Friday, January 2, 2015

sketchbook :: newness

In spite of 2014 being a wobbly year for me I did manage to create 54 sketches and 37 finished works. Not that the numbers matter other than my surprise when I added it all up. I was more productive than I realized. Now my intention for 2015 is to keep up a good creative pace but hopefully with more eveness to my days. Intention is my word for this new year. Approaching activities and projects with intention is my goal for this year.

The image above is my third sketch in this new sketchbook and my first image scanned on my new large format scanner. (yes, Santa was very good to me!) How best to flatten the book in the scanner to avoid the shadows will take some practice though. The pages do not look so buckled in real life.

The sketchbook is a Strathmore Soft Cover Mixed Media Journal. It is 7.75 x 9.75 inches and has 90 lb. mixed media paper. My first reaction to this paper was that it was going to prove much too soft for watercolor. Yet so far I am really enjoying the way it handles watercolor paint.
Here is a detail from my sketch above where I dropped color into wet washes. It expands and spreads wonderfully. I love it when paint does that.
And here is a detail where I lifted color with a paper table napkin. The paint had actually dried and I re-wetted it before lifting. I like using paper table napkins better that paper towels. The very cheapest napkins are the ones we buy. They are softer than paper towels and have less texture.
The sky in my sketch was initially painted by wetting the entire area with clear water and then washing with paint, allowing the pigment to spread on its own. After that was dry, and I had mostly completed my sketch, I went back into the sky to further define the bottom edge of the clouds. I was able to do this easily without disturbing the paint already there, as well as soften the edges of my darker color as it moved up into the cloud form.

The format of this sketchbook suits me and like Strathmore's watercolor sketchbook, the soft cover is a pleasure to hold. It does open flat and stays opened when working in it. The sketch shown above was done from a photo taken at the tree farm where we got our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. And now it's already time to take the tree down and pack away all of the decorations. We are still in the newness of the year.

Thank you for following along with my creative journey and cheering me on with every post. I truely appreciate every visit! May you enjoy a wonderfully colorful, creative 2015!



A Happy and Creative New Year, Ann!

Love this little watercolor!

Laura said...

There is so much arty stuff to explore when I come over her Ann. Best of all is seeing your lovely art. Happy 2015. Hopefully it will be just as productive for you.

Celia Blanco said...

I love reading about your creative process Ann, for me it was a treat to find your blog last year. I will enjoy following along in the New Year,wishing you many wonderful things!


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