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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Trying a New Sketchbook

A page from my sketchbook, showing a sunset view of a back alley in Boulder, captured with a quick sketch in watercolor.

I have experimented with a lot of different papers and surfaces for my paintings, but had stuck with the same sketchbooks for quite a while. I have been using Moleskine sketchbooks, for their great format and sturdy cover, even though it is a bit of work to overcome the paper's resistance to watercolor. There is a watercolor version of it, but I don't really like the landscape format. I also use Arches 6x10 spiral pads, but it has the opposite problem, it is great for watercolor studies and small paintings, but does not work well for simply sketching.

This time around I am giving the Aquabee Super Deluxe 6x9 sketchbook a try. It contains 60 sheets of 93 lb neutral white paper, very slightly textured. It is a little bulkier to carry than what I've grown used to, but the spiral allows for more freedom during use--I don't have to hold it or clip it open. I included a photo above, and you can see it took watercolor well and ended up only a little buckled, even when I used wet washes--as opposed to my old Canson sketchbook pages that buckled severely and acquired a crackly sound when they dried. I have only filled out a couple of pages in this new book, but am enjoying it so far.


  1. Muy bueno Este Apunte en tu blog Nuevo, Un saludo desde España.

  2. I really like the idea of the spirals. and this is a great little back street scene. the road looks like it just rained.
    peace n abundance,

  3. CheyAnne, thank you, all the best to you too.
    Karlitos, gracias y saludos!

  4. Your experiment is interesting, your painting excellent. Love your limited pallet. Jan

  5. I like the Aquabee because it stands up to watercolor better than regular sketchbook paper, but i don't like it because-- it is still sketchbook paper. i finally cut up some old 90# watercolor paper and placed between 2 pieces mattboard the same size (6 x9) Add 2 bulldog clips and voila! I've heard of some folks actually having these bound or adding ring clips, but that seemed like too much trouble. Gotta keep it together, though.....

    Nice painting. What limited palette? Doesn't look limited to me, just choosey about color dominance....