Testing a New Commercially Bound Journal While Out With the Folks

May 17, 2016


Above: Busy day with the folks. There are sketches and notes on the page from the visit to CR's eye doctor, but later in the day I sat and colored with Phyl—well she colored in her coloring book and I sketched. For some reason I started on the same spread, but that meant the coffee machine was in the middle of my sketch of Phyl; and other barely started images (because people kept getting called in) got drawn over. I was working in a Shinola Sketchbook which is 8 x 9.5 inches. The paper is heavyweight sketching paper. It has the most amazing tooth for the Pentel Brush pen (which I'll show examples of when I review the book) but the paper does buckle (not an issue for me) and the book doesn't open completely flat; but it is just a perfect size. Sigh. I had some Mayan Orange (Daniel Smith) in my small watercolor palette and it made a great background.

Some days are all jostled together like this page spread from my journal. I couldn't even get the date right. I caught it on the left page, but didn't realize I'd written the same wrong date on the right.

I was testing pens on this paper. The Sakura Pigma Sensei doesn't feel good on this paper, at least this first go (top left). The Platinum Carbon Black felt tipped brush pen didn't dry fast enough and was prone to smudging (center left). I sketched Phyllis with the Faber-Castell Pitt Pen 1.5 size and it worked great and didn't smudge.

I used a Niji Waterbrush Flat, to paint in the orange watercolor and add shadows to the white sweather and color to her striped shirt and beads.

Phyllis is a little under the weather with a cold since the day before Mother's day. But she was still up for coloring in her favorite floral coloring book. (She uses color markers.) She gets in the zone and you have to touch her arm to get her attention. It's really rather marvelous that she enjoys it so much.

    • suzala
    • May 18, 2016

    love this, particularly the color. Isn’t it a bummer when you can’t get the size and the paper type to all come together? sigh. it seems like it should be so easy……..

  1. Reply

    Suzala, that’s the beauty of binding your own books, you can take paper and size desires into your own hands. Commercially bound books—my favorite for paper and size is still the Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media in the 7.75 x 9.25 (or something like that) soft cover.

    But binding your own books is easier.

    • ML
    • May 25, 2016

    What coloring book does she use? I find some of the ‘adult’ coloring books so detailed my teeth grind when using. Does Phyl use them or something with larger areas to color? Crayons or colored pencils? Sketching is good but sometimes the very mindless coloring is more restful.

  2. Reply

    ML I will try to remember to look and note it down. Like you I am bothered by the really detailed “mushroom tripping” type visuals that are in some adult coloring books. She has had one of animals that was pretty detailed and she gave it away. She has some simple geometrics but doesn’t like those. And now she has simple plants and flowers which she adores. I think it’s a famous greeting card artist, but I don’t know. Besides being stylistically delightful on its own, it’s easy to color with mostly large shapes.

    I’ll get back to you on this.

  3. Reply

    I remembered to check Phyl’s favorite coloring book today when we were coloring. It’s a Botanical one from LISA CONGDON.×648

    You can see it at that link to B&N (I’m not affiliated).

    I find it is the best coloring book I’ve found—the images are playful, and spaced across the page in a decorative fashion that’s also pleasing. The large shapes and small shapes are in just the right amount for elder eyes. This is the best coloring book for elders that I’ve seen. The paper is thick with a little bit of tooth. Phyl uses markers in hers (without bleed through) but you could also use color pencils).

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