Saturday, January 18, 2020

Giving Epsilon a Shot

Out: Zeta; in: Epsilon (with some political commentary)

I just filled the Stillman & Birn Zeta that I started in October and had used intermittently with a S&B Beta. After the Beta was full, I continued in the Zeta, thinking I’d want to start the next Beta eventually, but by then the holiday colors were over, and it was graphite season again. I haven’t been using enough color to miss Beta’s surface, especially with my current minimal kit challenge, so Zeta worked out beautifully. In fact, it’s the ideal surface for the ArtGraf water-soluble graphite pencil I’ve been using a lot lately. On these dreary, colorless days, it’s my favorite ultra-minimal tool.

That brings me to Epsilon, which I use frequently at my desk but haven’t used as an everyday-carry. I often avoid sketching on the page that faces a graphite sketch because of the smudging that occurs. Epsilon has the same surface as Zeta, but the paper is thinner, so a book contains twice as many pages. As long as I’m using mostly dry media, the lighter pages are fine, and I can skip a facing page without regretting as much of the waste of the higher-price-per-page Zeta. I’m going to give Epsilon a try for the rest of my minimal challenge.


  1. It is great that there is such a variety of surfaces for us to use since some are so much better for one type of sketching and another for a different kind.

    1. It is great, except sometimes I wish I had fewer choices so I wouldn't be tempted to keep switching around! ;-)


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