Review – Dolgen Mini Composition Book

Okay, this is kind of a cheat. But little notebooks are art supplies to someone. Even with the small price, should you get these small Dolgen composition books? Are they worth it?

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These little books contain about 60 pages of narrow lined paper. The stock is thin, and bleeds easily, but it is still about the same as average copy paper. They’re about 3½ X 2¼ inches, so they fit nicely into a pocket. They aren’t that great for drawing, but they excel at little notes and ideas.

The binding is fairly poor. I get the impression that it will fall apart quickly, but not as quickly as it takes to finish the book.

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These things are small, easy to carry, and really handy. They’re great for jotting down notes and the like. While they obviously aren’t made for drawing, a quick sketch or two definitely won’t hurt them, one just has the lines to contend with. At the three for a dollar price I paid for them, they are superb little notebooks.

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Review – Higgins Black Waterproof India Drawing Ink

So a while back I reviewed Higgins black non-waterproof India ink for fountain pens. That’s a fine ink for fountain pens, but if one wants to do, say, an ink wash it doesn’t fare too well. There is a Higgins solution for this; Higgins black India drawing ink.

The ink comes in a tiny well with a small dropper. There is not nearly the same volume of ink, but the bottle takes up about the same amount of space.

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The ink itself is very black. Very, very black. It is waterproof and a little thin. It can be used to create a very dark line right out of the bottle, or diluted with water to make various shades of grey. Unlike the fountain pen ink, which turns a greenish color when diluted, the ink remains black or grey. It colors the water completely black no matter the solution, so measuring the amount of the mixture before hand is recommended.

Overall the ink is superb for what it is made for, which is brush inking and ink-washing. It is very dark and handles very well. It dilutes nicely to create shades, and covers well when it does. It does take a little practice to get good at using it but when you get the hang of it it works wonderfully.

Review – Westcott rulers

Well, when one is drawing, or drafting especially, it is useful, if not necessary, to have a ruler. And one might think that all rulers are the same. But they’re not. Some rulers have uneven edges, or mis-marked inches.

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A cheap ruler might cost half a dollar, and a good one might cost a full dollar. It’s not much difference and definitely worth it. The Westcott rulers that I have here are very functional, durable, and standard. Then have straight edges and correctly marked inches. One is clear acrylic and the other is steel. I use the steel for inking and the clear for sketching. I would recommend two rulers for that reason. And these are flexible, and the markings are wear-resistant. My only real complaint would be that the acrylic ruler scratches a bit too easily.

This sounds much more like a recommendation than a review, and it is, sort of. It’s a no-brainer to get a ruler. Getting a good one is not much more expensive than a cheap one, and these work great, they’re some of the best I’ve used.