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.