May 17, 2018

Turn your sketchbook into Your Own Personal Treasure - Painting and Drawing Tips


 Make that Sketchbook YOURS!
To really keep that sketchbook habit growing you need to really OWN your book.  Make it your best Friend.  
 I do that by designing my own cover.  
I make it MINE.

My Sketchbook Before and After I designed the cover
Picking your sketchbook is a difficult thing. See my last post "How to find the Right Sketchbook Friend".  But when you do, it is so disappointing to find it has a boring cover.  I never worry about that any more.  I just make it Mine by putting my own picture on it.

This can be a little challenging if you are a watercolour painter.  Watercolour wont work on just anything like acrylic paint.

 There is a solution.  
With a bit of Gesso and Absorbent Ground - I can paint anywhere.  

My Solution: Gesso and Absorbent Ground.

To give you an idea how it works I have taken my moleskin journal - 5 x 8.  They are great journals to use, they open flat, they take a pen, pencil and watercolour with no problem.  (Well don't flood them with water and you will be just fine. )  However, they do have very boring covers.

Moleskin Journal: Great Paper, Great Size, BUT Boring Cover

Step 1 to a New and Improved Cover
Put a layer of Gesso on the cover and let it dry thoroughly.  You can see from my picture above that I decided to make an interesting edge to my picture.  So I taped off an area with green painters tape.  I then applied my coat of Gesso.

Step 2
Once the Gesso was dried I applied a coat of Absorbent Ground.  I waited 24 hours before adding this layer.  I waited an additional 24 hours and applied a second layer.
Applying the Absorbent ground does leave brush strokes.  I used a palette knife to take out those strokes
When you apply the Absorbent Ground your brush leaves stroke marks.  This can add an interesting texture to your picture as you can see in my Tulip Cover at the top.  However if you want to get a smoother finish then us a palette knife.

Step 3
Sketch your picture onto the surface

Putting your plan to work can be a little finicky at this point.  There are a few things to remember when you lay out your design.

1.  Keep your design simple as painting and drawing a lot of detail is not as easy on this surface
2.  Pencil markings need to be light so you do not gouge out the surface with your pencil.
3.  There is no erasing.  Keep your lines to a minimum and have a plan in mind.  You can transfer a drawing onto your surface using tracing paper but again, use a light touch.

Mermaid Cove, BC  - Early in the Morning 

My plan is to put my picture of Mermaid Cove onto the cover of my book.  This little Cove is located at the Saltery Bay Campsite, near Powell River on the West Coast of BC.  It is a real treat to walk along the shore early in the morning and watch the sun come up over the mountain.  This little cove just lights up, always making me feel happy.

Grab your journal and get it ready.  Next week I will Paint my Cover with you.  There are a few tricks to painting on this surface.  As you know, every painting surface has its own little tricks.  The more you know ahead of time the better your results.

 Etsy StoreWendyMouldsArt  is always open and new things added all the time.  

Come and See More:
This Saturday, May 19 11-12:30 & 2-3:30pm  - Opus Langley Store,  Free to Register 604‑533‑0601
Turn Inspiration & Special Moments into Treasures by Wendy Mould, AFCA, CDM
See for yourself my passion with sketchbooks.  I will have many different examples of my sketchbook friends and lots of Tips and Techniques on how you can get your book to become your Friend and your Special Treasure.  Looking forward to seeing you there. 

Drop-In & Draw Sessions: Only a few Sessions left till Summer
New people are always welcome.  Beginner to Advanced 

 Tuesday: May 22, 10-12 & 1-3pm  Monday, June 4 & 18, 10-12pm & 1-3pm.
Expression Art Gallery, Valley Fair Mall, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge,
Choose a morning or afternoon session. Bring your sketchbook or project and come and work.  I will be happy to give you pointers.  $15 Pre-Registration Required.  Contact Wendy Here. 

Artists reading this also find the following valuable: 
How to Find your Sketchbook Friend - here
Is Your Sketchbook  Ready for You - here
How to Find Your Starting Point in a Drawing - here

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Have a great Artful Day,


Debbie Nolan said...

Wonderful sharing Wendy. Inspires me to keep my sketchbook going. Have a super day.

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Definitely keep it going. It is your own personal playground. Enjoy. 🤗