|The latest Field Notes edition has coloring-book covers. This was my first attempt at coloring since I was probably 8 years old! (Blackwing Colors colored pencils and Marvy LePen Flex brush pen)|
|Caran d'Ache Museum Aqurelle pencil|
Field Notes Brand’s latest limited-edition release is Streetscapes, a sketchbook with covers meant to be colored. A sketchbook? From my favorite pocket-notebook maker? I would have been interested in any case, but it had my full attention for other reasons, too. (Before continuing, go read my review at the Well-Appointed Desk. Go ahead – I’ll wait. And by the way, unlike most products I review at the Desk, I subscribe to Field Notes, so I paid for these books myself.)
Back in January, I received an email from Bryan Bedell – not the owner of Field Notes but certainly someone who knows what’s going on over there. After swearing me to secrecy, he asked my opinion on types of paper that would be appropriate for sketching, especially with colored pencils. Of course, I was thrilled and tickled to pieces – I could now add “Consultant to Field Notes” to my resume! – and many opinions were shared. (I have to thank Ana for the honor . . . he also contacted her, and I’m pretty sure she had something to do with Bryan contacting me.)
|4/3/23 Sailor fude fountain pen, Platinum Carbon Black ink|
and colored pencil
Without revealing details, he said that the release would have a “coloring-book-ish” concept, which intrigued me mightily! I couldn’t quite imagine Field Notes publishing an entire coloring book – after all, it is primarily a pocket-size notebook maker with a diverse audience – but I thought maybe the sketchbook would include a couple of pages to color. Indeed, the edition’s colorable covers are an even better idea than a few pages.
As popular as adult coloring books are, and as much as I am always looking for ways to use my – ahem – significant supply of colored pencils, I have never gotten into using coloring books. Coloring these covers was a first for me. Although I still don’t see myself filling lots of coloring pages, now I understand the appeal as a relaxing activity. It’s not mindless – it still requires planning and thinking about colors – and it’s also satisfying to see a line drawing transform into a color picture.
|4/3/23 Marvy LePen Flex brush pen |
(Earthsworld reference photo; right-handed sketch)
The only thing that would have made the release of Streetscapes better is if they had followed my suggestion. Bryan had told me that Field Notes was planning to stock Blackwing Colors in support of this edition. They should co-brand a limited-edition set of Blackwing Colors, I suggested! Field Notes fans and Blackwing fans alike would grab them, and certainly I would have had to buy them (to complete my collection, of course). Pity – they didn’t bite.
The full review is at the Well-Appointed Desk, but I wanted to put all the test sketches here on my blog, too.
|4/3/23 Uni Pin brush pen, Uni Posca and Pentel Milky paint markers|
|4/5/23 Blackwing graphite pencil |
(reference photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash)
|4/6/23 Prismacolor colored pencils|
(reference photo by Raymond Eichelberger on Unsplash)
|4/7/23 Bic ballpoint pen|
(reference photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash)