Like many children, I liked to draw and thought I was pretty good at it. As I got to art classes in high school I became convinced that I was no good at art, and definitely not an artist and ended up studying biology. However, I always have made things by hand- mostly needlework. As an adult I learned to quilt and gradually grew into a textile/quilt artist. I actually felt like a fraud the first time I called myself an artist. It felt like such a bold claim!
I have not done much drawing as an adult, except for quick sketches (ie Pictionary or for a plan for my textile art). However, I've always admired people who could draw and paint and I love, love, love watercolors! I really wanted to learn how to use them. I really loved the idea of travel journaling too. Travel was the time I was most relaxed and felt like I had time to spend on a journal. Many of the early sketches were done while traveling.
As far as the watercolor paints go, I can't remember exactly what was used in each sketch. I have in my art supplies tube watercolors, pan watercolors, watercolor crayons, watercolor pencils and liquid watercolors. Whew! I've tried nearly everything it seems. Some of the watercolors are from 10-15 years ago and bought for my daughter to use. Here are some of the supplies I've used in the past:
- DaVinci Tube Watercolors (not favorites)
- Winsor & Newton Cotman Tube Watercolors (not favorites, don't always re-wet well)
- Winsor & Newton Cotman Sketch Pocket Box Pan Set (don't like these too much)
- Dr. Ph Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Liquid Watercolors (need to experiment more)
- Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Artists' Crayons (prefer these on fabric)
- Derwent Inktense Pencils (not sure yet)
- Yarka St. Petersburg Watercolor Pan Set (love these!)
- M Graham Tube Watercolors (really lovely, re-wet beautifully)
- Schmincke Watercolor Pan Set (smallest size- current favorite travel set)
These first few sketches were done over 10 years ago. At this time I was studying books about nature journaling, so these are more about documenting nature.
I tried to get back into the habit in 2012, but it didn't last long.
I didn't pick up the sketchbook again until a year later. On a trip to Cape Cod in 2013 I did a couple of quick sketches.
Back home again I managed to do some more summer sketches at the lake.
I did a little bit of travel journaling while in Ecuador in December 2013. This trip was actually so jam packed that I had little free time for journaling. I really wish I had done more though.
Back home in Oregon, I started off the new year wanting to make a more concerted effort to develop my sketching and journaling skills. I read lots of books (see the book list at the bottom of the page). I bought some new journals. First I carried around a little square Hand Book Artist Journal. I soon realized the paper wasn't meant for wet media and that my black pen wasn't water proof. Despite that I have to say this first sketch is one of my favorites.
At this point I also started drawing people and faces. At first it seemed almost impossible, but if I can do a face based on a still photograph rather than real life or video, I can actually do something recognizable. What a revelation! More practice is needed, but I never thought I could do that at all.
At this point I switched back to the same small Moleskine Watercolor Notebook because I realized that I really wanted to do watercolor without the page curling. I also tried lots of different waterproof pens. My favorite so far is the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen, size XS, S or F in either black or sepia. I've also tried Copic and Micron pens. I've got loads of pens around so I have lots of choices, but I also realized I don't like sketching with ball point pens. The pen that ran in the above sketches was a Pilot G2, which I really love except for that.
At this point I managed to do more frequent sketches for a while. It was also at this time I discovered the new and upcoming Sketchbook Skool. I signed up right away.
My daughter came to visit from college. It was her 21st birthday. I am so happy I got some sketches during that time.
Sketchbook Skool started after this sketch. On to the next phase....