|The crescent die-cut cover of Field Notes' Lunacy edition.|
You’ve heard me whine about most of the papers in Field Notes. You’ve also heard me sing the praises of Field Notes’ Workshop Companion, the first edition to have paper I can use with all my favorite sketching media. And of course, my love for and use of the Sweet Tooth edition is practically legendary. :-)
I’ve come to learn that even notebook formats that seem unappealing at first glance turn out to be full of opportunities, as long as I’m open to them, so I’m no longer disappointed when these little notebooks don’t have exactly the right paper for my needs.
To my delight, Field Notes has come out with a limited edition that not only has sketch-friendly paper – its theme resonates deeply with me. It’s the Fall 2016 Lunacy edition, which celebrates the moon in all phases.
Even if the paper had been mediocre, I would have used these just because I love the die-cut covers exposing the moon’s image printed on the flysheet, its “dark side” embossed on the back cover, and the lunar factoids inside. So you can imagine my joy when, after testing the 60-pound paper with all my usual favorite sketching media, it turned out that it’s almost ideal for the kind of casual sketches I put into this type of notebook.
|None of my juiciest fountain pens, brush pens or markers|
feathered or bled through Lunacy's 60 lb. paper.
|The reverse side shows no bleeding or ghosting,|
even where I applied water.
|Lunacy's sizing (left) is very similar to Workshop Companion's (right).|
I say almost because blank would have been better than the reticle graph ruling (but I know I’m in a very small minority of Field Notes users who prefer unruled pages; most use them for writing, not drawing). And white paper would be my preference over pale gray (too pale to use for toned drawings, which the red Sweet Tooth paper is excellent for). Still, the reticle marks are printed with such low contrast to the paper that they’re very easy to ignore; I hardly notice them at all (I’m not even sure how effective they would be in helping someone write straight).
|Here's the reverse side of another Field Notes|
edition with 60 lb. paper but a very different
sizing that allowed all my pens to bleed through.
When I first started InkTober, I used another Field Notes book containing a very smooth 60-pound paper, but all my markers bled right through (reverse side of paper shown at left). So it was with some trepidation on my first day with a Lunacy that I scribbled with my juiciest fountain pens, brush pens and other markers. Lunacy’s paper took all my inks well – none feathered or bled through. I’ve come to learn that a paper’s weight is not nearly as important as its sizing.
Then I gave it the ultimate test (for paper in simple notebooks like this, which obviously aren’t intended for wet media): I gave a few fountain pen lines a quick wash with a waterbrush. The ink not only washed beautifully – it still didn’t bleed through! The sizing compares favorably to Workshop Companion’s paper, which is actually an even heavier 70-pound weight.
|Sailor fude fountain pen ink line washed lightly with water.|
|Lunacy's moderate tooth takes colored pencils beautifully.|
Although some fountain pen users might find Lunacy’s surface toothier than would be ideal, I have no qualms with it. In fact, the bit of tooth takes colored pencils nicely (and probably graphite, though I’m not much of a graphite user).
Now that I’ve finished filling my first Lunacy, I’m convinced that it is as close to being the perfect pocket notebook for my needs as any I have tried. Let the hoarding begin.
|My hacked "Sweet Companion" notebooks: alternating red|
and cream pages!
In somewhat related Field Notes news, I was recently inspired by other creative Field Notes users who have disassembled and reassembled their notebooks to switch various covers and papers. I enjoy having both a toned (red) paper notebook and a white one, but I don’t want to have to carry two books. So I took apart a Workshop Companion and a red Sweet Tooth, and I reassembled them with alternating red and cream-colored pages. When I’m not using a Lunacy (or the elusive bright-orange-papered EEEK Field Notes, another favorite but much harder to come by), I’ll use one of my hacked “Sweet Companion” notebooks.
A couple of years ago I was ranting about how none of the Field Notes ever meets my sketching needs, and now I have several choices! My sketching life is indeed sweet.
|I filled my first Lunacy with InkTober sketches and just started|
a second one -- this time with a full moon!