A Bright Idea From Bright Ideas

20160531_BrightIdeasSometimes you just want to draw on colored paper.  Maybe it comes from the days when we were kids and had piles of “construction paper” in all colors of the rainbow.  Whatever its roots, sketchers like to shun the white and walk a bit on the wild side, if only once in a while.

A company called Bright Ideas has a solution and it’s called the Bright Ideas Journal.   This is a 5×7 book with 408 pages.  I suppose you could get away with very light applications of watercolor but the paper isn’t heavy enough for the serious watercolorist.  As a substrate for pencil and/or ink drawings, however, this journal is pretty sweet.


It’s thick (about 1-inch) compared to most sketchbooks because of its 408 pages of paper in ten different colors but a big plus is that this book lays flat, very flat because of the open spine binding.   Some may grumble because each page has the name of its section printed in the lower right corner.  What purpose this could possibly serve is lost on me but I don’t find it objectionable for my ‘small sketches’ needs.

201605-31opensflatI haven’t had much chance to experiment with it but the paper takes ink very well, with no feathering, no bleedthrough and ghosting only if you hold up the sheet to the light.  I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with this book and I thank the Bright Ideas folks for their bright idea.  I ran down to the local park and did this quick test sketch so I’d have at least one ‘test’ that isn’t a bunch of scribbles.




4 thoughts on “A Bright Idea From Bright Ideas

  1. Ahhh! You must know I love this! Imagine the fun! Way more fun than tan or grey toned paper! How does it take white gel pen?


    • I do think you’d like this book. It’s even bound similarly to your homemade sketchbooks. If one avoids watercolor, the paper is pretty near perfect. Maybe too smooth for paper but for pen and ink, it’s dandy. White gel works well, though I’ve only done one other sketch beyond the one in the post. I did use a thicker pen on that one and there was a bit of ghosting. For myself that doesn’t matter as I think this is going to be a one-side only sketchbook, at least for the most part. — Larry

  2. It looks like a box of multicoloured bonbons. Very attractive. I made myself a similar one last year, but for some reason I could never warm up to actually using coloured paper, even though the idea of it made me very enthusiastic. I look forward to seeing more of your sketches from it. 🙂

    • I completely understand your sentiment about colored papers. I think you have to have a penchant for doing simple, pen and ink only sketches to find use for them. I’ve been doing a series of such sketches in a red Field Notes book so I have no doubt that I’ll find uses for the Bright Ideas book. I would prefer more subdued colors but the world has its penchants too, and that would be for bright colors 🙂 — Larry

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