Pink Pig 4” x 4” Sketchbook
Paper: 150 gsm Cartridge paper
Paper Colour options: White, Off-white, Cappucino Brown
Cover Options: Covered back and Front, Covered front only, ‘Posh’ or ‘Classic’ (various colours – see website).
Price: £2.86 each or £14.28 for a pack of 5
‘The Pink Pig’ is an independent, family-run British brand which has been in business since 1992. I first came across this brand when I was studying art at University, as their sketchbooks were sold in the campus art supplies shop. I have loved using them ever since, so when I ran out of the books I had bought during my Uni days, I was very eager to find the brand again (all I had to go on was ‘artist’s sketchbook, mulberry paper cover’ and the good old interwebs took me to the right place first time!).
1. Coloured Pencil performance.
2. Generic pencil performance
3. Watercolour paints – overworking and warping
4. Watercolour Pencil – overworking and warping
5. Alcohol marker performance
6. Eraser performance
7. Watercolour brush pen performance
• Faber-Castell Polychromos Coloured Pencils
• Steadtler Noris Erasable Pencil
• Pentel and Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencils
• Mozart Watercolour Brush Pens
• Pilot Pintor Paint Pen
• Steadtler Lumocolor Marker
• Steadtler Metallic Marker
• Daler-Rowney Watercolour Paints
• Viviva Watercolour Sheets
• Copic Ciao Markers (Copic Ciao Doodle Pack)
• Generic Plastic Eraser
• Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze Pens
• Pentel Orenz Mechanical Pencil
1. Polychromos Pencils lay down very easily with a vibrant colour. Paper can take several layers of Polychromos pencil, but Steadtler Noris erasable pencil cannot be layered so easily and the colour is not vibrant. This paper definitely works better with good quality coloured pencils.
2. Standard pencils perform well, but I found the mechanical pencil performed best. Harder leads seem to leave an impression on the paper after being erased. Charcoal pencil hardly moves, so this is something to bear in mind, depending on what kind of effect you’re after.
3. Both Viviva Colorsheets and Daler-Rowney watercolour paints soaked into the page quickly (but did not bleed through), with limited ability to spread or reactivate the paint. The paper did start to bread down with very little water and brush work.
4. Pentel watercolour pencils didn’t spread well when water was added, but Albrecht Durer pencils performed well.
5. Pilot Pintor paint pens bled through slightly on the other side of the page, as did Steadtler Lumocolor and Steadtler Metallic Marker. Copic Ciao makers performed worst on this test, with the colour not only bleeding through to the back of the page I was working on, but also onto the next clean page. There was no bleed-through at all with Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze pens and they kept their ‘glaze’ after the ink dried.
6. Paper seems to cope well with even the cheaper eraser, and going over the same area multiple times did not damage the paper at all.
7. Watercolour brush pens lay down very nicely, with no bleed-through, even when several layers were applied. A single layer can be pushed quite far with water, but I found that darker colours tend to sink in quickly and can’t be blended or ‘extended’ with water as effectively. When blending colours, doing so directly from the pen produced better results than laying them down on paper first, before blending with a water brush. Layered colour reactivates quite well but a single layer of colour doesn’t.
The things I like most of all about this particular product are the choice of colours and finishes on the sketchbook cover, as well as the size of the sketchbook as you can pop several in a bag or coat pocket so that you always have something handy to sketch out an idea (I don’t know about you but my best ideas always pop at the least convenient moment!).
I also like the sustainability of this product – the company have strived to make as many elements of this product in recycled materials as possible. As a customer living in England I also like knowing my product has a smaller carbon footprint than say one of the bigger brand sketchbooks made abroad.
There’s really nothing I don’t like about this product, although the main suggestion I would give to improve this product would be to add the option of watercolour paper to this range of sketchbooks in order for artists to make the most of ‘Travel’ paint sets like the Daler Rowney and Viviva ones I used for this review, as well as watercolour pencils.
If this review has tempted you to try the product, I would really appreciate it if you used the affiliate link below, which earns me a small commission every time someone buys a product using this link. Thank you!