Liz: "Stillman & Birn makes two vellum surface sketchbooks in 100lb weight. Gamma is the ivory tone, upon which whites and light tones glow. The other is Alpha, the Natural White, and colors look brilliant on it. These have quickly become my favorite sketchbooks: to carry daily, use in my studio, and at MetroSketchers gatherings. The surface accepts pencil, ink, water-based markers and watercolors-- all my favorite sketching materials! Because this is their 'lighter' weight paper, you get a lot to experiment on. They're available in a spiral or in a hard spine-- both of which lay flat-- and in a variety of sizes and formats."
Tim: "My current favorite sketchbook is the Epsilon book by Stillman & Birn. Intended for pen & ink, I was naturally drawn to it since I was working primarily in pen & ink. But suddenly I was struck with the urge to experiment with a number of water-soluble materials (although light washes have always been a part of my work). I was surprised at how well this paper accepted water without weakening it, pilling or even much rippling. This was despite the fact that I used my Pentel Aquash waterbrush with fairly savage scrubbing on it in combination with Tombow Dual Brush Markers and various graphite watercolor pencils. While heavy water media use is not what this paper is intended for, my experience testified to the strength of the Epsilon paper. I later discovered that other artists across the country have been impressed with this unexpected feature, and the Epsilon has become something of a 'sleeper' in the Stillman & Birn line."