Saturday, October 4, 2008

Review: Derwent Journal. A GREAT $9.99 book for some, but not all media

Derwent Journal


Derwent cover is a soft imitation suede. Feels very nice.... Book has elastic closure and long ribbon bookmark.

Derwent in between large & small Moleskines.

Derwent shown between a large & small Moleskine. I've always found the small Moleskines to be too small, and the large ones, while portable, can become bulky if you want to carry a small bag. The Derwent is a very nice "in-between" size that I think would be easier to grab & pack.

Derwent Journal

80 pages (40 both sides) Acid Free 200 gm white paper.

Derwent journal

I was disappointed to see that these were made in China, but I suppose that explains their relatively low cost. $9.99 online from The Fine Art Store.

Derwent Journal Corner

Rounded edges on the cover and pages mean less damages from pulling this journal in and out of a bag.

Derwent Journal

Inside cover has a small pocket for receipts, tickets, etc. Nice touch.

Derwent Journal

Sewn binding

Derwent Journal

It lies flat!!!!!!!!!

Derwent Journal

Huge back pocket to store all your goodies.

Derwent Journal and Moleskine Sketch book

Moleskine Sketch book on top to show color difference. This Derwent paper is white versus the Moleskine's sickly creamy ivory.

Half Mandala in Derwent Journal

The paper took a pretty heavy wash of watercolor applied with a Niji Water Brush - minimal bleed-through only in the spots that I repeatedly scrubbed over, or super soaked. These are Holbein & Daniel Smith artist grade watercolors, and I don't think this paper provides the best representation of these super pigmented paints. I think the paper would be great for light washes - because ultimately, it's not really watercolor paper and it's not going to respond as though it is.


Derwent Half Mandala

This was from my scanner rather than camera.

Derwent pen test

Ok - here's the deal.

The good news is that none of these inks bled through. The Sharpie tried, but no go. Everything stayed on their own side of the paper. The paper is smooth and uncoated - unlike the Moleskine which seems to be resistant of certain materials.

The bad news is that while none of the FP inks bled, they all spread and feathered. Some more than others. Not surprisingly, Noodler's Bulletproof black behaved the best.

Of note - everything wrote super smooth on this paper. I think it would be excellent for drawing & doodling with markers.

Derwent pen test

Private Reserve's Arabian Rose really spread & feathered badly.

Derwent pen test

J Herbin Eclat de Saphir - not great.

Derwent pen test

Diamine Imperial Blue - horrible. But then again, that ink is problematic in a lot of the journals that I have tried.

Derwent Handwritten Review.

Written in Noodler's Bulletproof Black - but not with that pen.

In closing, I have to say that this is about an 8 on a scale of 1-10 if you aren't going to want to use a lot of different color fountain pen inks in it. It would be great for probably all other kinds of media, and it's a pretty cheap buy. I also recommend it over the Moleskine sketch book - I just hate the Moleskine sketch paper....

3 comments:

Sharon said...

Gosh you must have quite the collection of sketchbooks, journals and pens. You would love Asia, in Korea they have tons of stationary that I'm sure you would love. When it's time to buy a new planner the stores are packed with exciting products but also hard to see with the millions of people.
This is one of my favourite Korean designers. http://www.milloshop.co.kr/index_item_list.html?pClass=0-0023

Biffybeans said...

Um......yes. I'm getting a little piley with the journals.

All I really want is a book similar to the Moleskine that has better paper that accepts all fountain pen inks without bleeding or feathering. SO many journals have one good quality but lacks another. I have several more sitting here that need to be reviewed. I've written in all of them and I might have some good news for my fellow fountain pen friends.

Sean van der Meulen said...

You should try the newer Derwent Safari notebooks/journals. they have a different, harder cover and a different paperstock. still 200gsm, but much smoother and a lot less feathery. still not perfect though. the paper in Seawhite of Brighton (140gsm) and Daler Rowney softcover Graduate sketchbooks (and spiral bound Ebony sketchbooks, both are 160gsm) is less feathery it seems, but thinner. Still haven't found the perfect sketchbook though.

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