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.