Charles – could this be one of your old graph pads?
Last week, Charles Barilleaux voiced his preference for our dot paper stating, “The grid doesn’t work for me, as I wind up spending meetings filling in the squares.”
Anyone else enjoy coloring in the squares like this?
(This image actually belongs to kaiser5081 on Instagram.)
My artist friend Angie Snyder-Lande uses a razor to sharpen her pencils and for some reason this always amazes me. A razor seems like a good idea, even though the potential exists to hack a pencil to bits until one learns the right amount of pressure to apply to each cut. I’m guessing that once you get the hang of it, a lot less of the pencil would be wasted to sharpening. (Where to dispose of the shavings… maybe a small Altoids tin?)
Do you prefer to sharpen with a knife or razor? Please share your process.
I own at least a dozen pencil sharpeners but can never find one when I need one. I’m wondering if a small pocketknife might be easier to keep track of.
81 year old urban sketcher Frank Bettendorf was super excited about the new landscape Webbie notebooks so we sent him one to try out on his recent trip to the Channeled Scablands - a barren, relatively soil-free landscape in Eastern Washington. Click on any image below to view the full gallery.
I’m back home after seven great days recording my trip to the Channeled Scablands and I’m eager to share some of the experience with you. I shot three rolls of slides, two rolls of black & white, and did 27 sketches. I thought I’d send enough so you’ll at least get some feel for the trip..
Whenever I come across a saying or quote that I wish to integrate into my daily thought process, I will often use it as an excuse to pull out some art and or writing supplies. In this case, I’m using the Japanese phrase “Kyo Dake Wa” which pretty much translates as, “Just for today” which I think is a nice reminder to live more in the moment.
By doodling with a dip pen, J. Herbin’s Bleu Ocean Anniversary ink, and a few colored pencils in this loose and playful manner, what may have been limited to quickly scrawled words on a post-it note, has engaged me for an hour or so of playful art-making with the added benefit of being able to actively focus on the message itself.
Do you have a favorite saying that you might consider turning into a simple piece of art like this?
The new landscape Webbie notebook both opens flat to the page and lies flat when you are leaning on it to write. To me, that’s a pretty big deal because I don’t like losing precious real estate in the fold.
How important it it to you that your notebook lie flat? Can you give specific examples of when it might be particularly necessary for the book to lie flat?
Opens flat: The paper needs no hand pressure for the pages to reveal a flat writing surface.
If you lean on the book as you write, the spine folds neatly upon itself.
Tracing paper is a product that hadn’t been on my radar until I needed to purchase some for a workshop I attended last fall. It’s purpose is simple yet multifaceted. It can be used to “test” potential changes to a drawing without altering the original. It can be used to isolate individual elements from a series of sketches and also allow you to play around with composition. With a little effort, tracing paper can also be used to transfer a drawing onto another surface. Watch the video below to see how this is done:
Rhodia fan Chris sent us this cover doodle with the suggestion that our logo should look like this. What do you think? I like it! Now I’m just trying to figure out what mountain this might be…
Perhaps Mont Blanc in the French Alps?
I’ll be adding Chris’s image to our Cover Doodle Fan Photo page. Have an image you’d like to share with us? Send it to me: Stephanie at RhodiaDrive dot com.
I prefer hexagon shaped pencils sans eraser. I like the wood to sharpen cleanly and a lead that is slow to blunt for writing, I want the lead to erase cleanly with minimal effort.
For writing, I like an HB, B or 2B depending on the make of the pencil. Light sketching? 2H. I’m happy with a 2B for drawing & doodling. If I want dark, soft & smudgy, I use something in the range of 6B-9B. Overall, I prefer a certain amount of smooth regardless of the grade.
I think that the best way for me to test a pencil isn’t a side by side chart like the one above but to actually spend time writing and drawing with a variety of pencils on a variety of papers. (any old excuse to keep buying more art/writing supplies) The ones that don’t make the cut are banished to a coffee can in my studio for other people to use.
What particular features are important to you when selecting a wooden pencil for writing, drawing or doodling? What is your preferred method to compare one brand against another?
(#2 pencils are typically graded HB.)
Other than the up and coming Clairefontaine dotGrid Graf-It pads, dot ruling is exclusive to Rhodia.
If you prefer Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis or Exacompta papers, would you like them even more if they were available with dot ruling? If yes, please tell us which specific product- including anything in the Rhodia line that isn’t yet available in the dot format.
