Been trying to loosen and lighten up in my art journal/sketchbook because I have run into a problem.
Since switching to the Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook with the wonderful cold press watercolor paper, and getting my magnetic watercolor kits set up, I find that I am not journaling – I am PAINTING.
This is not a bad thing, but it is very time consuming, and gets in the way of the idea of recording my little life moments.
I found my water soluble markers. They can be used as a “palette” for watercolor sketching.
I had never considered that possibility for several reasons. I used them for rough sketches in the graphic design business, but never liked their lack of blendability when applied to a page.
In my fine art, I never even thought of them because they are not lightfast. I only had them around for that huffing thing rubber stampers do, and I’ve got more important things to get huffy about. (My server was down all day yesterday. That was a huff. Hail hit my garden Friday – during the only two hours I had the protective netting off the plants in the last THREE weeks. That was a huff and a half!)
I have to have control of my looseness, of course (yes, I know that is very peculiar) but I could do something with this idea.
And I work in books now, so lightfast is not an issue, because the pages get very little light.
I got out a small piece of Sheer Heaven to use as a palette – as I do with watercolor pencils.
But, so much of the marker color sunk into the Sheer Heaven that not enough color could be picked back up with the water brush. The colored pencils sit on top of the tooth, which is why they work so much better this way.
So, I turned the Sheer Heaven over, scribbled with the marker on the slick “wrong” side, and picked the color up with the water brush.
It worked GREAT and the best part is that this is a way to re-use your Sheer Heaven pieces left over from transfers, because you are using the backside. AND, when you are done painting, you wash the Sheer Heaven off under a running faucet, dry it with a paper towel, and it is fresh and clean for the next round. I LOVED this. Now, could I make a decent illustration this way? I first sketched a fantasy Cone Flower from memory – and did not remember the petals are pointed. Oh well.
Then I got out the beautiful pink Cone Flower I bought at Lowes the day before and sketched it – a blossom and a leaf and bud. Love the name of this hybrid – “Butterfly Kisses”. Isn’t this beautiful? Lowes had red ones too. I might have to get one.
The markers don’t have to be expensive. I have a set of 50 made by Crayola, that cost me $6.99 after coupon at Hobby Lobby. Sargent is another cheapo brand.
Expensive is not necessarily better in this case. LePlume, and Tombow, have much more pigment, but they don’t flow so well with this technique.
I have a set of 100 Fibracolor markers I like best that cost only $22. I used a combo on my Cone Flower page.
Triplus markers by Staedtler are great and I wish they came in more than 20 colors – but you can mix extra colors right on the Sheer Heaven. They also don’t seem to be available anymore.
All you need for this journaling experience is a pencil (and eraser), Pitt Pen, Water Brush, a piece of used Sheer Heaven, and a few markers. Plus your journal, of course.
If you don’t have these markers around, your kids or grandkids do. And I know you’ve got some used Sheer Heaven to recycle. Give this a try. I think you’ll like it.