Thursday, December 23, 2021

More Sketching and Hygge at Freya

12/17/21 Cinnamon strudel at Freya Cafe

I so enjoyed sketching at the Nordic Museum’s Freya Café that I went back for more, and this time I invited a couple of friends to join me. I ate breakfast at home so that I would have a chance to sketch my pastry before scarfing it down. Natalie and Ching agreed that it’s a wonderful place for both sketching and hygge, and we vowed to return.

Technical note: I’ve made only a few sketches in my Hahnemühle sketchbook, including this one, but I can tell you already that I love it with watercolor pencil. The texture is just a bit toothier than Stillman & Birn Beta, which has been my go-to for a while now. I’m not unhappy with Beta; I might never have considered a change if Daniel Smith’s closure hadn’t happened, causing me to rethink my shopping. But the Hahnemühle has two key features that Beta lacks: Hahnemühle’s A5 dimensions are only a smidge different from S&B’s 8 ½-by-5 ½ inches, yet it’s somehow easier to make both horizontal and vertical compositions with that slightly wider aspect ratio.

Hygge with friends

Secondly, Hahnemühle’s stitched binding allows each page spread to open completely flat on my scanner. Although S&B’s softcover binding opens flat most of the time, some pages still have a gray shadow on one edge when I scan them. Per page, the Hahnemühle book price is about the same as S&B, but since it has a sturdier hard cover, I’d say it’s a better value. I thought the hard cover would add to the overall weight, but it’s only two ounces heavier, and I don’t notice that additional weight at all. I won’t give a full review until I’m closer to filling the book, but so far, I’m a happy sketcher!

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