Using Watercolour vs Sketching Journals

Covid changed my journal use yet again.
Between the pandemic, sequestration, and the Portland protests,
I began to write pages in my sketching journal… because that is what I carry with me,
and I felt like I was writing to save my sanity and life!
I had begun a Grey Hahnemühle Toned Watercolour Book and
just began using it up, above, instead of saving it for nicer watercolor attempts.
Notes and sketches about ordering delivered groceries, missing people
in our studio neighborhood, feeling alone, taping recipe items, and
of course, my silly cat sketches all went into the more “expensive” journal.

And I loved that!
I loved having it all in one journal!

My second Covid journal I grabbed the Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook.
Freedom to write and write and write… BUT, I missed being able to lay
in several layers of watercolor, or lift watercolors.

Now I am standing at a crossroads.
I’ve always been wary of “wasting” watercolor paper on writing…
And watercolor journals are usually $7-10 more than good sketching journals.

But, the best news ever changed my concern over $$$!

Merriartist is now carrying
my favorite Hahnemuhle journals at a substantially lower everyday pricepoint
than other stores! I have been paying close to $30, and
A5 landscape is just under $20 at Merriartist.  Amazeballs!
This makes them affordable enough to be my go-to journal!  Click here for all their watercolor journals! But I digress… because though the price savings makes them affordable, my burning question:

Can I consistently and freely write on watercolor pages?

I DON’T KNOW!  I’m working on it!

Do you have this problem?

I am  finicky about my sketching and watercolor journals.
Everyone has different uses that dictate the choices in journals.

I prefer hardbound so I can sketch anywhere without having to carry a hard surface,
and I want durable… I am hard on books.  Many good sketchbooks are softcover.
And it needs to open flat… pop-up books are annoying.

I like A4 or A5 landscape, so I can sketch and then often write a quote
or Buddhist passage at the edge; some otherwise good sketchbooks only do portrait.

Even a sketchbook I want paper that can take a watercolor wash
(thankfully Nostaglie does that!)  However, I must jump to the Watercolour journal
for multiple washes or scrubbing, or ink washes.
Ink/watercolor combo is shown above in an image of the Pitt Museum in Portland.
No bleed in even the heaviest ink washes!  (Inks bleed more than watercolors.)


Marriartist is also carrying my favorite sketching journal at amazing everyday prices,
Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook, above, for light watercolors and sketching, and
Hahnemuhle Watercolor Postcard Tin (below) filled with Cold-Pressed
watercolor postcards ready to send.  I use my empty tins for watercolor palettes.

Remember to support small locally owned businesses whenever possible…
especially in this pandemic!
Merriartist makes it easy as their prices often beat the big box stores!

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or check out my new, improved

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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4 Responses to Using Watercolour vs Sketching Journals

  1. Mireya says:

    I know what you mean about paper. Ha. I really like the very first photo with blue and yellow and orange. I’m working on a flower project and I believe I have an idea. Thanks.


  2. Susanne says:

    Hi Katie, I have been making my own watercolor sketchbooks. If I want to write in it, I just add in a simple booklet (sewn or stapled together) made with heavier computer paper or colored card stock. I can glue it to the inside or back cover. This way I only use my precious watercolor paper for watercolors. Hope this helps. Susanne


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