It was decidedly not just any sketchbook. I had the pleasure of buying my first Moleskine. After tucking the girls into bed last night I quietly tiptoed to my art space. Encapsolated in my little bubble of peace, color and ink. I slowly unwrapped it, sniffed it, laid it down on my desk and just stared at it. A smile creeped across my face. The glimmer of all that could be...I was entranced. Then panic struck. What would be my first sketch?
Like with any activity that we enjoy, adding the necessary "tools" to the "toolbox" are essential. In my arsenal are the range of Sharpies, Bic Mark Its, Copics, and of course liners Prismacolors, Pitt finally a Bic ball point pen to keep me humble. With marking implements of course comes paper, paper, paper specific to each job as any skilled laborers tools. Each paper produces a different final outcome. Don't believe me?
Take a peruse around your home. Find different papers. Even a non artist has at least three different paper types. The printer paper, a notebook/lined and a third usually found in say a bill book or on the refrigerator shopping list. Study the paper is it smooth or a little rough? That's the tooth, sounds exciting right? The tooth bites into the materials you apply to it. If you've ever hand written on quality office paper you've had a first hand experience with good tooth. Your pen glided effortlessly across the paper. An ice skater, not just any ice skater but a pro and when the pen is removed from the paper she lifts off and ahhhhh it's magnificent. That is what quality can do. Now take your stack of papers and find a marking implement. For this I would strongly suggest a felt tip marker something a bit more juicy than your run of the mill ball pen. More like a "soak if I sit too long" marker. Set your papers down open up the marker and write slowly, "This will change my view." When you make it to the period hold the marker still on the period for a slow count of three. Do this for each piece of paper. What were your observations about the experience? Was there any resistance, point drag or was it smooth and comfortable? Flip the paper over is there any bleed through? If yes, how much is it feathered on the edges or round, pushed out far or localized? Finally compare the papers to one another, is there a drastic difference in color saturation? Did any of the papers lose tone or clarity?
My personal paper experience with this actually taught me that a Copic marker can not only blend differently, absorb the ink into a dried corpse on specific papers it takes on totally different hues. Especially the violets and blue violets. It can turn a blending family on its head and that is never a good thing. Artists know and play with color testing and mixing on everything that doesn't move. From what I've seen on the internet even things that do move. Google 'sharpie car' sometime...good stuff. Bet they aren't worried about bleed through.
Here are a couple ATCs I finished recently, just for fun. I used them to practice transparency and how foreground and background affect one another.