Monday, August 18, 2014

Sketch Kit Mark V

     For the techniques that I want to achieve, the Canson 200gsm watercolor paper wasn't doing it for me. Well, actually its not that bad. I was able to get pretty decent sketches with it until I've tried Saunders Waterford! Where have you been all this time? My watercolor life has never been the same again. The cold-pressed 300gsm paper is everything my usual paper is not. Unfortunately it was the last block available from NBS. Upon contacting the importer in Binondo I was informed that they no longer import that paper. That is sad news.

Saunders Waterford 300gsm CP
First painting with a 300gsm paper, Saunders Waterford

      Desperate for more 300gsm goodness I’ve inspected two more store’s inventory, The Oil Paint Store and Deovir Art supplies. Deovir carries Hahnemühle watercolor papers but the variety of their product line requires much exploration. I’ve tried the Britannia and the Multimedia bamboo. They are not so bad but the behavior I’m looking does not come close to the Waterford. Maybe I’ll try the Tiepolo and Cezanne next time. The Oil Paint Store carries Arches paper which I reluctantly tried since “rough” is the only available texture at the moment. I was also offered to try the Stonehenge brand which was a little cheaper than the Arches.The Stonehenge is not bad. As much as it readily absorbs the first wash creating hard edges, smooth washes are not impossible to achieve. It just requires a little experimentation and timing.I think its more suitable for other media such as gouache or acrylics. Still not the one I’m looking for. Finally I’ve come to test the Arches. Hmm…well..yes. this is it! I’ll let the sample wash speak for itself.

      I’m still looking for the Saunders experience. Probably it was just the first impression. probably it was just me. :) So its decided. My new sketchbook will be filled with arches paper. Its easy to source, cheaper than a similar sized Moleskine, performs better and is handmade by me!

How the paper was divided to yield 2 signatures with 4 folios. the dotted lines represent the fold and the final sketchbooks measures 5.5”x 7.5”

A single section is made up of four pages.

      Again as with my previous sketch book the sections were coptic stitched and inserted into the new leather cover. The leather that I bought was quite ugly so I distressed it with sandpaper and alcohol and dyed the raw edges with ink. Ideally it should be 4 sections per booklet but since I only bought one sheet for testing I was only able to complete 3 sections.

I've made the new watercolor notebook bigger than the precious one

     I thought that the quest for tiny watercolor box has come to an end. Until my office mate presented me with a super thin, enamel coated card case from Fullybooked.

Size Comparison

The new tin card case slides open with the interior already painted white

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