Monday, December 27, 2010

we're almost there!

Just a few more days until we announce the first challenge theme!  Are you excited?  I know I am and I've been spending the last week or so getting ready.  First I spend a few days making lots of sketchbooks in different sizes filled with some good heavy paper:

and I've been experimenting a bit with some watercolors. 

I picked up this little travel set the last time I was in the craft store because I've been wanting to try using watercolors for a while now and this seemed like an inexpensive way to get my feet (well really hands) wet with them.  And now I'm going to do something that is a huge leap off a cliff for me: I'm going to share some of my practice sheets from my sketchbook with all of you..  After all, I can't expect you to share yours with us if I don't share mine with you!  I cut a bunch of 9"x12" watercolor pages in half and found that working in the smaller size is much less intimidating than those huge sheets.  I spent some time painting up some random backgrounds:
And then later when I'm sitting in front of the TV or waiting for something to boil on the stove I go back in with a Micron pen and add some details.  These next two I just painted on some shapes and doodled in some lines after the paint dried. 
 The one on the right isn't quite finished yet.  Here I've got some houses that I'll detail doodle later...

and here are some feathers...
and here I was having some fun with faces...
Suffice it to say I'm having fun with watercolors and I think I want to invest in a good set of them along with some good brushes that don't fall apart as you use them!

If you have some photos of some sketchbook fun that you're having this week while waiting for the first theme to be announced then upload some photos to the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr group here


  1. I love love love watercolours, just making random backgrounds like the ones you did is so gratefying, always something beautiful turns up (if you let it dry before you make mud). :-) Nice pages, thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful Sue!!!! I love playing with watercolors ! I am in the midst of finding a flat surface on which to work- soon one should appear!!!!

  3. Thanks so much for showing your book! Being brand new at this sketchbook, I bought a Prang water coloring set. The brush is awful! What should I look for in a brush? I used my watercolors on 90lb drawing paper, and the paper really takes on some rippling! I guess I bought the wrong kind of paper. Should I try to seal the paper? I am a novice that is for sure! But I think what I'm loving the most is just allowing myself to play! I'm being very successful at that! I'm getting my supplies together and I am enjoying doodling! Any advice you are willing to share is greatly appreciated by all! Thanks so much!

  4. Hi Susan! avoid buying the cheap brushes that are in the bargain bin or are labeled as craft brushes - those are the ones that fall apart quickly. Buy the best brushes you can afford - ones labeled artist quality are usually the best or I found that the art student grade ones seem to hold up well too. There are so many to pick from you really have to experiment and find the ones that work for you - I just ordered a set of watercolor brushes from: I'll let you know how I like them once I use them for a bit.

    I like the 140lb cold press watercolor paper: they hold up nicely to the watercolors. You can try coating your paper with a layer of gesso to give it a bit more body or just save it for non wet media.

    Hope that helps!

  5. You did have fun-nice experiments. It's a good start.

  6. This a very encourging start, Sue. Thanks

  7. I have got a question. Are we supposed to be preparing pages before the challenge begins? I don't really know what I'm supposed to be doing. I thought the challenge would guide us in beginning.

  8. Fun Sue!

    Love what you done with your sketch books and watercolors

  9. I had better start by the looks of these posts. Watercolours - I had not thought of that. Thanks Sue.

  10. Hi Betty - no you don't have to do anything. You can prep some pages so that you don't have to start with a white page but it's optional.

  11. Thanks Sue! I appreciate your advice! I'll look for the paintbrushes.


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