Last year, a good friend, business associate and mentor, left for a business trip over to Europe. On her return, She presented me with a gift, a pack of “Amalfi Hand Made Watercolour Paper.” Alison said she saw this paper and thought of me. Thanks, Alison!
I was indeed very grateful as for one, I wasn’t expecting a gift at all and certainly not a pack of fine Italian Watercolour Paper!
Last year was an extremely busy and life-changing year and I struggled (particularly in the latter half of the year) to find, not only quality time but the state I wanted to be in to try the paper.
Today, for my Day 1,431 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day, I thought I would do it. Today, is New Year’s Day Holiday in Australia (as NYD fell on a Sunday), so it seemed like the perfect time to try the paper.
When trying any new paper, I’ve read that it is a great idea to try some small samples so I cut one of the 30cm x 30cm sheets into 6 pieces and I shall use them for my next 6 Watercolour Sketches a Day. This way, I can see how the paper performs, how it takes water and colour etc.
I also thought I would sketch a subject I had done before. It will take time for me to get used to the paper as it is many steps up from what I have been using up till now.
Mostly when I do my Watercolour Sketch a day, I will use Watercolour paper (in a sketchbook), mixed media paper anywhere from 200 gsm to 300 gsm.
Occasionally, I’ll try a different type, and recently, I purchased some plain and some textured Card Stock. I intend to use it mainly for some junk journals I want to make however, today, I decided to use the Card stock in my Watercolour Sketch a day.
I quite like the way the paint moves around the paper. Below is Day 1,368.
My creative journey
Began with a camera
This went on for many years
I was an enthusiastic amateur
Joining and starting camera clubs
Was so much fun
I made many friends
My creative life had begun
I entered competitions and exhibitions
Sometimes I won
All in all
It was just good fun
Along the way
I became a Photographic Judge
Which gave me a different perspective
It gave my photography a nudge
Briefly, in the Nineties
I started to sketch
Though photography remained King
I felt the itch
I took a basic drawing course
In two thousand and ten
Three years later
My photography business opened
The business ran
For a couple of years
Then I decided
To do something else
In the meantime my love
For sketching and painting had grown
It was battling photography
For the Title and Crown
Oil painting at that time
Was my preferred expression
It became my ‘go to’
My new expression
Joining Art groups
Has helped me to foster
My desire to create Art
They helped my creativity to prosper
Then I returned
To the first painting medium I tried
The one that had captured me
That reminded me of Slides
Line and Wash
Then caught my attention
It became part of me
A lifelike extension
A Watercolour sketch-a-day
Would give me loads of practice
It continues to this day
Feeding my Inner Sanctum
Remain a passion
For me, I think
They’ll always be in fashion
Has a special place in my Heart
It started my creative journey
Of me, it will always be a part
Though at this time
Sketching and Painting are my direction
They will for a long time
Have my attention
Today, we went out to Lake Burragong, which is approximately 1/2 a hour drive away from where we live. Lake Burragorang, when full (like it is now), holds 4 times the amount of water of Sydney Harbour. We have been there many times and it is a most beautiful and relaxing place.
I took my Winsor and Newton Field kit (which now has both Winsor and Newton, and Daniel Smith Watercolour paints in it) plus my Aquawash brushes and a small sketchbook.
I wasn’t all that excited about the sketch/painting I did first out there but it did give me an idea to painting a similar subject but in a different way, and more from my imagination.
I’ve had my Aquawash brushes for a few years now though I’ve only used them sporadically and I need to watch some videos on how to use them with greater effectiveness. I rather like how this sketch turned out, though and I will be using these type of brushes more in the future.
I’m due to go on my first field trip with the Sydney Urban Sketchers next month and I think it would great to take these brushes.
For my daily Art practice today, I chose to do another interpretation of a previous sketch that I had done, which was based on a reference photo that I took on Norfolk Island on our holiday, earlier in the year.
“Lighters” (wooden boats that up until recently were used to unload to, from cargo ships) continue to be an endless source of fascination to me.
Today I used the following materials:
Canson 300gsm Watercolour paper
ArtSpectrum Waterproof Pigment ink
Manuscript Dip Pen with Mapping nib
Winsor and Newtown Artist quality paints
I seem to have an attraction to peeling paint and rustic subjects in terms of sketching and painting, which is really not surprising as in my enthusiast photography days the same sort of subject matter attracted me, particularly in early morning or late after night.
I look forward to doing another version of this as I feel I would like to do one that is somewhere ‘between’ the two sketches above.
A couple of posts ago, I highlighted the sketches that I did each on Norfolk Island using the Sennelier Student Watercolour paints.
Upon arriving home (to presently), all my ‘Watercolour Sketch a Day’ efforts have been from reference photos that I took whilst away on holiday (25th Wedding Anniversary). As you can see, I’m very much in love with Norfolk Island and have been ever since our first visit in 1997 (Honeymoon). This was further strengthened by celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary there in 2007.
At home (currently) I am using Winsor and Newton Artist quality paints and so I thought I would post a few of my Watercolour sketches that I have completed since my return.
It really is a fascinating place, and one I’ll be continuing to use for inspiration for many years to come. We are looking forward to going to other places for sure, like Hawaii and New Zealand, but a 4th trip to Norfolk Island is certainly ‘a given.’
Poetry and Prose by #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow, Co-Author of #1 Amazon Bestseller, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, and Jan/Feb 2022 Spillwords Press Author of the Month