Monday, January 21, 2008
More Fun In The Snow
I've been having some fun with this little folded-paper sketchbook I made by following the instructions given on Nina Johansson's blog. (Thank you, Nina! I tried to link to you but couldn't get it to work for me. Still the techno-dummy on the block.)
It was really easy to do with just a ruler, scissors, a few minutes of measuring and cutting, and a sheet of BFK Rives printmaking paper that I got for Christmas. It folds easily and is heavy enough to take watercolour washes without buckling too much. The soft, almost fuzzy texture absorbs the paint in interesting ways, giving slightly blurred edges, which work well for me since that's how I view the world through my thick bifocals. I think the off-white colour works surprisingly well with these little snow scenes. There's no gouache used on the tree branch; the whitest areas are the natural colour of the paper.
I definitely want to try to make a more permanent sketchbook with this paper. The only fault I find with the little quickie book is that it has no firm cover, so it's hard to use the double spread. A somewhat larger book with a sturdy cardboard cover would be great.
I've been dabbling in watercolour for decades, using it frequently for sketching but always growling, "I'm not a watercolour painter", because for me the famous "happy accidents" never seemed to happen. There were lots of accidents, but none of them were happy. Results were almost always disappointing. I wasn't using cheap paper, either, although many of the images posted here such as the one below, were just scrawled in my Robert Bateman sketchbook.
Now, strangely enough, I have found two good papers in one month. The other one is handmade by a company with an Italian name - Rossini? Rossellini? - I've foolishly gone and lost the label. It was a sample pack of about five small sheets that I bought somewhere, sometime, probably at Wallack's in Kingston a year ago last September, which was the last time I was in a bricks-and-mortar art supply store. I seriously need me some more of this stuff. I have only one sheet left.
The paint seems to take on a life of its own on this paper, but in a good way this time. It does not race around in puddles and go splat. It looks for a good place to settle, and a good colour to settle with. It's so cool to just float the colours on and watch what happens. An expensive entertainment, I suppose, but worth at least the price of a good box of chocolates, and it isn't fattening. Oh, yes, this paper did curl a little, but I never did stretch it. The need to stretch paper is another reason I've never prospered with watercolour.
Posted by Actcrabby at 4:45 PM