Commercial Sketchbooks and Daniel Smith Watercolors at Wet Paint

March 22, 2009

Above: another Chihuahua study in my odiferous journal, which is NOT a commercially made journal, but a journal handmade by me with
Velin Arches (formerly Arches Text Wove) for pages. I used a dark gray Faber Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pen for this sketch. Click on the image to view an enlargement (left side of page spread slightly cropped).

I didn't have a visual for this entry so I thought you would enjoy looking at another Chihuahua study. (Must resist their cuteness; do not succumb to their cuteness.)

I wanted to give you a heads up that Wet Paint has Fabriano's Venezia sketchbooks in stock in three sizes: a small one which I didn't get the size of, but it's probably around 4 x 5 inches; a medium size journal that is 6 x 9 inches; a large journal that is 9 x 12 inches. They aren't up on the website so you'll want to call Wet Paint or stop by and check them out.

These are lovely, hardcover journals with wine red fabric spines and a decorative paper on the front and back covers that is cream and red, the pattern of bricks in San Marco, Venice. They contain a 90 lb. paper that is acid free. It's a relatively smooth paper, and while I haven't worked in one of these journals through completion, I have tested the paper and find that if I stop making journals this is definitely going to be what keeps me going. In short, I like the tight sewn sigs and neat construction and the all purpose paper. The paper Fabriano Accademia, which is their "student grade" watercolor paper, but it took my sample washes and gouache just fine, with a little bit of buckling that was not at all off-putting. This is one of the few commercially made journals that has a hope of standing up to what I like to do in my journals. 

Also, a while back I mentioned that Wet Paint is now carrying over 100 of the Daniel Smith Watercolors. If you paint with watercolor I encourage you to try this paint, especially as they are selling it for the same cost as the catalog right now, and you don't have postage costs.

But the reason I wanted to bring up this watercolor paint today was that when I was in the store Wednesday they had SAMPLE CARDS!!! Someone at Daniel Smith has come up with the scheme of putting dabs of watercolor on a small square of watercolor paper and then stapling that to an info sheet about the paint. Sometimes the info sheet will give you an idea for using the triad colors presented on the card in a painting project, or the info sheet will give you data on new earth pigments—whatever.

(Note: the paint sample cards are free to walk-in traffic at Wet Paint and customers buying paint mail order from them.)

If you have ordered from Daniel Smith directly you will probably have received one of these sample cards with your order. I think it is a great marketing tool. It convinced me to buy the most expensive orange paint ever! (And be joyous with my choice!)

I know a lot of people don't want to switch brands or pay for artist quality paints because they don't know what they are going to get (or what they are missing). Well I encourage you to get over to Wet Paint and pick up a couple tubes of Daniel Smith Watercolors. You will love them.

My small adapted kid's palette which has 8 tiny wells (but I get 11 colors in it) is filled with Daniel Smith Watercolors and two M. Graham colors (M. Graham Watercolors are also available at Wet Paint and are an excellent and affordable watercolor). The current palette contains the following colors:

Azo Yellow, Zinc White (both M. Graham, all other paints Daniel Smith), Buff Titanium, Quin Gold, Quin Sienna, Quin Pink, Naphthamide Maroon, Cobalt Teal, Phthalo Turquoise, and of course PB60—Indanthrone Blue.

OH, there is a little bit of Schmincke Calligraphy Gouache Metallic Gold on ALL of my palettes, because you never know when you might need some bright sparklies!

One of the great things about Daniel Smith Watercolors is that they rewet exceptionally well. So if you want to let paint dry on your palette, don't worry, it's still going to be useable. If you want to make your own pans of color using empty 1/2 pans (or whole pans; both of which Wet Paint also carries) out of tube paints, go ahead and use Daniel Smith Watercolors.

There you have it: two essential art materials for visual journal keepers—a journal (for folks who don't like to make their own) and fabulous watercolors to use in that journal. At least you know they are out there.

  1. Reply

    Cute Chihuahu! (I’m resisting)

    The Fabriano books you describe are now up on the Wet Paint web site. They don’t appear in the category list on the Journals & Notebook page, but do show up if you search for “Fabriano.”

    THANKS for the tip about them!

  2. Reply

    Love the placement of the dog on the page and your drawing and ink style.

  3. Reply

    I’m jealous of having Wet Paint in your neighborhood! But I’m so grateful for your blog. It is my absolute favorite! I’m really curious to check out this “Roz approved” pre-made sketchbook since as you know I’ve been messing about trying to find a sketchbook solution that works for me.

    I tried a few days of using loose paper to be bound later and didn’t find it to be quite right either. I missed the “book-ness.” But I totally fell in love with the pages you sent me to of your State fair sketches done on cards. I’d seen them before but hadn’t taken the time to read all the writing, and this time I did and I just wanted to hug you afterwards for the joy and pleasure I get from your art and writing!

    • Roz
    • March 22, 2009

    Bob, thanks for letting me know that they can be are up on the Wet Paint site. I didn’t think to search for “Fabriano.” But then I got to see them in person. One day I might actually grasp the whole internet thing!

    Hang tough on the Chihuahua! And report back if you use a Venezia! I’d love to hear how it works for you.

    • Roz
    • March 22, 2009

    B.Roth: hey, I’m glad you enjoyed the sketch but I hope like Bob you are resisting the cuteness of Chihuahuas!

    • Roz
    • March 22, 2009

    Jana, I consider myself hugged by your kind and sweet note!

    Don’t be too jealous of me having Wet Paint, it isn’t in my neighborhood I do have to drive about 10 minutes to get there! But it is close and I am very spoilt by having it as a resource and having so many great artists there to talk to about things.

    As for messing about and finding the sketchbook solution that works for you I think that’s a great place to be because it is one of discovery. Each little frustration that something doesn’t quite fit leads us to an answer and another question.

    I get to have my cake and eat it to, so to speak, because there are several times a year when I do non-book journals, with cards such as the State Fair Journals. That gives me a taste of that too.

    Some people like the same stuff day in and day out over and over and I like to do the same things in my journals but be challenged by different paper, page size, and so on. So it works for me.

    If you work in the Venezia let me know how it works out for you!

  4. Reply

    I’ve ordered a couple different sizes from Wet Paint (nobody around here carries them) so I’ll let you know how I like them. In the meantime I’m back to Moleskines.

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