Tools: New Cold Press Hahnemühle Post Cards


Loving Hahnemühle Post Cards as I do, I am thrilled to have the cold pressed option!

Fabulous!  Perfect!  I am in love!!

When I started with the first batch of post cards, highly textural,
I loved the size/shape but struggled with the paper, 250 gsm rough texture.
As I worked with it (I am on my third tin), I began to love the texture.
I’ve always loved texture when painting, and this provided a complexity.
Above, you can see a detail of the textural versus the cold pressed.
(Review of Hahnemühle Textured Post Cards here.)


Painting on the cold pressed postcards, I do it just as I have before,
I still secure the edges on a stiff board.


Now bear with me, as I am also playing in
the crazy #30x30directwatercolor2018 challenge… above…
NOT happy with direct watercolor; I miss inked or penciled lines!!!!
Yet look at how lovely the colors look on the image above!
*mind my markmaking not the best*

Great layers, bold colors pop on the cold press post cards!

The cold pressed is soooo smooth, but not smooth like hot pressed,
which would not be interesting to me.  Just enough tooth!

No ink above…. but below…


Ah, back to heavenly linework! 

This is a real test of the post cards, as the ink from the scratchiest fountain pen
glides on the smoother surface!  The paper also takes many layers, as I
dropped and plopped color everywhere, and even removed a wayward run…


Here I used an underlayer of Fineline Masking Fluid,
and the paper worked well with the masking fluid, staying strong.
Look at how deep the Primatek mix appears!
The Da Vinci paints show well on this paper.

I am thrilled to have this option, and will probably buy more of this in the long run than the textural, just because of the linework gliding onto the smoother cold pressed surface.

How do I use them?
I know from experience that peeps LOVE getting a hand painted post card.
I admit to sending them in an envelope though… I don’t want to risk the weather!

Thumbs up, as usual, for Cold Press
Hahnemühle Post Cards!

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Posted in cards, creativity, drawing, ink painting, painting, pen & ink, review, tools, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Painting Without Inking


The 30×30 Direct Watercolor Challenge started June 1…
The idea is to begin to paint directly with no inking and no real pencil work.  (I cheat.)
If it were not Marc Holmes thang, I might not try it.
He is really one of the best teachers around.


It’s not a new idea — and I like to play with it with inks especially, like the Buddha above.
Then I am usually building shadows, going deeper with each brush of waterproof ink.


Enjoyed the portrait — but then, I rarely do them!


On the other hand, I love linework, and so, I don’t know if I’ll like this.
One thing about trying a challenge now and then is what you learn from it —
and I hope that perhaps I will learn a bit about a couple of brushes I don’t use much.
Some who lie painting this way use their daggers and liners in place of linework.

But so far, meh!


As with all challenges, I’ll do as much as I like —
I have other things I am working on and I don’t paint 24/7!

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Posted in architecture, art journal, challenge, color, creativity, ink painting, journal, painting, portrait, process, sketchbook, virtual sketching, watercolor, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lojong 36: The Big Stuff First

I’ve studied through the slogans a dozen times in my life;
these are my musings on the slogan currently, not a formal interpretation.
For that reason they are less about straight Buddhist teachings,
and I think able to be shared with most practitioners of other faiths or no faith
(unless yours doesn’t allow you to read any other tradition.) 

If you have time and the inclination, I published the WHOLE  thang here!


#27.  Work with the greatest defilements first.


Mine was anger.  I had a hot temper, manifesting in yelling.
Until I started tonglen / lojong I had no way in to even begin to stop it,
it just happened so fast.  When I got mad, I could not stop and think.
This slogan helped me tremendously, giving me  a way to work with it.
In fact, before that, when I was angry and knew it was not right (a first dawning),
I wanted to stop but didn’t know how!  I know that sounds funny,
but I actually didn’t know how to stop the anger as I began to see it was inside me.
When I knew that I was the one angry, the other person might not be anything but stunned at my response. then the guilt and no way to stop it (in my mind) made the situation worse for me and then I was crying and angry.   A MESS.

