Sunday, 19 June 2016

Watercolour sketchbook

I have recently been big into bookmaking, but if you have read my previous post about boiling a book you probably already knew that. I have also however been making a sketchbook for exploring my watercolour set I bought July of last year. 
At the same time I bought this w/c set my mother in law passed an old watercolour block on to me, she used to do some very impressive drawing herself. I was not overly fond of the paper I must admit for it was of the very rough sort of variety and as I usually use Inktense pencils I shied away from it at first. I had it basically just lying around in my workspace and for some reason the other day I decided I would take the pages that were left and turn them into a small watercolour sketchbook.
Taking the pages out was not as easy as expected, they were glued down on all sides and I had to carefully cut them all loose. I then folded the pages in half across, decided I would like more than just 4 folios and also folded and tore across the lenght as well. I ended up having 8 folios (not signatures, just folded single pages). Now I have to admit that I can be very stingy somethimes and even though I was not overly fond of the paper, I did not want to loose any pages because I had to glue them to the covers. So instead I added 2 more folios, one in front and one in back, to glue to the inside of the covers, thus enabling me to make use of all the pages I got out of my paper. 
For the covers I decided to stick to my stingy mood and as the watercolour block I had finished off had some very thick board backing, I used that for the extra sturdy covers. I covered it with pieces from an old corduroy shirt my hubby used to have.
This is the finished little sketchbook I got, I loved the hemp cord I used to sew the bookpages to and so I did not hide it all inside the covers but kept it out for closure.

I also used some handmade paper beads made from some newspaper pages I was sent with an art trade overseas.
This is the spine, and no, I did not use the coptic stitch. I am not sure what this one is called, I got it from a very good YouTube Video tutorial on how to make a DIY Watercolour journal.

So by now I am a few pages into my little book and I have to admit, the rough paper I looked down on at first turned out to be THE BEST PAPER EVER! And of course I was so stupid to throw out the cover telling me the brand and weight and the garbage men had already emptied the bins! AAAAARGHH!
Maybe my mother in law will remember what she gave me and be able to organise me some more, and she is the best mother in law there is.

Anyhow, here are the pictures I painted so far. I tried out a good few tutorials on

How to paint lilac

How to paint a tree

Next just a sample of all the colours in my watercolour set

How to paint a Sakura Tree with a splatter method

And then I decided I would try out in watercolour what I want to paint into my moleskine accordion journal with acrylics. Just to figure out if I like the idea, the theme I chose is Tree of Life

Then I was given some Poppy plants for my garden

and then I tried out some more classic techniques. But I think the space I used them in is too small to really bring out every effect properly (or I used too much water and need more practise). I also used my new drawing nibs and Indian Ink for the outlines and the writing.

This is the last picture to date and so far the only one in this book where I used my Inktense pencils. I wanted to "get it right" and so avoided the very medium I want to practise in this book! It is a Lilly from my birthday flower bouquet my husband gave me.

I will wait until the same flower is fully opened and before my kids have torn it apart, and then paint it again but this time using watercolours!


A Mynah Production said...

Your book turned out beautifully! I love all of the art'in that you included :) It's funny, I have art supplies too, that I think hmmm...bleh! ...then some of them suddenly become the best thing since sliced bread! LOL!

Donna said...

I have to agree with Mel, your sketchbook is wonderful. I love the poppy and the Lilly but I especially love the green tree. You will have the little book filled in no time. I'm not sure what the binding you did is either but it sure is nice with the hemp cord. And way cool you used your hubby's old shirt. You should do a painting dedicated to him in the book.
I still want to try out the boiled book.