After Easter, we went to the North Yorkshire National Park for a few days. I took a brand new A5 Seawhite travel journal for my holiday sketching. I also packed watercolours, fine liners and a few Inktense Derwent pencils for more watercolour pencil experiments.
Not all sketchbooks are equal
The Seawhite travel journal is made of thin paper but it seemed thick enough to take watercolour washes. And it was very cheap too. It is slimmer than the Stillman and Birn sketchbook I have been using and lighter to carry around. So I though it would be the perfect sketchbook to take on a short break… Maybe I should have tested it first!
We stopped at Brimham Rocks on the way. While the kids clambered about I opened my new sketchbook to draw.
The paper was sucking ink out of the pen and bolting. The line was slightly fuzzy and if I left my pen on the paper, it immediately started a blot. It turned out the paper quality was poor. Probably only meant to be used with pencil. Oh dear!
Making the best of my holiday sketching tools
I could either forget about sketching or try and make the best of what I had. Of course I kept going. Watercolours sank into the paper. I had to layer the paint to achieve dark or saturated colours. But I managed to work with the paper and I am happy with the overall results. Travel or holiday sketching is about capturing a moment or mood with whichever tool you have on hand.
The Inktense pencils were perfect to block large areas of colour quickly or add texture. I used them with watercolours on most of my pages from the trip.
Seawhite now produce a watercolour travel journal in A5 and also have 3 other journals in A5 landscape with 200-350gsm papers for 2018, smooth and not finish – we do try and cater for every use; that said, we have had some great feedback recently for the journal you used with watercolour pencils, so I guess it depends on the amount of water applied on 130gsm.
Your results look fantastic, in any case!
Thanks Nick. If you are giving any samples out I would be happy the try out the new journals.