"Anemone and Bluebells Sketch", 4"x10", Watercolor on Winsor & Newton Cotman 140# Watercolor Sketchbook
Very busy recently... Only had enough time to do some small sketches using a couple of minutes here and there. The first page showing here is done on Winsor & Newton Cotman 140# paper. It is a lovely white paper and is recommend by Siriol Sherlock, a botanical artist and flower painter I admire greatly. Wet-in-wet is easy on this paper, and granulate color shows a lot of interesting effects. Glaze is also easy, without needing to worry too much about lifting the underlying colors. I like how flower colors appear more vibrant on this very white paper, and it isn't too expensive, perfect for using as a sketch book. I did the line sketches and a little bit shading in front of the flowers, and only added colors later from memory. Good exercise for observation skills indeed, and I am suprised that I could remember them so well back home. Learnign to paint is also the process of learning to observe and truely "see". I start to get this idea more and more now... I might go back to the site I did the sketch and add a few details to the bluebells, we'll see.
The pansies were merely practicing brush strokes without drawing first and is not done from a real flower, only a copy from examples out of a book. It did allow me to try out another sketchbook I have bought for a while and did not have chance to use yet --- the "Liberte" sketchbook from Arches. I do not know whether this sketchbook is availble in the state or not now --- I got it from someone on eBay selling legacies from his parents. I loved this paper --- the texture is slightly rougher than cold-press Arches paper, and color is off-white, but it holds washes so beautifully! The paper is only 80#, very thin, yet because is is made of 50% cotton and 50% man-made fiber, it stays perfectly flat with small-sized wet washes like this, do not buckle even a little! What's more, the way it takes wet strokes and keep staying wet for an extending amount of time makes it so much superior compare to the Strathmore Aquarius II paper, also made out of sythetic fiber...
"Pansy Sketch", 4"x4", Watercolor on Arches Liberte 80# Watercolor Sketchbook