We’re finding inspiration everywhere this time of year, and there’s no better way to capture that inspiration than in the moment! Having a sketchbook, pen, and watercolours at hand allows for spontaneous creativity.
Prepare your favourite travel palette (like the Art Toolkit Pocket Palette) with the watercolours of your choice. Filling your palette from QoR watercolour tubes is great as they pack tons of pigment – which allows the paint to go further with the addition of water.
Plus! Being able to squeeze QoR tube paints into empty half pans allows an artist to create a palette tailored to exactly the colours desired. This may be done by using one squeeze from a tube to fill a pan, or by building up multiple layers of paint with drying in between. The latter process may result in a dry half pan more quickly. Tapping a newly filled pan, or using a toothpick can help level the paint and push it into the corners of the pan if needed. Be sure you label each half pan so you know what paint it contains!
We would recommend leaving a newly filled half pan out to air dry before putting it into a closed travel palette. If there are young children or pets in the house, be sure to keep the half pans of paint out of their reach.
“I rarely feel the urge to sketch a building perfectly. I don’t have to count how many windows or how many floors, I just kind of have to sense the building and sketch its energy. ” – Zandro Tumaliuan
There are many options for pens but many choose a finaliner such as Sakura Pigma Micron or Winsor & Newton Fineliners, but we’ve noticed more and more artists moving towards fountain pens like Lamy, or Kaweco!
Fountain pens can be more comfortable to draw with due to the balance of the pen, and the flow of the ink. Lamy has a bigger barrel that feels weighted in the hand which makes expressive lines flow with ease. The added bonus to using a fountain pen is that they are refillable – which is great for the environments sake! Some fountain pen nibs have thicker lines which allow for a looser free flow sketch. If you are planning to use watercolour in your sketch, you may want your ink in your fountain pen or fineliner to contain water-resistant ink, like the J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink Perle Noire! There’s a converter for Lamy Pens to be refilled with your own ink: Lamy Z24 Fountain Pen Converter.
Of course, there’s no sketching without your surface! We find that choosing a smooth paper, so your pen can glide seamlessly across, is a great option for on-the-go sketching. It also allows for loose lines and light marks.
The Opus Essential Paperback Sketchbooks have a durable, heavy duty softcover with 48 pages of 128gsm, acid free paper. Ideal for quick sketching with graphite, coloured pencils, charcoal, pen, ink, markers and light dry brush work. The paper is smooth with medium grit – a little bit smoother than hot-press watercolour paper.
Another great option is the Strathmore Watercolour Travel Journal. Created with Plein Air Painters and Urban Sketchers in mind, the Travel Series is designed to meet the needs of on-location artwork. Made with 100% cotton watercolor paper, the Travel Series is perfect for the artist who is looking for a tough and resilient surface for scrubbing, scraping and other rough techniques.
These journals are in convenient portable sizes and formats, providing users with more artistic freedom. Each journal contains 20 pages of 140lb cold press watercolor paper. Plus, feature a soft silicone binding to keep them secured inside bags and backpacks and a saddle stitch in a complementary aqua color.
Find your new favourite sketchbook.
With your sketchbook, pen, and watercolours in hand; you are set for a season full of capturing the beauty around you. Fill your sketchbook and share your work on Instagram. Tag us for a chance to be featured @OpusArtSupplies. Good luck!
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