Or, rather, drawing on banana paper. And I lurve it.

Banana Paper Company small blank journal

It was sitting on my pile of notebooks and journals and I thought, “Self, drawing on trees is so passé.” So, I took out my ink and watercolors and flipped open the small blank journal. (My first illustration turned out to be an homage to my high school painting “Trail of Forgotten Souls”.)

Screaming Head Homage

When it came time to paint I was rather surprised at how well it handled the water. Sure it warped the pages underneath it (no big deal for me), but it didn’t turn into mush like some notebooks would. I was even able to re-wet a few sections.


The only problems I’ve run into were some of the more solid flecks lifting up or chipping away from the paper while writing. Also, once the book has been held open for any length of time, it tends to stay open (hence the binder clip in the first picture). Neither of these things I mind very much.

Even though the paper is a pale brown color, it’s best used with dark or bright ink colors. That means pastel colored inks are a no-go, 2H lead was nearly invisible, and even HB was difficult to read. And for all its strength and durability, the paper is thin enough for you to see what’s on the other side, but the ink doesn’t actually bleed through.

(Click on the image for a full size view with more detail.)

Right now, I’m content using the small blank journal as an art journal. It started with a single sentence with an accompanying inspired image and I’ve just continued with that theme. I flip to a random blank page, draw a preliminary sketch, and then paint. I may even add some collage in the future. (I’ve always wanted to get into collage, but I just never had a true knack for it.)

Oh, and the paper is acid free. (At least, that’s the claim anyway. I haven’t tested it. Maybe I should.) And these journals can be purchased at Target.