Preparing For 2020

At the end of each year I look at the sketchbooks I have in progress.  If I include my two practice sketchbooks there were six of them.  Two were almost filled, though, and I make an effort to fill those before we turned over the calendar to 2020 for I can get a fresh start on the year.  Besides, both of those books were portrait format and I find that I prefer working in landscape mode.

To replace one I grabbed a Stillman & Birn Alpha (10×7) from my sketchbook stash.  I love this format and Stillman & Birn books are still my favorites.

For the second replacement, however, I decided to try something new.  Out of curiosity I’d picked up a pad of Strathmore 184lb Mixed Media paper.  I cut a bunch of 9×12 sheets in half and created a 26-sheet sketchbook.  I made covers from thick cardboard and took it to Bureau en Gros (Staples to those outside of Quebec) where they neatly spiral bound it for me.

The plan was to wait until 2020 to start using them but I couldn’t wait to try the Strathmore paper so I sketched the small support table that sits to the left of my drawing table.  I really like drawing on the paper and, at least for these light washes, the paper does fine.  I think I’m going to like it even if it isn’t S&B.

So I’m all set for 2020.  I want to thank everyone who followed my blog in 2019 and all who have taught me so much by posting their own work on their blogs, YouTube, Instagram, and the rest.  Happy New Year.

4 thoughts on “Preparing For 2020

  1. I like the round spiral bindings I’ve had done at FedEx. . . looks similar to yours. Great idea for a sketchbook. Hmmm, I wonder if that’s the same toned Strathmore I’ve tried… I don’t know if it’s 184 lb. as I was given only a loose sheet, but it’s supposed to be mixed media. I’ll look forward to seeing more of your sketches on it. I’m getting back in the mood to use a toned book, too… I have a Nova that still needs to be finished. Happy sketchy new year!

    • I’m really happy with the Staples binding too. The rings, while plastic, are more numerous and they don’t project as high above the covers, making it easier to draw and to scan.

      I live on a different planet from you Earthlings so often materials I’ve never seen or heard of are commonplace on Earth. I first saw the heavy version of Strathmore’s toned papers in a Strathmore course where they were being used. Then they showed up at our local craft store (I refuse to elevate it by calling it an art store). The toned paper I’m used to from Strathmore is their 80lb versions. I’ve used them for sketching and they’re fine as long as you don’t let water get near them (grin). I don’t have enough experience with the 184lb stuff to say but it doesn’t buckle badly with water application. It does seem more absorptive than Nova paper, though, so I suspecct it has little or no sizing. My new book replaces a Nova book I filled so I should be able to do a comparison at some point.

      Happy New Year to you and the crowd in Seattle.

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