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Crescent RendR Sketchbook: Review

Today I received an 8.5″x11″ Crescent RendR sketchbook I had ordered, and took it for a quick test ride while having breakfast this morning. I had seen a couple videos and read a few reviews, but still had my doubts.

Until now, the best sketchbook I had tried was a custom made one with Arches 140lb hot pressed watercolor paper, although I wasn’t that much into markers by then. I hated having the markers and Sharpies bleed to the other side and sometimes the next couple of sheets. The last few weeks I’ve been sketching everyday with markers on regular bond or heavyweight bond paper sketchbooks, so I had to deal with a piece of scrap paper underneath the sheet I was sketching and struggle with the wind and even run behind a rogue scrap paper. I had to try if the Crescent RendR would deliver what they promised.

Well, this is the closest thing to the perfect sketchbook I’ve always been looking for. As you may now, I like to sketch on location with different media, markers (Copic, Prismacolor, Letraset, Chartpak), Sharpies, pencil, charcoal, watercolors, depending on whatever the subject calls for. I only have used the RendR with markers so far, but for now I think it is absolutely wonderful.

My first impression wasn’t that thrilling. On the outside, it looks and feels pretty good, well constructed with a nice matte, weighty hard-bound cover. But when you open it, the first thing you notice is that it has a funky, “un-natural” smell, similar to a pesticide. To the touch, the pages felt smoother than I’d expected. I thought for sure that I would promptly give away the sketchbook to my 9yo son. However, as soon as I put a marker to the page I fell in love.

The paper behaves like you would expect when using markers on regular bond paper rather than marker paper. It takes the marker very nicely, with a little tooth and a little blotting, just as I like paper.

Still had to see what about the other side of the page… Pristine. Unbelievable.

I’m not sure what will happen if I try watercolors on it, but I’m extremely happy I found this sketchbook, will use it almost exclusively from now on.

If you’re into sketching with Sharpies or art markers you’ll presumably fall in love with it as well. Please let me know what you think when you try one.

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