Happy, happy New Year everybody. May you have a wonderful 2013, happy, healthy, prosperous and full of art and beauty.
I have this thing in my head that says, whatever wonderful things I want to do all year, I need to do on the 1st January. Needless to say, that makes the day incredibly stressful and I feel low and superstitious if I go to bed without the more important things done.
Well, one thing I did get done was sketching, and that made me feel really good. Like I mentioned, I’ve been the lucky winner of a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook giveaway. It took me some time to get over the phobia of actually using that beautiful paper with the gorgeous hard binding, especially since I’d had a longish break from sketching. Then one of the smart artists at Artist’s Journal Workshop page suggested not starting at the beginning. Yes, that was infinitely better! I opened it someplace in the beginning, got out my Steadtler pigment liner 0.3 and just started. And everything immediately felt fine.
This pair above, I did yesterday and early this morning. Two gorgeous antique irons that I’ve been gifted at various times – the kind that opened upward and they used with hot coals. I’ve had them for ages, but never got down to the sketches. Though the sketchbooks say clearly, ‘for Pen and Ink’ I has absolutely no trouble at all with fairly generous washes on the 150 gsm paper. Yes, there is minor warping, but nothing that interferes with drawing on the back. The pen work of course felt fabulous, and in my enthusiasm I rather overworked the cast iron one. I couldn’t stop! First the base wash that I actually did days back though I had no idea what I planned to do on it. Then very rough graphite pencil guidelines. Then pen lines that flowed like a dream. Then more watercolor, more graphite and then color pencil. I had to tear myself away to stop. By the next one, I had a bit more control but both have at least 3 layers of watercolor, so they’re being very modest about the paper quality.
Also, ever since getting so involved with these other sketchers, I’ve been mostly working directly with pen. This paper made me suddenly want to go back to my first love – pencil. I love how the 4B caught the fine grain of the paper. I think I’ll be doing more pencil again too.
If I’m having any problems at all it’s getting used to using a smaller size (5 x 8 ) – I usually work in A4, but this is so much handier when it comes to carting around.
Thank you again, Stillman & Birn. Now, you need to widen your distribution channels
Disclaimer : If this sounds like advertising, it’s only 20+ years of experience coming out. No one has asked me to advertise the sketchbooks. I’m just so in love.