Fully Booked stocks Clairefontaine, Prat and Sennelier sketch pads and notebooks. Maybe one day they’ll stock G. Lalo and L’Atelier du Papier too, and advance the French art supply invasion.
l’ebauche sketch pads come in many sizes. I have the 16×16 and the 24×32, both 130 sheets each.
The paper is off-white and fairly translucent, with a parchment-like quality. 130 sheets is a lot. You don’t get the preciosity factor (“Oh, it’s so precious and there’s so little of it, I don’t think I should use it!”) that can be such a barrier to expressing yourself on paper.
Paper intended for sketching usually doesn’t handle water-based media well. l’ebauche can, to a certain extent.
The paper buckled (of course!), but I was surprised at how much liquid it could hold.
I applied Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses, PR Cosmic Cobalt, and Pilot tsutsuji with a folded pen, and spread the ink around with a little water. Sketch paper comes with a little texture so that charcoal, pencil and pastel have something to catch and hold on to. A folded pen has no sharp edges, so it can work. Fountain pens – especially vintage ones with fine nibs – are at a disadvantage. The nib “lifts” fibers from the paper, and feathering results.
Better to stick with colored pencil and mutant deer.
What I like using best with this sketch pad is a brush pen. The paper texture complements brush strokes, and a quick brush pen doodle can look better with a light watercolor wash. Here, I doodled the girl with a Pentel pocket brush pen, added emphasis lines with a stub-nib Parker Duofold loaded with Noodler’s Golden Brown ink, then added watercolor with a Pentel Aquash waterbrush. The waterbrush diluted the fountain pen ink on the way, blending it with the watercolor.
The microperforation makes it easy to tear off the sheets you do want to preserve. The paper is acid-free, so you can pop it into an art journal collage or a clear book without worries.