it, is that the cover is a heavy cardboard, which seems to me could get pretty beat up, pretty easily.

192 pages, alternating between white & cream in color.

From the Blick site: "The paper is a great paper for ink, pencil, or pastels. It's mouldmade, acid-free, and lightfast."

Purchased 06/22/08 Blick
On my adventures with Rita (Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen)

We went to Perkins & ate eggs and talked about Reptilian Alien Agendas (Lamy Safari M Noodler's Black)

We talked about how every possible decision creates an alternative universe, that it's all infinite. (Lamy Safari w/ .07 Cursive Italic nib custom ground by Pendemonium. Diamine Imperial Purple Ink)

But I sometimes think there are an infinite number of souls. (Lamy AL Star 1.1 Stub. Waterman Blue-Black probably mixed with the residue of Noodler's Black)

She said that every country but Israel & the USA have declassified their UFO files. (Lamy 2000 EF Noodler's LeColour Royale)

That the TV show the X-FIles was the way that the government was introducing the concepts to us of alien existences. (Lamy Safari EF Noodler's Aircorp Blue-Black)

She gave me Reiki on a wooden bridge near a circular pond that had trout in it. (Esterbrook J 9556 nib Diamine Imperial Purple)

She said that we were Native American sisters in another lifetime.
I petted a lot of dogs on the nature trail. (Pelikan M200 F Noodler's Red-Black)


Geoff Vincent said...


Thanks for the great and very comprehensive review! I've been contemplating one of these for a while and you have helped me make a decision. The potential problem with the cover could be largely eliminated by using the lightweight plastic material that libraries use to cover their paperback books. It won't look too elegant but it will preserve the covers for years.

Biffybeans said...

No problem Geoff - They are great books... :o) If you dig through my list on the left, I've actually reviewed several of their products. I like them all except for the book with the colored paper, and that's only because I don't like using colored paper - not that there was anything wrong with it.

Geoff Vincent said...

Hi again,

Well, I went out and bought one of these journals and used it for the first time last night. I heartily endorse all your comments. I used a Safari with Fine nib and Noodlers Black. What struck me this morning when looking at the pervious night's entry was how good the ink looks on the page. Iy's unlike anything else I've used (Rhodia, HP 32lb, etc.).

BTW, I put my money where my mouth is and used some plastic on the covers. The result looks a little ugly (perhaps I should have used another type!), but serviceable. However, I'm sure the concept is sound!

Many thanks again for putting me on to this item.

Geoff V

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a journal with a good paper for fountain pen and watercolor. Would you tell me if this Fabriano is the best option? Here in my little town in Spain I haven't got a large choice. The ones I find in shops are Moleskines and Fabriano. Would you give me some adivce? Thank you

Biffybeans said...

Dear Anon -

Moleskine's do not play well with fountain pen inks. Fabriano's do, and I think that the Fabriano can handle light washes. The paper does get a little buckled but if you are ok with that....

Sreudianflip said...

I love these books! Sadly I heard from a representative of their US distributor that Fabriano is discontinuing the manufacturing of this paper and the journal.
I will miss these.

Biffybeans said...

Freud - check these out - the paper is very similar and they cost less

Eva Sylwester said...

Rita sounds awesome.

I got one of these thanks in part to your review and am writing in it now. I've tried Lamy Blue fountain pen cartridges on numerous papers, and this is the only one I think they look good (i.e., not faded) on.

Eva Sylwester said...

Update: Halfway through the book I had to put contact paper over the cover. It was just getting too dinged up, even though I had patched some of the corners with bumper stickers. Unfortunately the rough texture of the cover paper makes the contact paper not adhere to it very well, so I had to secure the ends of the contact paper with document repair tape. In spite of the book's expense (though I got mine with a $10 off coupon at my local art store), increasing the price by $10 for a better cover would be worth it. If you use both sides of the page, as I do, that's 384 pages, and no one is going to fill that up in a weekend. The paper is generally good but oddly does not agree with Uni-Ball Vision Elite blue-black ink — the ink tends to imprint on facing pages.

MoonskinLight said...

Thank you for this review , really great timing I am sitting here just about to buy one online and was hoping someone somewhere had done this sort of test review . I googled and found you . But what's spooky is ( and its Samhain/halloween ) I am also listening to an interview with James Horak , on you tube an interview with Crystal Clark re your topic in your entry topics about Alien agendas and the UFO files etc .. Id recommend you check out both people in your seeking I see it as a sign , very synchronistic :)
hope you are safe from any storms where you are ..will re visit this blog for sure lovely Art works and really useful reviews thank you again
blessings ..

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