Gratitude Journaling (by Kathy Paper Pumpkin) at Art Journaling
Monami Handy Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper
More about Pencil Tourism at The Well-Appointed Desk
Pilot Kaküno Fountain Pen Review at Write to Me Often
A Ferrule to Arms: Erasable #2 at Pencil Revolution
Weekly Loadout Submission – Alia L. at Ed Jelley
20 Creative Writing Careers at Writing Forward
The Handwritten Note at Daily Writing Tips
New Habana Notebook Cover Colors at Quo Vadis Blog
Journaling As Healing Process at Create Write Now with Mari
Guide to Choosing a Pair of Scissors at JetPens Blog
Journaling Exercise: Question of Faith at Kaizen Journaling
Office Size Clam Paper clipper at My Supply Room
Faber Castell 9000 HB pencils vintage matchboxes spotlight at Lung Sketching Scrolls
Montblanc Meisterstuck : The Masterpiece at Pen Boutique Blog
Featured Pen – Kaweco AL Sport – Stonewashed Black at Pens Paper Ink… Whatever!
Smooth As A Baby’s Bottom – Or Not at The Pen Addict
Image courtesy of my_name_pesca on Instagram.
These animal drawings are by Kai Lützenkirchen and were drawn with a Kaweco fountain pen in a Rhodia notebook. Aren’t these meerkats adorable? Kai’s Instagram feed kailutzen is filled with all kinds of wonderful illustrations like these.
Have you heard? The bird is the word…
Images courtesy of Kai.
What fountain pen user hasn’t at one time or another experienced inky fingers? For me, it’s every time I refill a pen. It happens either by accidentally touching the rim of the bottle or when using a paper towel to wipe the nib section clean.
Other ways I’ve gotten inky? If a pen is running a little dry, I will sometimes twist the convertor to push more ink into the feed; if it’s a bit too much, spillage may occur. Dip pens/nibs come with their own type of inky hazards simply from having to repeatedly dip the nib into an ink bottle.
Under what circumstances have you experienced the inky finger syndrome? Anyone ever experience ink problems on an airplane?
Image courtesy of Ragemore on Instagram
The landscape version of our beloved Webbie (Webnotebook) will soon be available in the US and we are hoping that you are as excited about it as we are. Will you share with us how this format may work more efficiently for your needs?
• Size A5: 5 1⁄2” x 8 1⁄4”
• 90 g ivory paper, acid-free, pH neutral, 96 sheets
• Embossed Rhodia logo
• Elastic closure matching color cover (orange and black)
• Round corners
• Individually shrink-wrapped
• Lined or blank
• Inner pocket in back cover
Image courtesy of hotdogsandwiches on Instagram
In regards to Rhodia products imported into the USA, white and yellow Rhodia papers are typically 80g and ivory Rhodia paper is 90g. All of these papers are fountain pen friendly, acid free and PH neutral. For the reasons that these papers are fountain pen friendly, it also means that you may notice a slight delay with how long it takes the ink to dry. The size of the pen’s nib in combination with the type of ink may also play a factor in drying time. (Some inks dry faster than others. Humidity is also to be considered.)
When we say “fountain pen friendly” we mean that water based fountain pen inks will not feather or bleed through to the other side of the page, Note that there may be exceptions to this rule if you are using a very broad wet nib.
The 90g papers are reported to be the smoothest of the bunch with the 80g right on its heels. The yellow paper is a little different than the rest and has a slightly toothier surface.
Speaking as an artist, pens, pencils and markers all pretty much glide across the smooth white and ivory Rhodia papers. It will be a matter of personal preference whether or not this is a desirable attribute while sketching. (For what it’s worth, I’ve doodled quite extensively in my Webbies using a variety of fountain pen inks. I also enjoy using drawing pens such as Faber Castell Pitt Pens and a variety of Japanese calligraphy pens,)
Paper colors and availability:
90g Ivory Rhodia paper: is available in a head stapled tablet known as the “R” Premium Pad. It is also available in the following hard covered books: Webnotebook, (Webbie), Landscape Webnotebook, Webnotepad, and the Rhodiarama.
80g Yellow Rhodia paper is only available (in the US) in one 8 1/4 x 12 1/2″ head stapled tablet.
90g White Rhodia paper is only available in one product in the USA: The Rhodia Meeting Book 90.
Image courtesy of cednocon on Instagram
Are you a doodler?
By allowing yourself to be creative in a way that is not dependent on any particular outcome, you can focus on the process itself and simply appreciate your hand moving the pen across the surface of the paper.
The next time you find yourself waiting at the doctor’s office, the DMV, or when picking up your children after school, I’d like challenge you to reach for a paper and pencil and allow yourself to doodle. If this is something you don’t normally do, I think you might be surprised at how calming and meditative the process may be.
Image courtesy of butch_gordon on Instagram