Monday, February 16, 2009
Exacompta Basic Journal. (In front) Similar in size to the Pen & Ink Sketchbook, Clairefontaine Basics, and Large Moleskine. (Exacompta Sketchbook is to the left of the Journal)
These are: Livres d’Or “Basics” Journals and Blank Books. Not to be confused with the smaller "Forum" series, which use completely different paper and have product numbers such as 1400 & 1401. These have product numbers 992 & 993, and they also have the graphics on the covers, while the forum basics do not.
Product Specs for the Livres d’Or “Basics” Journals and Sketchbook:
• Lined with tan cover & gold edge (993/1)
or black cover with silver edge (993/0)
• Blank with black cover & silver edge (992/0)
• Cloth binding to match cover – grey or brown
• Textured hardboard covers
• Sewn binding
• 100 sheets (200 pages) 25% cotton, pH neutral, 100g off white paper
• Ribbon marker
Exacompta Sketchbook - the cover is black, despite how it appears in this photo. Some people don't care for any images on the front of their journals, but I find the designs on the Journal and sketchbook to be rather unobtrusive and somewhat classy. Similar to the Clairefontaine Basics journals, the Exacompta Basics have a stiff cardboard/hardboard cover. Unlike the Exacompta Forum journals, they do not offer covers. Perhaps you could get Renaissance Art to make you one?
A little birdie suggested these journals to me based on their paper quality. I would have *never* tried them simply because I don't care for gilded journals. The journal is gilded in gold, and the sketchbook silver.
I am mostly going to be discussing the use of the sketchbook.
The Basics books are clothbound and include a festive multi-colored ribbon. Signatures are sewn.
Ahhhhhhhhhh... One of my favorite features in a journal. Rounded corners are so much easier on the hand as you reach the end of a page.
The Basics opens and lies mostly flat. It gets even flatter with a tiny bit of encouragement. (It's flat enough for me.)
Paper in the Basics are a glorious shade of off-white. The sketchbook is plain, and the journal has 10mm ruling (???) that doesn't run the full width of the page. I'm used to the 6mm ruling in a large Moleskine. (shown on the left) 10mm ruling reminds me of a children's diary. I just can't take it seriously, though I know there are some of you that use broad nibbed pens and prefer a wider line. The ruled Basics journal is not for me.
100 sheets (200 pages) 25% cotton, pH neutral, 100g off white paper. LAID paper.... as in the little glorious grooves that you find on quality stationery..... As with all laid paper that I've seen, the grooves are heavier on one side of the paper than the other. In this example, I tested both sides of the paper. No problems with either. Every fountain pen tested, regardless of ink or nib used, wrote super smooth. No bleeding, no feathering, no spreading or see-though. I was kind of knocked over by this paper.....
This is not Clairefontaine paper, but instead, comes from a paper mill that Clairefontaine owns in the Netherlands that also manufactures the Lalo paper. You can read more about the mill, Here.
Close up of the laid lines.
100g plain quality paper? I decided to throw everything I had at it.... In this image, watercolors & Pitt Artist pens. Watercolors work WELL on this paper. They can be blended on the paper, and re-wet once dry. Yipee!
Mandala Hand painted by brushing the tips of Neocolor II crayons with a Niji Waterbrush then applying directly to the paper.
Sennelier China/India Ink applied with a Cretacolor Calligraphy pen. Derwent Inktense pencils.
More watercolor, Noya Calligraphy Marker & Stabilo 88 marker.
Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Water Soluble Crayons. Sharpie Marker & Staedtler Lumocolor. Sharpie & Staedtler bled, but not through to the next page.
Page painted with Private Reserve's Burgundy Mist Fountain Pen Ink. - note that the image is showing the ink WAY lighter than it looks in person.
Page painted with acrylic fabric paint and is waiting for it's next application. This paper is remarkably resilient to all media I tried on it. It seems to love and welcome mixed media.
While I would love a hard cover and an elastic closure, this is one of the most unbelievable products I've found so far. It's so versatile. I want more. A whole bunch more. The sketchbook works great as a journal, or an art journal.
HIGHLY recommended. Love, Love, Love it. I had a hard time putting it down long enough to take the pictures. Additional pictures from the Exacompta review can be found Here.
This product was provided by Exaclair for the purpose of review.