Art Never Sleeps, and Why Should It?

Do it yourself watercolor sketchbook and mint tin palette
Tools of the trade: do it yourself watercolor sketchbook, mint tin palette and waterbrush.

I just got a package of ten sheets of the most luscious watercolor paper delivered by UPS the other day: Lanaquarelle 140lb hot press. It’s surface is a soft, luxurious vellum, the color is bright white, and ten 22″x30″ sheets is plenty for my current project list, which includes an illustration for the Journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (more about that later) and color plates for a bird field guide (more about that later, too).

cat meets bromelliad. There's a theme for you.
Stripes: cat meets bromelliad. Does this plant make me look fat?

So I decided I could use a nice little watercolor sketchbook and cut a couple of those nice white sheets into small pages (8″x8″), chopped down a little matboard into front and back covers, onto which I glued some marbled paper, edged everything with electrical tape and got it drilled professionally down at the local OfficeMax, which also sells metal rings to go through the holes. I can add and remove pages at will. This paper is smooth enough to take line from a Sharpie and rough enough to take watercolor in a handsome, artistically washy way. I’m using the trusty rusty mint tin, as you can see, and a waterbrush. The Sharpie turns out to be waterproof, too, for bonus points.

stripes and swirls.
Gizmo, the cat in question: stripes and swirls.

By the way, those shots in the arm, mentioned in a previous post? The most painful part turned out to be the official letter I got today from my HMO telling me that they don’t cover immunizations for travel. I’m guessing that diseases acquired in travel aren’t covered, either. I have no idea how much typhoid costs to cure. I’m sure it’s worth it, at least to the one who gets it.

I’m still going to the Amazon, although I’ll have to budget for those unpleasant diseases not covered by my insurance. More about that later, too. Check that link if you’d like to see where I’m headed.

3 thoughts on “Art Never Sleeps, and Why Should It?

  1. Vickie Henderson says:

    Lovely sketch and sketch book idea. (Also makes me miss my kitty as well!) I am still challenged by my dissatisfaction with sketch book papers and am convinced the only route is creating your own. I’ve used the Fabriano 90 lb hot press recently for some ink illustrations and love the smooth texture. So will now have another to try. News about the overseas insurance coverage-lack was of interest too! Can’t anything be simple anymore!?

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