23 March 2016

a cheap journal, just for fun

While shopping at Hobby Lobby with a granddaughter recently, I saw this burlap-covered journal on sale for half-price (only $4.00). Even though the burlap is only glued to a cardboard cover, I thought it might make a fun cover for my handbound books.

Expecting the paper to be cheap, unusable for watercolor and ink, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is actually acceptable paper! On the thin side, but without bleed-through and with very little wrinkling when using watercolor.

So, just for fun, I've decided to use this as my next art journal, using the existing paper. Because of the thinness, I plan to use only one side for sketching and the reverse side for text only.

First I used the last page in the book to test various pens, pencils, watercolor crayons, and watercolor. The only thing that did not pass the test was pencil -- the paper appears too soft for pencil or eraser.

This is using the watercolor on the dry side; I don't expect to try using really wet, juicy washes on this thin paper.

The ring-bound paper is held in by a simple strap sewn to the back of the cover --- makes it easy to switch if I wanted to replace the paper with my own book block.

And, as per my normal habit, the first page includes my current working palette of colors. I will later add "if lost" contact info on this page. As seen in the photo below, there is no bleed-through of paint or ink on the second page.

On the third page, I drew what just came in the mail: a couple of standard cartridge converter from Goulet Pens, to replace the cheaply made plastic converter that came with my cheap Jinhao fountain pen that I converted to a flex-nib pen.

Now I have this $4 journal to go with my $4.50 Jinhao fountain pen ($3.50 plus $1 for the flex nib) --- and a cherry lollypop from Goulet Pens as a bonus!

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