I began to stop trying to talk (or holler) when I realized that
my triggered angry response was inappropriate.  I said I needed a break.
I went in and wrote about being angry, then when that was exhausted I began to stop writing about it altogether, the story line as Pema Chodron calls it.
(This was before her writings.)
Instead I did zazen, sit meditation, and felt into the places I was angry.
Of course, this synopsis did not happen fast, but soon I realized that my anger
was all about hurt feelings.   Underneath the anger, especially the hair trigger emotional anger that did not seem justified to others, was hurt, tremendous hurt,
hurt that had built up for a lifetime of not knowing how to deal with it.

I started dealing with it.  “That hurt my feelings.”

Sometimes that got me nowhere in terms of the other person, but I felt the shift in me.
Now I had to learn what to do when they didn’t care if it hurt.
How did I take care of myself?

It didn’t happen overnight but over a 1-2 year period, and then years after as I found ways to deal wit the hurts that never went away, the hurts that were intentional by the “other”, the hurts of the world, the hurts I felt on another person’s behalf, and on and on.

Seems like the reason I was always so angry is that I actually was a sensitive person.
Who woulda thought?

This is by far one of the most difficult and rewarding slogan in my book,
encouraging us to get to it —
or as Trungpa said, “We want to work with the chicken, not the chickenshit.”

*i may have to revisit this one… raw writing, no editing but for spelling*

Okina Journal, with pen and ink,

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Buddha Om


Playing around, like ya do…
Was a bit blue when I did it, and it cheered me.  Art cheers!
I thought I was done but then I came back in with crayons and played around
with deeper color.  A throwaway piece but I had fun layering oms….

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Tools: Review: Hahnemühle D and S Sketchbook


What is it about a new journal?
I love the blank page — not one of those peeps who hates them.

The Hahnemühle D & S Sketchbook (Draft and Sketch) is a new journal for me.
I wanted to try it and bought two landscape versions when ordering other journals.
At 140gsm/65 lbs the paper is a bit light for my normal watercolor or inking needs,
but I am always pushing the limits of paper, always curious,
and as I am so pleased with Hahnemühle’s journals, had to try!


As I’ve phased out many old journals by finishing them, I have moved into having just a couple of journals for daily use, and everything goes into them with few exceptions.
My artwork/notes/journals are becoming much more like when I practiced architecture,
laid out in calendar form, so you see how I was growing and thinking daily.
One is a bit more for class notes, writing and sketching out ideas, and that is why I wanted to try the A5 D & S Sketchbook, to see if it suited my normal journalling tools.
My other go-to is the A4 or A5 landscape Hahnemühle Watercolour Journal,
for watercolor / ink painting use, urban sketching, virtual sketching (I run a group), etc.

After using the journal for a month I can say I’ve put it through its paces,
as it has been my nightly journal (with popcorn and brewers yeast, as you can see.).
I’ve used watercolor, WET fountain pens, brushed ink, and of course, pencil in it.

I think the D & S Sketchbook behaves wonderfully for pencil,
which I often use and you don’t see because it is usually over-painted.
There is a nice tooth to the paper for colored or carbon pencils!
At 80 sheets/160 pages and beautifully bound, this is a journal that
can take abuse and stay strong for its lifetime.

The paper behaved well for inked sketches (above, in order)
with the very wet writing Jinhao with a Goulet 1.1 stub nib and Super5 Frankfurt ink,
with the Lamy Al-Star and Robert Oster Jade ink, and with the Pilot Metropolitan with Platinum Cassis Black or  Platinum Lavender Black inks.


The D & S Sketchbook feathered terribly with Platinum Carbon Pen and
Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges, however, and I am not sure why, as the pen writes drier than the stubs I use… perhaps it is something in the carbon black ink.


The  D & S Sketchbook worked well with Sumi ink with a brush,
and the Lamy Joy with Super5 Darmstadt ink in a 1.1 stub, a wet writer.


I used watercolor daily, and the D & S Sketchbook is fine if used
with a light one-pass wash or detailed brushstrokes…
Each layer needs to be thoroughly dry between coats.  And NO scrubbing!


