03 January 2012

new year, two new journals

My latest hand-bound journal is filled with Niddigan print paper, which works better with gouache or ink work than watercolor. The paper is very light-weight, with an interesting texture -- I'm not sure if I can paint on both sides of a sheet or not yet. I bought two full sheets, the normal amount used per sketchbook, but the paper is so much thinner than the watercolor paper I normally use I added some pages of toned Fabriano Tiziano paper.

I also started a watercolor Moleskine, bought very cheaply at Border's ending-business sale, for those times when I want to use watercolor. It fits in my purse easier. The paper makes watercolors look a bit dull, but it's just to play in.

The above is the first page of the Niddigan journal -- I always include a palette sketch on the first page of each new journal. It seems to make the journal less "new" and easier to pick up for simple sketches. This shows my updated gouache palette, with recently purchased colors. I especially love the cool red (quinacridone rose) from M. Graham, but it seems to stay sticky instead of drying in the pan. My other color choices were largely inspired by those of Roz Stendahl -- she does amazing gouache works in her artist journals!

 Using gouache is so different from watercolor, but I am determined to learn more about using it this year. I bought two teaching DVDs from talented artist Sandy Williams. I'm looking forward to learning from Sandy . . . just as soon as I shake this horrible head cold with it's blocked ears and headaches.

 UPDATE: Taking the advice of others, I went ahead and painted on the back of this page . . . works great! And watercolor seems to work fine also; the toned paper just adds an "antique" feel. Fun paper!


  1. Sorry about your cold. At least you figured out your journal books to use. I get started but they still sit there. Just cant figure out what blocks me from doing more. Fun to come here and see what you are doing. Get well soon.

  2. Journals would just sit there for me too when I would fuss over what to put on the first page. But when I developed the habit of always doing a palette sketch there, it "broke the ice" so to speak. Gets me past the big leap into a new journal.

    Find whatever works for you personally, something you are passionate about or just love to draw (as I do my art supplies), and just do it! The next page will be easier.


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