Ask The Desk: Random Questions & Follow-Up


On my review of the Leuchtturm 1917 Sketchbook Teresa asked:

Did you test it on copic markers? If so, did they bleed? How did the paper hold up?

Teresa’s question was quite timely. I had just started experimenting the day before she asked with my Copic Sketch markers and I just happened to test the colors in my Leuchtturm 1917 sketcbook so I had the answer for her right away. I added these photos to the review (should anyone stumble across it in the future) but I thought I would also post them here as well.


On the front of the paper, the Copic colors look good. The colors are smooth and look almost like watercolors. I have a lot of pale, pastel Copic Sketch markers but the paper in the Leuchtturm Sketchbook handled the colors nicely.


There was definitely bleed through on the reverse of stock. Oh, yeah. But if you’re aware that it will bleed through and plan accordingly, the Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbook makes a good sketchbook for Copic markers.


I do recommend putting a sheet of scrap paper under your page though because some darker colors will bleed through to the next page and through the back of that like a damn laser beam. If you have one of those flexible plastic pencil boards, I would slide it under your drawing page to protect the next page from unwanted transfer. Otherwise, the Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbook takes Copic markers pretty well and doesn’t make the color look splotchy or weird.

Matthew asks a few questions:

  1. What is your favorite pen that you are currently using?
  2. What is your favorite gel ink pen to use?
  3. What are your thoughts on the Midori brass pen?


My current favorite pens right now are my two Franklin-Christoph 45 XLVs (shown above) and my Pocket 20. All three have been purchased this year at various pen shows so they have sentimental value as well as being beautiful pens with nibs selected and tuned just for me. Its hard to decide which one is my absolute favorite and they are all small enough to fit in bag so they all travel with me regularly. I mean, really, which one would you leave behind? Each one has a different style nib and a different ink color so I enjoy switching it up throughout the day.


My favorite gel ink pens (at present) are the Sakura Ballsign Knock Gel Pens in 0.4mm (shown above in my custom Dudek Modern Goods pen holder). I have a rainbow of colors on my desk. They are comfortable to hold and write smoothly but with a nice fine point. I haven’t had any issues with hard starts with them either. The more exotic colors like the pastels and neons have some hard start issues but the standard gel pens work flawlessly.

And finally, I have the Midori Brass Pen but it actually in the bottom of a drawer. It does ship with a very fine tip ballpoint refill and it looks like you could probably modify a gel pen refill to fit into it instead pretty easily. I own a lot of vintage bullet advertising pencils so I guess I just never gave the Midori Brass Pen the attention it deserved. I should probably pull it out and give it a fair shake.

Jennifer asked:

A friend of mine asked for recommendations on rough paper for general journaling/writing. I am at a loss. I primarily use Rhodia and Tomoe River. She doesn’t want to spend a lot and uses Pentel RSVP pens. Any ideas? Thanks so much for your help. Jennifer

I was at a loss to think of a good, inexpensive paper for journaling and writing but I stumbled across a very inexpensive sketchbook this week that may be a good option for your friend. The Peter Pauper sketchbook in the 5.5″x8.5″ (roughly A5 size) has very nice 128gsm paper. For me, the bonus was that is was only $7.99 at my local Barnes & Noble. Now, I assume she’s not looking for blank sketchbook paper but I’m going somewhere with this so stay with me.

Peter Pauper also sells an assortment of lined journals including a competitor to Moleskine called the Essentials in A5 and A6 sizes for $12.99 and $8.99 respectively. This might be a good option, especially if your friend is working mostly in ballpoint. Many of their other journal products are available at Barnes & Noble but not the Essentials line since B&N carries Moleskine.

I have lots more Ask The Desk questions in my queue so bear with me. I will try to answer them swiftly.

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I have always liked using anything I have found by Peter Pauper press. They are reasonably priced and the paper holds up a lot better than a few of the more expensive options.

  2. Thanks so much for the recommendation of Peter Pauper Press. I have just ordered this notebook for my friend as a birthday gift! Thanks again for your blog and taking the time to answer questions like this. I wouldn’t have known this product existed without your response. I really appreciate it so much!

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