Comparison of the Stillman & Birn Sketchbook Series

Last Friday, I received a package of Stillman & Birn sketchbooks.

  • hardbound Alpha Series 8.5×11 in (21.6×27.9 cm); 
  • wire-coil Beta Series 7×10 in (17.8×25.4 cm); 
  • hardbound Gamma Series 5.5×8.5 in (14.0×21.6 cm)
  • wire-coil Epsilon Series 6×8 in (15.2×20.3 cm)

I already had a wire-coil Delta series 7×7 in (17.8×17.8 cm).  I reviewed this sketchbook a couple of weeks ago.

You can see that the sketchbooks come in many sizes and I was very excited to receive a couple of the hardbacks to review.  These are new

I’m at Writer’s Camp in North Carolina to give a presentation and help out so I didn’t really have time to do much artwork this weekend.  However, I wanted to post something, and I’ve seen many questions about the differences between these various sketchbooks.  So I decided to write up a quick post (quick for me–it’s pretty long for you, lol) that highlighted the differences.

I did a test page with swatches of different media that will hopefully help you determine the differences in paper.  I won’t go into much detail–over the next few weeks I’ll post a review on each in the series.  For now, it’s just the facts, ma’am.  Just the facts.

I didn’t include the number of sheets because I think that has more to do with size than series.  I’ll add that in the separate reviews.

Paper weights are not standardized, and I found all of these sketchbooks to be at the heavy end of the spectrum.

EPSILON(pen& ink)
Paper shade
Natural White
Natural White
Natural White
Plate Surface
100 lb/150 gsm
180lb/270 gsm
100 lb/150 gsm
180lb/270 gsm
100 lb/150 gsm
I was interrupted while doing my test pages and did the Beta last.  I picked up the wrong colors on a couple of the tests.  The difference in color is me, not the Beta series book,lol.  All of the books curled and dimpled a little bit when I used water, but all of them flattened out after the book was closed a while.

The only color that bled through was with the alcohol markers.

I’m looking forward to reviewing these books individually, and hope you look forward to seeing them.  And with that, I’ll leave you with a bleedthrumanade (got lemons, make lemonade.  Got marker bleedthru? Make bleedthrumanade) done with Spectrum Noirs in the Epsilon Pen & Ink Series Sketchbook.

Author: Life Imitates Doodles Art, Reviews & Tutorials

Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pens. I'm a self-taught artist who dances about with all sorts of artistic mediums. My main loves are Watercolor, Zentangle and Ballpoint pen. The subjects of my work are many and varied and change at whim. I'm a little bit crazy, but doesn't that come with being an artist? At my Life Imitates Doodles Blog, I post a list of resource links for Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways two times a week. I also write reviews, hold giveaways and share my art work.

2 thoughts on “Comparison of the Stillman & Birn Sketchbook Series”

  1. Love your comparison table – that's the nitty-gritty for me. Also your testing of media, great format, very clear as to what is what! An X-cellent review, looking forward to see-ing the rest. thanks a bunch – molly z.

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