What About Sketchbooks?

A Watercolor Sketch Near the Walloon Boat Ramp
In the previous post I talked about watercolor paper  -  answering some questions that had come up in class.  In the same class, we also talked about different kinds of sketchbooks suitable for watercolor.  Just as the quality of watercolor paper depends on the sizing, or finish, the same is true for sketchbooks.

For many years I used Aquaee sketchbooks as my watercolor journals.  The paper is pretty light weight, but I like the way it takes the color.  Pigments stay bright and it doesn't buckle too much with the application of a little water.  All of the paintings in my Petoskey Watercolor Journal were done in Aquabee sketchbooks.  What I really like about them, especially for beginners in watercolor journaling, is the fact that you can't play around too much with watercolor technique  -  you have to get in and get out.  The paper isn't tough enough to keep trying for perfection  -  put it on and call it quits.

I became interested in different kinds of journals because I wanted something pretty and bright (sorry Aquabee, but you are not pretty and bright) and wanted to try out some different paper.  That, of course, led to making my own.  I started out having various papers spiral bound at the copy shop.  Then I started binding my own hand stitched round back spine books.

My favorite paper for books is Strathmore Aquarius II  -  it folds and stitches easily, and doesn't buckle with the application of watercolor.  I also like to throw in some drawing paper, some colorful mi tientes (pastel paper), nideggen (light brown), and anything else I might want to try.  That's the fun of binding your own books  -  anything goes.  And I love being able to paint right across the two facing pages as if they were one  -  no spiral.

Does anyone really read a blog post that is this long? Does this sound like a sketchbook lecture?  Don't we want to just look at the pictures  -  or is that just me? The main thing is  -  find paper that you like for your style of painting and sketching.

Have a great weekend  -  it's a long one for us here in the USA.   Take your sketchbook wherever you go.