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Blue Paper—What a Treat

January 4, 2010

Working on Magnani Pecia.

091222Toucan

Above: Page spread in a journal I made with Magnani Pescia Pale Blue paper. A Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketch with Stabilo Tones applied over the sketch. (That's gold Brilliance rubberstamp ink and an office rubberstamp impression that were already on the page.) This is the same Toucan I was sketching the other day.

Just a quick post today to celebrate this glorious robin's egg blue paper! Magnani Pescia is a soft paper. When binding it I find that it doesn't do well with casebound methods as it tends to pull apart where the glue holds the signatures together. However it is great for sewn-on-the-spine books. My end-of-the-year journal was a journal just like those shown at the link, only it contained only 2 signatures (32 pages).

Despite its softness I found that this paper held up well to the finger smoothing I get into when I am using Stabilo Tones. (The vertical line near the gutter on the verso page is the impression of the cover hinge—I should have put something behind this first page when pressing so hard with my fingers! The intense lighting of the scan really highlights this.)

I also found that the paper held up to the wetting of the first layer of pigment.

This 100 percent cotton printmaking paper is available in 22 x 30 inch sheets (300 gms). Its surface is described by Daniel Smith's Catalog as "smooth cold press" and I'd go along with that. It's fun to write on…well more on all that in coming days. This was supposed to be short.

You can find this paper in a lot of places. I've purchased it locally from Wet Paint, and mail order from Daniel Smith.

Note: As for the text on the page, it's an actual phone conversation I had with an appointment desk clerk.

    • Alex
    • January 4, 2010
    Reply

    Wonderful sketch and remarkable conversation you’ve written on it! Thank you for sharing – it was my first laugh today.

    Happy New Year to you and all the best in your art!

  1. Reply

    Roz, this toucan is beautiful. And the phone conversation is hilarious. Thanks!

  2. Reply

    I just love the blue paper, Roz. Not something I would ever instinctively pick up but it really makes the contrasting colours of the beak sing! It’s amazing how something as simple as a different colour paper can completely change the feel of an artwork, very inspiring.

    • Roz
    • January 4, 2010
    Reply

    Thanks Alex and Maggie—it was an hilarious phone conversation. Those hospital folks really don’t like you to joke about dying on their premises, but every once in awhile you find someone who can laugh.

    • Roz
    • January 4, 2010
    Reply

    Alex, I just thought of something, if this was your first laugh of the day and you read it on New Year’s Day, then it was your first laugh of the Year! I like that! Thanks for reading and writing in!

    • Roz
    • January 4, 2010
    Reply

    Julie, I think in general I don’t use blue for backgrounds but the first time I saw this paper (late 1990s) I fell in love with it, and it still amazes me every time I look at a sheet of it. Or, simply every time I open a book I’ve made with it.

    You have to see this paper IN PERSON to see the wonderful blue that it is. You’ll want to work on some!

  3. Reply

    I LOVE this toucan! It’s such a beautiful page that I want to go out and buy all of your supplies. But, I was just reminded recently that it won’t make me have your talent!

    • Carolyn
    • January 5, 2010
    Reply

    Toucan! Eye! Blue and Gold and Purple and Red! Great Conversation! Nice Scan!

    Smile. Smile. Smile. Smile. Smile. Thanks Roz! I thoroughly enjoyed this! More and more I am amazed. How much time does it take you to scan your art and write your blog and upload it all? (You don’t have to answer, but I know how long it would take me…) A N D, how are you able to scan your spreads relatively flat, without a shadow down the middle? Do you have to touch up the scan to remove it? Or does you scanner handle books well. OR is it because of the method you use to bind books?

    I am grateful that you do this. It is inspiring and educational. Thank you!

    • Roz
    • January 5, 2010
    Reply

    Thank you Raena, for your kind comment. And you shouldn’t go out and buy Stabilo Tones because they don’t make all the great colors any more! But you can certainly try out other types of watersoluble pastels and crayons, as long as you are using up your other supplies too because that’s all I talked about at the end of the year (thank you for remembering!).

    Draw and paint something you love today, using what you have at hand.

    • Roz
    • January 5, 2010
    Reply

    Carolyn, well thank you for your kind comments. I’m so glad he made you smile (I apologize if this bird is not a he, I don’t know sex differentiation in this type of Toucan, well any type of toucan for that matter!) These birds make me smile.

    I don’t spend much time on the blog that I notice, because most of it is done while multi-tasking. I’m at the computer all day so it isn’t much of a deal to throw something else on the scanner and get it ready. (I’m high on that particular learning curve.) I’m also baking bread right now as I type!

    The books I bind, either the Roz Method Casebound or the Sewn-on-the-spine ones I make tend to open flat but I do get a shadow, it’s hard to avoid unless you push down hard on the book (and I did that with a scanner once and sort of dislocated the top so don’t do that).

    If a book sits on the scanner bed relatively flatly I simply close the top gently (to not dislocate it!) and drape the scanner with a thick towel (avoid covering the cooling fan vent—just in case you get interrupted and wander off—that hasn’t happened to me but I think about these things all the time so I’m mentioning it) and scan.

    I have a scanner that only takes Legal paper sized scans and so for my larger scans I have to actually make two scans and join them in Photoshop.

    Any shadow that happens when I do this I leave because frankly that’s too much time spent getting something ready for the blog which is just for fun (well and to let my students know what I’m up to).

    If I were getting a scan ready for publication in a book then I’d spend some time on getting a really good scan and doing more clean up.

    Even if I had unlimited time I wouldn’t fuss to get rid of the shadow in the gutter for my blog because I know readers of the blog know what it is to hold a journal and read “across” the gutter.

    If the journal is really thick and won’t sit as flat on the scanning bed then I will leave the scanner top UP and drape the towel over the book which is in position, and then I will either stack heavy books on top of the towel, or press down on the book with my hand the entire time the scan is in process. (Can’t move or you’ll get a blurred image.)

    Hope that helps. I’m glad you enjoy the blog! No go draw something!

  4. Reply

    The gold brushstroke and Toucan combination is beautiful. I think it is daring too. Roz! My journal group is now going to make book cloth based on one of your write ups here. You have great powers of creative influence.

    • Roz
    • January 7, 2010
    Reply

    Melanie, I don’t know that I can call it daring since it wasn’t planned, i.e., the gold stamp ink was smeared on the page when I got the book out and knew it was going to be my next journal. Then when I opened it to work it was already there so I just had to deal with it—which is how I always respond to backgrounds.

    But I’m pleased your journal group has been inspired to make bookcloth and I can’t wait to hear how it went and see pictures—send pictures! Have fun.

    • Carolyn
    • January 8, 2010
    Reply

    Thanks Roz! Your scanning process is like mine, and I was wondering if you had discovered a better technique since your shadows don’t overwhelm, even with the narrow books. (Maybe it’s just easily overlooked here.) I sometimes have to scan books for work, and work a bit to remove the shadow on the single page (not the spread) without fading the image.

    • Roz
    • January 9, 2010
    Reply

    Carolyn, there’s one other thing I do that I forgot to mention, since it’s second nature to me. I always use a Gray Scale Card, specifically the “Mini Gray Scale Card” from Munsell Color-xrite. (I used to have a handmade one from a photographer friend but the cleaning crew accidentally tossed it out—the only thing they ever did that to.) They run about $40 and are totally worth it. I just position it so a bit of it will show with the scan and then I can fix the scan quickly.

    • Carolyn
    • January 10, 2010
    Reply

    Cool. I will check it out. Thanks!

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