OUR sketching kits!!!

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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Alitogata » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:59 am

Let me show you here how I modified my vintage metal Prang watercolour box. This was a box that was gifted to me among other Prang boxes. A review for the Prang watercolours, their lightfastness and their boxes you can read here.
The metal box was the most promising one and so I took the decision to change it a bit. This box's dimensions are 21,5 x 5x 1 cm ( in inches is 8,5x2x something - what is this? I don't know how the subdivisions of inch are called -Better google it :lol: ).

Prang Vintage Metal Watercolour Box.JPG
Prang Vintage Metal Watercolour Box.JPG (348.38 KiB) Viewed 302 times


The mixing space in its underside is simple not that large but easy to clean because it doesn't have any separators with hard edges and corners where the paints can stick in, making difficult to remove them with a paper towel and a little water while sketching.

Due to its dimensions I managed to place there 20 colours.. 11 full pans and 9 Prang pans that are something between a full and a half pan.

Look below.

Modified Prang Vintage Metal Box.JPG
Modified Prang Vintage Metal Box.JPG (326.29 KiB) Viewed 302 times


Now in order to fit the prang colour pans in place I had to cut out their frames. They have some kind of frame in order to stay in place in their own tray. I cut these off with scissors, it wasn't difficult at all because the plastic they are made off, is soft. And something that I noticed. This plastic is fantastic because the colours don't stick on it like they do on other pans and doesn't get stained from the more staining pigments.

I stuck magnet sheets on the undersides of all the pans. Magnet sheets hold them in place but allow me to change them if I choose so.
And below is the same photo with the colours I chose for my modified box.

1.JPG
1.JPG (342.19 KiB) Viewed 302 times


Now.. in this box I have two own made colour additions.
The first one is Sanguine that is my new favourite red like colour. This is a mix of English Red ( PR101) and a Deep Red ( V.G Madder Lake Deep in this mix that is a PR264 .made in such a way to look like the colour that Sanguine Oranges have. It is a more reddish and saturated English red.
And the other colour is Smalt or Lulaki as it is called here.

This was made from scratch and guess what is the pigment that is made it of. Pigment for colouring building plasters and floor tiles' glues that I got from my neighbourhood's hardware store for nothing. An one kilo bag of this colour costs just 5-6 euros to get an idea. So I mixed this with a gum arabic + honey binder that I made myself.

This blue colour is something like a deep but cooler ultramarine and if you look its swatches from close they sparkle slightly. It granulates fantastically and doesn't stain the paper. I don't know what is the pigment that is made of but in its powder form has this a bit fluorescent hue that you can see at the images below. ( I tried to bring them as close to the original as I could).

Smalt Powder Pigment.JPG
Smalt Powder Pigment.JPG (226.86 KiB) Viewed 302 times


Smalt Powder.JPG
Smalt Powder.JPG (249.53 KiB) Viewed 302 times


And below are the swatches of my new colours.

Smalt and Sanguine swatches-www.marialenasarris.com.jpg
Smalt and Sanguine swatches-www.marialenasarris.com.jpg (331.21 KiB) Viewed 302 times


I'll write more about these colours on my blog. So check there for any updates.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Andre Jute » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:03 am

Alitogata wrote:Have you tried your inks on Yuppo paper? It is a bit tricky to use it but gives brilliant but also a bit random results. Nice paper for inks too are the bristol plate surface ones. They have a very smooth satin surface and inks look great on this paper.


Great mind think alike! I haven't tried Yuppo yet. I was thinking about ordering a pad of Graphix Dura-Lar Wet Media, which is something similar, but before I could research it, I got distracted when a French supplier I deal with had a special sale on Arches and some really big Da Vinci brushes and I stocked up on those, and forgot about the plastic paper, which the French vendor doesn't stock. Thanks for reminding me. I know Bristol plate from my advertising days. It's exactly what I don't want (2). I like the effects I can get on hot press watercolor paper with my inks, and also on cold press. I have some heavy very rough stock from India set aside to try the inks on too. But I liked a Fabriano faux-Ingres called Tiziano (2) so much for ink, I made a whole A4 book of it. I also tried those inks on rice paper, but I just don't have the delicacy of touch required, and my slash and dash style gets too much ink on the page for thin stock to survive, which made for a frustrating experience and a fauvist result, very crude, so I think I'll stick to Fabriano and Saunders and Arches HP sized cotton papers intended for watercolor (I use the inks like liquid watercolors anyway), and the pastel paper in my custom book of colored papers for gouache and ink.

(1) I like Canford's Ingres, called Mi Teintes, for ink. It's 66 per cent cotton compared to Tiziano's 40 per cent. Pastel papers take the unwanted "designerish" hard edge off ink work and add interesting textures.

(2) There also used to be many colors of a Tiziano officially described as Ingres, available at Cork Art Supplies, though Fabriano stopped making it except in a few light near-cream colors.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Moonshadowe » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:13 pm

Those are some very stunning colors. Very inventive use of grout dye. I just checked out your blog and your artwork is breathtaking.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Andre Jute » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:01 am

For those of you who bind your own sketchbooks and journals, I've added a piece about an essential tool in another thread:
On Bone Folders and a Source for a Suitable Size for Sketchers

Image
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Alitogata » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:45 am

I made another sketchbook with a red velvet like cover the same way as I made the first one the other day. This time I used a better paper the W&N Cartridge 220 gsm one and I made it at A5 size ( exactly in order to fit on the scanner).
Here are some photos of my new sketchbooks.

