I started a little 3.5”x5” Stillman and Birn Nova with gray-toned paper. It’s perfect for plein air botanical sketches. Art supply-wise, I traveled light for our three-hour hike yesterday, only bringing this sketchbook, a fountain pen, and a white gel pen for these quick studies.
I’ve also started a new, larger Strathmore 500 Mixed Media sketchbook. It has a warm color paper, and it seems to handle all the various mediums I use: ink, washes, graphite, colored pencil, etc.
Both using Golden High Flow Acrylics on Strathmore 400 acrylic paper.
I experimented with painting one on a golden background and the other with a gray underpainting. Both methods created unusual effects. The golden background definitely made the painting bright and crisp. The gray underpainting looked nearly done on its own. I added several layers of paint, but I’ve learned to test colors first for transparency as some of the shadows were blotted out and needed repainting.
This one started as a winter scene but I honestly got confused with adding snow, so I swapped back to warm weather. I used two reference photos from Paint My Photo, and the branches and leaves were from observing the crab apple in our yard–with plenty of artistic license.
I used a piece of Strathmore 500 Illustration Board for this, and I absolutely loved it. It’s sturdy, takes water, and has a very minimal texture. Expensive? Yes, but it’s perfect for this medium.