Friday, September 16, 2011

Magic Mushroom

I really should be getting ready. Miz Dee is picking me up in 35 minutes for a day of adventure. I'm not dressed, my hair is still wet, and my sketch kit isn't packed.

But do I go busy myself with those preparations? No!

I just want to sit here in my underwear indulging in a little visceral crosshatching.

Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.

Delayed Reply

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5-Minute Review: Daler-Rowney Simply Sketchbook

Up for review: Daler-Rowney Simply Sketchbook, 5.5" x 8.5", 110 sheets of soft white 65 lb/ 100 gsm* blank paper, removable front sticker, not much else; $6.00 at my local Wal-Mart.

I picked up this sketchbook, not because I needed another sketchbook, but because Hubby left me standing in the art supply section all by myself for 3.5 seconds. That is never a good thing. Something always jumps in the cart.

This particular book jumped in simply because it laid flat the first time I opened it. Woot! I don't think any of my other sketchbooks lays open flat like this.

Nice off-white paper, slick enough for pens, toothy enough for pencils. This book would be great for use as a written journal. The paper is that nice under pens, both OTC and fountain pens.

I'm loving it with my Parker gel pens. The black really pops off the page. Plus I wanted to show off these weird little shell thingies I keep drawing.

The paper is not designed for wet media so, of course, I had to slosh on some watercolor. I painted wet-on-wet in some places. In others I added more color before the original paint was dry. The paper performed like a champ given its weight.

This is the back side of the cathedral sketch. A little bit of crinkle, but no bleedthrough. I don't think I would venture to paint on both sides of this paper though.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this book was constructed and how well this paper performed. The price was reasonable too at $6.00.

The only negative I found was the cover material. It is quick to absorb oils and greasy stuffs from your hands. Oops. I cannot identify the offending stain.

I would buy more of these. Wally World's philosophy is, "If we accidentally stock a great product, we guarantee never to stock it again once it's gone," so pick one up post haste if you want one!

*Edited 14-Sep-2011 to add:

The paper weights for the Simply sketchbook are listed as 100 gsm/45 lb on all retailer websites as well as the Daler-Rowney website. However, the book in my hands is clearly labeled as having 100 gsm/65 lb paper. (Click photo to embiggen.)

I'm no expert on paper grammage, but 100/65 sounds closer to correct than 100/45. Something is amiss in Daler-Rowneyland.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rock Island Caboose

Miz Dee and I took off for parts south last Friday for a day of thrift shopping and sketching. We did lots more thrift shopping than sketching but we both managed a sketch of this Rock Island caboose in Bernice, Louisiana.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Traveling Sketch Kit

Traveling sketch kits don't have to be complicated affairs with all kinds of fancy-pants expensive art supplies. In fact, the simpler the better. I've pared mine down to the micro-sized, streamlined, absolute necessities.

That little pile has a sketchbook, drawing pen, travel palette, waterbrush, and paper towels. Total measurements are a mere 4.5" x 6" x 1.5". It lives in a quart size Ziploc freezer bag (not shown). It will also fit in a cargo pants pocket.

The Sketchbook and Pen

The sketchbook is a Pentalic Recycled Travelers Sketchbook, 4" x 6", with 80 sheets of smooth ivory 60 lb (100 gsm) paper. The paper will take a light watercolor wash if I'm really sparing with the water. I love the ivory paper. Makes pen and ink drawing an absolute joy.

The pen is a Wing Sung #235 Gold Crosshatch fountain pen, fine nib, loaded with Noodler's Bulletproof Black ink. The pen may be the smoothest writing fountain pen I own and it was only $5.00. Yep, just $5.00. It is now on special at for only $1.98.

The Palette and Paintbrush

The palette is a 3" x 4" eyeshadow compact purchased at the dollar store for a buck. I dug out all the eyeshadow and filled it with watercolor tube paints.

The tin was also bought at the dollar store for a buck. I think it was marketed as a gift card tin. Found it among all the wedding googah. It has room for the compact palette and several folded paper towels.

The waterbrush is a Niji/Kuretake mini waterbrush, 6" long capped, with a 12 mm brush tip. This is the same size tip as the medium waterbrush but with a more compact barrel.

The ubiquitous rubber band holds it all together.

The Paint

Because someone always asks, this is the paint in the palette:

Top row, L to R:
Winsor & Newton - Scarlet Lake
MaimeriBlu - Primary Red - Magenta
MB - Burnt Umber
MB - Burnt Sienna

Middle row:
W&N - New Gamboge
MB - Raw Sienna
W&N - Cerulean Blue
W&N - French Ultramarine

Bottom row:
MB - Perm Yellow Lemon
W&N - Perm Sap Green
Shinhan - Jaune Brilliant No. 2
Shinhan - Indigo

This sketch kit set up will work in just about any situation on the road. It is very simple to carry because it doesn't have a lot of bits and parts to juggle. Plus, it was cheap. That really appeals to my tightwad frugal self.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Some Days I Feel Like a Queen...

Doing a little late-night ink test with a new Sharpie Grip pen. I've been fighting Noodler's Bulletproof Black and Pigma Micron ink on 32lb laser printer paper. The inks just don't ever dry.

I've even tried blasting the ink with a hot hair dryer thinking maybe it would set since the paper is designed to set ink with heat. It didn't work. The ink still ran after hours of dry time when watercolor was applied. It was frustrating.

The Sharpie ink performed like a champ. After I finished doodling I capped the pen and started slathering paint immediately. No bleeding at all. Fabulous!

The only drawback is the ink in the Sharpie Grip pen has a grayish-green cast to it. The Sharpie stick writing pen ink is crisper and blacker. But they aren't any fun to draw with. Blech.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Upside-down Fountain Pen Doodles

Got a wild hair to turn my fountain pen upside down to see what kind of line it made. Fountain pen users may cringe at that statement because that is a big no-no. It can ruin a nib. Meh, I used a Lamy Safari nib. I'm not too concerned.

Discovered it made a rillyrilly fine line, about half the width of the normal extra-fine line. It was great for tiny crosshatching lines. Woot!

Obviously I doodled this guy out of my head but I knew a real guy who looked just like this. Spittin' image.

And who among us doesn't know a lady with a hairdo like this?

Well, down here in the South there are lots of 'em. And usually the hairdo has a strange purpley tint.