A5 Sketchbook 3.jpg
A5 Sketchbook 3.jpg (339.44 KiB) Viewed 181 times


A5 sketchbook 2.jpg
A5 sketchbook 2.jpg (301.27 KiB) Viewed 181 times


A5 Sketchbook 1.jpg
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A5 Sketchbook.jpg
A5 Sketchbook.jpg (367.26 KiB) Viewed 181 times
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Andre Jute » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:15 pm

That looks very professional, Marialena, especially the shot looking down at the top of the signatures so we can see how tightly your book is bound. Love your red velvet, though I don't work tidily enough every to use a sketchbook with a velvet cover.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Alitogata » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:13 pm

It is not real velvet. It is velvet like paper.
The trick to achieve a tight binding is to add a layer of glue on the spine of the stitched signatures (that are stitched with the coptic stitch). In this book I added also a piece of ribbon over the glue layer, while I pressed the signatures tightly with two paper clips. Then I let the glue dry completely and then I attached the covers.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Andre Jute » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:27 pm

Traditional bookbinders glue a rectangle of gauze over the spines of the signatures. It's short of the full height for the book, and quite a bit narrower than the full width of the book, so you can often feel it with your fingertips under the page stuck to the cover, or if the paper is thin see a ridge all round the gauze. Does the same job as your ribbon but spreads the load over a larger area.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Alitogata » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:11 pm

I know.. but I had not gauze here at my house and I thought that it would be too much trouble to try to find a pharmacy at 4 A.M Saturday morning! So I improvised on this too. Ribbon works fine btw. If it was a bit wider it would be even better but anyway. The sketchbook looks ok and opens nicely.

I have to buy something better for the covers, a fake leather or something of that ilk and marbled papers.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Andre Jute » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:54 pm

Alitogata wrote: I have to buy something better for the covers, a fake leather or something of that ilk and marbled papers.


For covering an A4 sketchbook, I've been eyeing a sheet off a pad of large canvas leaves I bought at, of all places, Lidl. I also have several pads the same in A4, with which I make my plein eir acrylic sketchbooks, so I know the canvas is good. I thought I might paint the canvas with cheap acrylic, also from Lidl, just so the white doesn't get dirty so fast, and glue the painted canvas all the way around, inside and outside a lightweight plastic folder (the kind that has transparent display sleeves inside, which I rip out) just for shape and a bit of working stiffness.

Alternatively, I was wondering how long 640gr cotton watercolor paper would last as a cover for a working sketchbook. I have an Imperial sheet of heavy Khadi rough I bought from Jackson's to try and which I used up assembling the ideas I eventually turned into my Christmas card painting for last year on more suitable paper.

Talking of cotton, I have also set aside some hardwearing cotton shirts with worn collars, with the idea of using the material for slipcovers for sketchbooks. I got the idea on this forum from that jeans-covered sketchbook.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Alitogata » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:28 pm

I think that any kind of painted canvas will peel of in the long run especially on the spine.
The 640 gsm paper will not have that much problem but then again it will be a pity to waste such heavy paper on covers. Why not use it for painting something after all?

Fabrics, faux leather etc will probably look good on covers.
Marbled papers too, if they are heavy enough but the matter is where to find these damn heavy weight hand made marbled papers and how much they are going to cost.

The concept of making your own sketchbook is to cut down the cost and have a sketchbook with the paper of your choice, at the size of your choice.

If the making of the covers is going to cost you more than the papers that you bind and more than the ready made or made by order custom sketchbooks, then I don't see why to trouble yourself on making them, though ( and I have to admit that ) you become faster on binding sketchbooks, when you master the way of making them.

The first sketchbook I bound took me three hours to make it. Now none is taking me more than an hour including the time it takes for glue to dry and that because I know exactly what I have to do.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Alitogata » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:42 pm

Anyway.. Sketchbooks are just sketchbooks. Consumable things to test and try your ideas on them. It is not a bad idea to make them look pretty but spending too much energy and grey matter to figure out how to make them look perfect is IMO just a waste of time.
I prefer to spend my time on how to improve my paintings and not on how to improve the look of my sketchbooks.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Andre Jute » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:15 am

Uh-huh. I say "sketchbooks", but in fact I'm talking about refillable slip-covers. When a sketchbook is full, it is removed from the cover and put in a box with other full sketchbooks, and the slip-cover is put on the next sketchbook. The actual sketchbook has a cover of cheap card, just stiff enough to hold it in the slipcover, or nothing, in which case the signature is held in the slipcover by elastic, and the folios are later put in transparent sleeves in a display book on a shelf. I don't see why a sketchbook shouldn't be a kinesthetic pleasure while I'm using it, but I see no reason that it should have an expensive cover when I put it away in a box.

I've already painted on the Imperial sheet of heavy khadi paper, so it's headed for the trash if I don't use it to cover a book. I need the big board it is sitting on and the tripod the board is attached to.

You can make your own marbled paper on any paper you choose. In fact, my experiments so far demonstrate that the paper is the key choice in marbling (watercolor paper is a poor choice -- you want unsized paper), because almost all wet media are capable of being used as marbling elements. But the paper sold to bookbinders, and that some binders (Zecchi for instance) make for their bookbindery and for sale, is often thin stuff you and I would disdain for art of any kind. The easiest marbling is probably suminagashi, Japanese cloud-marbling, for which you don't even need a kit, just a dish with water, indian ink, and perhaps one colored ink (red is traditional, I believe), and a couple of round brushes, plus paper.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Alitogata » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:24 pm

Home made marble papers need space that I don't currently have here. :(
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Postby Alitogata » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:36 am

The Ultimate Compact Sketch Kit and the 10 Colours Palette new blog post at my website.
https://www.marialenasarris.com/?p=3578
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