March 26th, 2015

Iced Latte in Bangkok

Artist: Suppachai Vong (lllouis), Thailand Artist Statement: I am a Thai artist, living in Bangkok. On Sunday afternoon I went to Siam Square, the heart of Bangkok’s shopping and entertainment district. I stopped at Lamune, the upscale stationery store, where I bought a Beta Series sketchbook. Then I went to the nearby Starbucks, got an […]

March 9th, 2015

Winter Cardinals

Artist: Amy Norkitis Artist statement: I have been consistently drawing and painting in sketchbooks for about six years. I rarely do any artwork outside of a sketchbook. I love that my artwork is contained in one place and is so portable. If I’m drawing on location, I just grab my bag and toss in my […]

February 25th, 2015


Artist: Nat Nattapan, Thailand Artist Statement: The beautiful Greek island of Santorini is my most favorite place. I created this drawing with a Lamy fountain pen loaded with carbon black ink and then added Winsor & Newton watercolor. It took me one hour do to do the sketch and then another hour to do add […]

January 16th, 2015

At the Market

Bay-area designer Suhita Shirodkar sent us this drawing of a scene in her local fruit market. “I have always been fascinated by capturing crowds and activity, and this is one of a series of sketches created to study drawing crowds and busy places. This is a sketch of the Milk Pail Market, one of the […]

December 16th, 2014

Wilberforce the Rabbit

When we get inquiries about which of our papers are suitable for pen and ink, we reply “all of them”. “But even the cold press surfaces, like Beta and Delta?” Yes, they are all mixed media papers and support inking techniques (plus of course varying amounts of wet media). Alaskan artist Michelle Hotchkiss illustrates the […]

December 8th, 2014

Acrylic Study on Gessoed Paper

Guadalupe Diaz Hidalgo (Lupe) is a New York City portrait artist who uses Beta Series sketchbooks to create acrylic paint studies. These studies are used to plan a final rendering which will be on canvas or board. In the following, Lupe explains the process in which he primes Beta Series sheets for use with multiple […]

November 28th, 2014

Holiday Giveaway

We’re giving away ten gift sets of Stillman & Birn sketchbooks bundled with a case of QoR® Modern Watercolors from Golden Artist Colors. The watercolors are a QoR High Chroma Set, containing a six-tube palette of brilliant colors. The sketchbook is a 5½” x 8½” (14.0 x 21.6 cm.) hardbound, your choice of either a […]

November 23rd, 2014

Wild Wave

Felicity Flutter is an English graphic designer and landscape artist, whose artwork is inspired by the Kent and Sussex countryside near her home. Felicity recently created an exciting seascape that she posted here. We asked her for a report about her unusual technique in which she combines pencil drawing with watercolor painting.

“A painting can […]

November 19th, 2014

Haunted McPherson

Erik Davis had sent us this drawing of an eerie house in his neighborhood that we were to have posted before Halloween. We apologize to Erik for being late!

“This is called Haunted McPherson, it measures roughly 10 x 7 inches. The painting is loosely based on a house in our neighborhood, on McPherson Street. […]

November 15th, 2014

Sunset at Sea

San Francisco artist Robert Sloan is an educator, writer and pastel specialist. He recently created this vivid rendering of a sunset at sea and shares his techniques in this report: “My 7″ square Beta Series sketchbook is perfect to create a Pastel Journal for plein air painting, color studies and my own collection. I taped […]

October 29th, 2014

October Nature Sketch

Leslie Fehling created this unique two-page portrait-oriented spread to record a recent nature walk. This is her report: “I look for any excuse to get outdoors on these beautiful October days, so I decided to do a page in a new sketchbook dedicated to nature sketches. I walked downhill from our house and sketched this […]

October 21st, 2014

At the Palace of Fine Arts

Watercolor artist Joanne Gustilo is being increasingly recognized for her drawings of iconic buildings on both coasts. Joanne recently created a series of studies of San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. The Beaux-Arts architecture is rendered with elegance, precision and drama. This is Joanne’s statement about her work: “Being able to visit the famous Palace […]

October 15th, 2014

A Bee Study

Barbara Tapp recently retired from a distinguished career as an architectural illustrator and is now pursuing an old/new direction for her artwork. She talks about it here: “This study began when I needed an image of a bee for a painting I was completing. Working outdoors, I was observing and taking notes and I found […]

September 9th, 2014

The Rigolets Lighthouse

Annie Strack is an art educator and a master of marine paintings. This is Annie’s report about her drawing of the historic Rigolets Lighthouse, destroyed by Hurricaine Katrina. “I used to live in the New Orleans area, and one of the best things about living there was the diverse and numerous subjects nearby that make […]

September 6th, 2014

GUEST POST — Leslie Fehling: Cleome

CLEOME Leslie Fehling’s post of this drawing attracted a lot of attention when she first posted on her blog. We’re happy to repost it now along with Leslie’s Artist Statement: “I drew this Cleome, or spider flower, in Maine at the lovely Thuya Gardens on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. The line drawing […]

August 11th, 2014

Floral Study

Florida artist Kathleen Pequignot sent us this colorful drawing along with the following report about her spontaneous drawing technique: “This floral study began with three separate photo inspirations. From these references I drew directly in my Beta Series art journal with a Uni-ball Super Ink pen. The ink is waterproof, so I was able to […]

August 2nd, 2014

Seaplane Takeoff

Noted watercolorist, writer and educator Thomas W. Schaller created this drawing of a vintage seaplane taking off on Lake Superior. Tom has just finished teaching a course in plein air watercolor painting at Madeline Island School of Art (MISA) in La Pointe Wisconsin. “MISA is an art and craft school located on a restored Wisconsin […]

July 26th, 2014

Tea Time

Artist Erik Davis published this drawing on his blog and sent us this write-up about it: “Right now my passion is for old barns, sheds, and trees. I think the barns and sheds come from my childhood. My grandparents had a small farm with lots of little sheds and a barn. Many days were spent […]

July 7th, 2014

Alki View of Seattle

Alki Beach is the most western point of Seattle, a peninsula jutting out into Puget Sound. It was the site of June’s Urban Sketchers’ workshop in which graphic artist Mark Ryan participated. This is one of the drawings Mark created at this location and the following is his report: “I enjoy sketching, drawing and painting […]

June 23rd, 2014

The Head House at Copley Square

The entrance to the Copley Square subway station (“head house”) is one of a kind, a structure of filigree flowers and curlicues in cast iron, much like the Art Nouveau kiosks of the Metro in Paris. Constructed in 1912, the head house endured decades of neglect and then was beautifully restored in 2009. Laura Sfiat […]