16 March 2017

beginning anew . . .

I finished my Epsilon sketchbook journal on Monday, so I grabbed a handbound journal off the shelf. This one is covered with a papyrus type of paper I found at Jerry's Artarama in Austin, and is filled with Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper. The brown print fabric is a leftover smidgen of some bookcloth I made a few years ago.

As usual, I drew a palette on the first page, this time adding the tools currently in my bag. The tin box is a Daler Rowney Aquafine kit -- I removed the plastic insert and student grade paints, and attached two business-card size magnets in the bottom to hold metal pans purchased from Expeditionary Art. The space left over holds a #8 travel brush. I then attached three additional small pans of color to the mixing area on the lid, using rubber cement. Paints are from Daniel Smith.


  1. Love your hardbound sketchbook. I also love Fabriano wc paper. This looks not much larger than your Lamy pen. What are the dimensions? I have one 5.5"x 7.5"which just works perfectly torn down from a full sheet. It seems a little larger than yours looks. I am trying the Fabriano 90lb natural, cold press and hot press, this time as an experiment. We will see how much the watercolor makes it buckle. Any binding tips you would like to pass on would be fun. I appreciate your posts and sketches. Thank you for sharing.

  2. This is about 5 x 5 1/2", using the paper left from making larger squarish journals. I wish I could find Fabriano soft press __that's my favorite!__ but it's no longer carried at the Austin store. 90 lb. would be great, as you can get more pages in a journal, and it doesn't seem to buckle. That's what Cathy 'Kate' Johnson uses a lot.

    Usually I just fold and tear sheets down to the 5.5 x 7.5" dimensions so as not to waste any paper, but this time I had wanted journals that were more square. I've already filled the two larger ones and one other of this small size; this is the last one of that group. I tend to make 3 to 5 journals at one time.

    I use a Coptic stitch to sew mine together, following Carol's instructions on refilling a Moleskine planner with WC paper. You can find it by googling Trumpetvine Travels. I learned to make the covers by trial and error and online videos.

  3. Thank you, Vicky. I have several journals made from Fabriano 140 lb soft press wc paper. It only comes in bright white. I got mine from Blick art supplies, here http://www.dickblick.com/products/fabriano-artistico-extra-white-watercolor-paper/. I am glad to hear the 90 lb will not buckle a lot. That is exciting. And it looks like the 90 lb only comes in traditional. It is good to see what others put together for journals. I am looking forward to seeing what you put in your new journal. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions.

  4. Hey, everything I know about the subject has been from online sketchers sharing . . . We all learn from each other. I love that about the online art world!

  5. What is the name of that sienna color up with the add'l blues? I can't read it even when I zoom in. Thanks!

  6. It's Monte Amiata natural sienna from Daniel Smith --- too long to scribble in!

    1. Thanks! I love looking for new colors to try.

  7. I am going to try my hand at a handmade journal. I do a lot of graphite sketches and while traveling I usually don't lug around a can of fixative. So I want a journal with parchment or tracing paper between the pages to keep my drawings from smudging until I get home. I love your sketchbooks!

  8. Binding parchment paper between drawing paper is a brilliant idea!


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