Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook - Hardbound - 5.5" x 8.5"

Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook - Hardbound - 5.5" x 8.5"

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5.0 (2 reviews)
DescriptionSpecificationsQuestions & Answers (1)
This premium line of sketchbooks from Stillman & Birn is designed to meet the wide range of artists' needs, including sketching, recording ideas, and keeping art journals. Suitable for use with a variety of wet and dry media, it inspires creativity by giving artists the freedom to experiment with new ideas and materials. Each notebook contains high-performance, archival-quality paper that has been treated with both internal and surface sizing for exceptional wet strength that supports the application of multiple washes. In addition to slowing water absorption, the sizing helps pigments stay on the surface of the paper, resulting in remarkably vivid colors. The paper stands up well to multiple erasures and is suitable for precision work.

Six paper types, or "series," are available, varying in paper weight, shade, and surface type, allowing artists to choose the paper best-suited to their techniques. The different series are detailed in the chart pictured.

The three surface types are:

• Medium Grain – distinctive tooth, suitable for all dry media, and will also accept multiple washes
• Cold Press – Substantial tooth, enhanced wet and tear strength, suitable for mixed media artwork
• Smooth – Suitable for pen and ink, colored pencils, water-based markers as well as watercolors

This sketchbook has a stiff hardcover binding that is designed to be broken in. The spine eases with use, eventually allowing the book to lie flat, accommodating two-page drawings and flatbed scanning.

Zeta series sketchbooks contain extra heavyweight 270 gsm white paper with a smooth surface. They are best for wet and dry media, watercolors, and ink.

This is the hardcover Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook. Photos with writing feature the softcover Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook.

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Customer Reviews

The Zeta paper feels...
September 8, 2015
Verified Purchase
The Zeta paper feels very smooth to the touch, and it works beautifully for pen and ink illustration. The Copic multiliners glided effortlessly on its sleek surface and made crisp clean lines without any bleeding nor feathering. There was no show through the back of the thick sheet of paper either.

The Pilot Metropolitan Fountain pen also worked really well with this sketchbook without any issues. Its steel nib move effortlessly on the smooth paper surface without skipping nor getting caught on the paper fibers. I was able to doodle several helmet designs in minutes since I could sketch quickly without having to worry about the compatibility of my art materials.

For a coloring test, I used some gray Prismacolor markers I had lying around my desk. There was some show through the back of the page with this marker ink given the paper mild translucency. Yet the marker ink did not bleed through. I would not recommend using alcohol markers on this fine paper anyway.

The smooth Zeta paper still has enough tooth to grab colored pencil quite effectively. The Caran D'Ache Museum aquarelle pencils colored an ink sketch quite quickly and looked bold enough even with the dry marks. A quick pass with the waterbrush, and the watercolor pencil marks blended softly into each other with minimal warping of the support paper.

The Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook opened nice and flat even when brand new, so it is pretty easy to work across two page spreads and scanning in the future should not be a problem. While individual sheets might warp during heavier washes, the book closes back neatly given the substantial weight of its sheets and sturdy covers.

If your coloring media is brightly saturated like Caran D'ache Museum pencils and NeoArt watersoluble pastels, the white surface of the Zeta paper will show them in their best light thanks to the contrast between them. I would highly recommend this sketchbook for artists that value performance with mixed media and seek a sturdy home for their watercolor sketches and experimental drawings.
12 people found this helpful
The "Zeta" is like a...
May 20, 2016
Verified Purchase
The "Zeta" is like a multi media magnet. The pages are smooth yet I'm able to write, sketch and paint in it using pens, markers, water color pencils and paints. No bleeding and no show through, you can even use the back of the page if you want to. Yes, it is kind of pricey but oh so worth it.
3 people found this helpful