The New Panoramic and Square Etchr Sketchbooks

The New Panoramic and Square Etchr Sketchbooks

There are new things brewing at Etchr Lab, more specifically two new sketchbook formats to add to the collection!

In this blog, I’ll be giving a sneak peek at what you can expect from these new products and suggest a few possibilities on how these sketchbooks can help you grow as an artist.

 

Similarities



Before looking at each specific sketchbook, I do want to mention that they both look and feel quite similar to the other Etchr Sketchbooks, which all feature a white canvas cover, a grey elastic band to hold the book closed, a ribbon for a bookmark, 52 pages (or 26 sheets) of 100% cotton paper, and a built-in pocket on the very last page. They’re also all vegan, which is the cherry on top!



I find that the elastic band also helps keep your pages from flipping over, while the pocket is useful for storing relatively flat things such as leaves or scrap paper. The white cover also means that you can personalise it however you like.

 



One last thing to note with these sketchbooks is that the first two and last two pages are glued together on a thin strip near the book’s spine. These act as anchor points for the rest of the book, so whatever you do, don’t try to tear them apart! If you do, the cover may come off.

If you find it difficult to paint like this because these pages don’t open completely flat without folding the paper, then you can try using them as test or swatching pages, which we’ll explore further below.

 

Panorama Party



The smallest of the sketchbooks is the Panoramic Etchr Sketchbook, which is about 10cm x 20cm (or 4” x 8”). With the width being twice as long as its height, this sketchbook is perfect for landscape artists or for painting anything you want with a wide-angle view.


Its size also makes its pocket perfect for storing watercolour sheets, as mine is just slim enough to fit! So if you ever plan on doing some plein-air painting outside, this sketchbook is a great option to suit this method of painting.


The length also makes the panoramic sketchbook perfect for making longer swatches, especially for watercolour paint, as you can get a really good gradation to more clearly see the characteristics of your paint.

Painting-wise, the sketchbook’s paper performs exactly like the other sketchbooks from the “Etchr Sketchbook” series. While one side of the paper is slightly rougher than the other, I find it doesn’t affect the painting that much unless you’re looking for a consistent “dry brush” effect. Regardless, it’s still a joy to use, and it dries slow enough to use wet techniques when needed.


In terms of the panoramic format, you can paint a 180º+ view by using a double-page spread, so you end up with a glorious 10cm x 30cm artwork. If you find yourself taking panoramic pictures with your camera, this is your chance to capture them in a different art form!

 

Square Sketchbooks

The other two Square Etchr Sketchbooks are in the same format, with the smaller one being 15.2cm x 15.2cm (6” x 6”) and the other being 20.3cm x 20.3cm (8” x 8"). Apart from the size, everything else is the same – the cover, paper, bookmark, etc.

While I must confess that I prefer a landscape to a square format, I found that the square sketchbook is good for painting square or circular subjects. For the smaller of the two, I decided to start an old tile study, where I paint tile patterns from old buildings and places I visit. I may also do small portrait studies or other subjects that involve a more central focal point.

For the larger square sketchbook, I tried a mixed media painting with gouache and colour pencils and used a double-page spread like I did with the panoramic sketchbook. This actually made for a pleasing “letterbox” format, similar to a 16:9 film.


Since the double-page spread is twice the width of a single page, this makes it just right for painting any 16:9 pictures you may have in your photo collection or for doing movie studies where you paint or draw a single frame from a movie.

 

Final Thoughts

Surprisingly, I think the double-page spread makes the square sketchbooks more flexible in terms of painting subjects, as the panoramic format means you’re pretty much locked into a landscape view of something.


You could technically also turn the panoramic sketchbook and paint a very tall subject like a skyscraper or try a comic panel format, but these are a bit more specific in terms of an art subject.


Ultimately, though, both the Square and Panoramic Etchr Sketchbooks help expand Etchr’s sketchbook range and offer something different than the typical portrait or landscape sketchbook. If you’re curious or feel like experimenting with a different sketchbook format, then these products are made for you! And as always, happy painting.


Do you have a favourite sketchbook size and/or format? Which sketchbook from Etchr are you most likely to get? Let us know in the comments below!

Nicola Tsoi is a practising graphic designer and illustrator based in Hong Kong. During her downtime, she likes to watch birds do funny things, search for stories, and bake up a storm. She keeps a pet sourdough starter named Doughy.
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8 comments

I like square sketchbooks, it seems to work great for me. For those wanting a larger square, I made an 11″ × 11″ for a couple of trips last year, and although I loved the space it provided, it was VERY HEAVY, lol! I used Fabriano Artistico 140 pound, and it had 60 pages ( so 30 full spreads of 11″ × 22″!). Sometimes I wished I had made it smaller or had less pages, or both! I was hiking around, sometimes very steep and slippery terrain, and THINK I heard my sketch bag giggle a little watching my lug around such a big book. BUT, the positives are many, including being able to show all that was done in the trip in one go! Looking forward to seeing the Etchr Square!
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Etchr Lab replied:
Your sketchbook adventure sounds epic! 😄 30 spreads of 11″ × 22″ – talk about commitment! We can almost hear your sketch bag giggling during those hikes. Props for lugging it around! The all-in-one trip showcase is a cool idea, though. Exciting news – the Etchr Square is here, and it might be just what you’re looking for. Can’t wait for you to check it out! If you have any more thoughts or questions, feel free to share them with us! Happy sketching! 🎨

>

Yvonne

I love the square format. Go bigger 10”x10” or 12”x12”. Pretty please?
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Etchr Lab replied:
Hey Carolyn! We’ll keep that in mind for future updates. Thanks for the cool suggestion, and in the meantime, enjoy the creative ride! 🚀

Carolyn Prince

I’s so excited for these new sketch books. I love landscape and square formats the best!!
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Etchr Lab replied:
Hi Jennifer! We’re thrilled to hear about your excitement for our new sketchbooks! 😊 Happy sketching, and feel free to share your masterpieces with us by using the hashtag #EtchrArt 🎨

Jennifer

This is going to be great I love the square shape in general and the double square (frieze) like Van Goghs late work is a wonder aspect ratio! Cant wait to get my hands on them!
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Etchr Lab replied:
The double square aspect ratio, inspired by Van Gogh’s late work, is truly a wonder! 🌟 We can’t wait for you to experience the creative magic with our new sketchbooks. Happy Creating!

Rich O Hanna

When will the square sketchbooks be available for purchase?
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Etchr Lab replied:
Hey Iva, Great news! The square sketchbooks will be up for grabs on our website starting January 9th, Tuesday. 🗓️

Iva

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