The D & S Sketchbook cannot take a second pass of water if the first pass is still wet,
above and below, or double layers of ink without the paper balling and lifting,
which is expected as it is NOT meant for watercolor.
Paper that is not meant for watercolor absorbs the pigment quickly;
the pigment sort of sits on top without easily moving across the page.
The colors are all a bit “off” and lack vibrancy, or too thick and don’t glide onto the paper.
This was fine as a test, but definitely not my first choice for watercolor.

Finally, here is a watercolor sketch I would normally create on watercolor paper, above.
It combines elements of ink (Lamy LX pen with De Atramentis Tobacco ink),
and several layers of both ink and watercolor piled on liberally.
I did not respect the rules that I considered important for the paper but treated it as I might the Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook, my favorite daily sketchbook, which can take MOST of what I throw at it even though it is also not watercolor paper, at 90 lbs.
In this case, the ink bled through the page (second image) and even onto the other side,
and again, the colors are not as vibrant as they should appear.

This does not happen in the Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook, example shown above, where the 90 lb paper can take watercolor and show it off brilliantly.

Would I recommend the Hahnemühle D & S Sketchbook?
Not so much for someone like me, who wants to be able to dip into
watercolors or use ink like a watercolor within a daily journal practice.
I will stay with the Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook for classes/scribbling/writing,
and the A4 or A5 landscape Hahnemühle Watercolour Journal for watercolor treks.

 However, I would recommend the D & S Sketchbook, for someone using
pencil or micron pens to sketch, or some of the drier fountain pen/ink combos —
just test the pen/ink combos on a back page before committing to a drawing.
I would recommend it for a mixed media artist who is doing collage work, using acrylics,
as it took glues in two instances very well, both Aileen’s white glue and my gluestick.
I also love that the journal can be found in my favorite A5 landscape format,
which is not that easy to find in a sketchbook,
and is well made as are all Hahnemühle’s journals.


Places that sell Hahnemühle D & S Sketchbook other than Amazon?
These places may not have them online but they do carry them:

1). FLAX ART & DESIGN (California Art Supply)
3600 S EL CAMINO REAL, SAN MATEO, CA 94403
(If they carry them at one Flax they may at others.)
Item 10628272 Sketch Book D&S, 140gsm, 8.19 x11.58in Portrait, 80 sheets, black
Item 10628271 Sketch Book D&S, 140gsm, 8.19 x 5.77in, Landscape, 80 sheets, black
Item 10628324 Sketch Book D&S, 140gsm, 5.77 x 4.09in, Landscape, 62 sheets, black
Item 10628329 Sketch Book D&S, 140gsm, 4.92 x 3.55in, 30 sheets, black
Item 10628200 Sketch Book D&S, 140gsm, 16.38 x 11.58in, Landscape, 80 sheets, black
Item 10628273 Sketch Book D&S, 140gsm, 11.58 x 8.19in, Landscape, 80 sheets, black
Item 10628274 Sketch Book D&S, 140gsm, 11.58 x 16.38in Portrait, 80 sheets, black

2). B&H (carries several sizes in their dropdown menu)
CUSTOMER SERVICE: 800.221.5743 or 212.239.7765

3). WB HUNT Photo
10628270 Sketch Book D&S, 140gsm, 5.77 x8.19in Portrait, 80 sheets, black

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VSW: Mexican Church


Growing up, I attended a Mexican mass at the San Juan Capistrano mission church.


The shapes of Mexican architecture and the sounds of the language feel like home.


The colors are also my colors in our home, warm and bright.


I also tried this with no lines, just watercolor.
It was fun to try, but every time I do these things
I come back to loving line work and color, both!

How about you?  Line work, color only, or both?


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Posted in architecture, art journal, challenge, color, landscape, pen & ink, sketchbook, virtual sketching, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Sketching for Presentations: French Sofa


More design sketches for our client, the owner of the Louis XVI Settee.


Silk bolsters for the arms, with flirty tassel-dangly-bobs.


French knotted India silk creating scrunchy pillows for the back.


The entire sketch…


You may remember that the LouisXVI made it into another sketch…
Mitchell laying down on the job!

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Posted in art journal, creativity, drawing, furniture, ink painting, journal, painting, pen & ink, sketchbook, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments