More Gouache on that Blue Paper and on Selecting a Journal Size

June 7, 2012


Above: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen Sketch with Schmincke Gouache on blue paper (in a journal purchased from England).

There was something very satisfying about stroking a filbert loaded with gouache across this blue paper. I'm going to have to look into getting something locally that's like this paper.

This journal is almost 12 inches square and after I finished it I numbered the pages as I always do so I can index it, indexed my journal, and then went to put it on the bookshelf. It wouldn't fit! I had to wedge it in horizontally, over some other journals. That made me really look at the shelf. In the last 6 months or so I have used a lot of LARGE journals (9 x 12, 11.75 x 11.75, 8 x 10, 10 x 10 inches). 

I think I'm telling myself to paint larger paintings. I'm looking forward to that this summer.

I think it's good to listen to those discussions with ourselves. I wrote a post almost two years ago where I share more thoughts on journal size. 

If you are getting ready to go away for a summer holiday/trip, maybe it's time you asked yourself some of the questions I posed in that earlier post. Find a size that screams out to you for work! (See also Tuesday's post for a discussion on how I planned and made my 2012 Minnesota State Fair Journal.)

  1. Reply

    Thanks for the reminder – page size matters and doesn’t have to stay the same forever. I have only just discovered that drawing and painting in a bigger book is easier (and more fun) than a small book- but that what I draw and paint also changes with a larger book and its possibilities!

    • Christine F
    • June 7, 2012

    My first few journals were those Hand journals and they had a lot of the problems you have discussed with wet media. This last time I invested in a Stillman and Birn. Not sure which series. OMIGOD the difference. I thought I wouldn’t like the long format, but I do. And the paper is a dream.
    Now better still would be binding my own, but in the meantime….

  2. Reply

    Carol, have fun working large. I’m so glad that you are doing that! We need to work in a way that we can take joy from.

  3. Reply

    Christine, I’m glad you found a journal that is working for you and the way you work. I have been very disappointed in the Stillman and Birn line. Their bound books which I reviewed I found most suitable for markers and I don’t use those. (Also they started to fall apart after 15 weeks just going back and forth to a drawing class I was using them for note taking—and I’m not hard on my books.) Their Delta and Beta series which are sold as wire bound wet media books were totally frustrating to me because the paper curled so horribly. I’ve never got around to reviewing them—the notes and associated photos are just so depressing; and too much in life intervened.

    Now I’m just so grateful that Strathmore has put their 500 Series mixed media paper in their exquisite hardcover sewn books that I know when I stop binding I’ll have something I can move right into.

    And I always have a 9 x 12 inch Fabriano Venezia around in the studio because I do so love working in it with the PPBP and the F-C calligraphy pen!

    Everyone has to try things out and find what works for their method.

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