Experimenting with paper

I have invested in a ‘how to nature journal’ book. It’s called The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling By John Muir Laws. It has a wealth of ideas and information. After painting the orange ladybird a couple of weeks ago, I decided to follow the step by step instructions on painting a red ladybird, from the book.

This actually set me off on a tangent…that of investigating paper quality.

I did my first attempt in a small Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbook. The paper is very white and smooth. It sucked the watercolour in like a sponge. After several layers, my ladybird still looked very pale.

I traced my bug and copied it onto some of the same paper from my nature journal. It’s off-white cartridge paper. This was easier to work on, but I was curious to compare it to good quality watercolour paper.

Here are my three ladybirds. As you can see, there is quite a big difference between them.



The question now is, do I carry on in the sketchbook I have started, or change to one with better quality paper? After after all, I have invested in the best quality paints, shouldn’t the paper be as good?

two or three days later…

It felt wrong to leave this sketchbook after so few weeks. I will complete this year in this sketchbook. I have bought 2 new sketchbooks. Both have 270gsm watercolour paper. One is smooth, one textured. I’m going to use these as testers. Whichever paper suits me best will be used for my next nature journal. I think I’ve caught the nature journal ‘bug’!


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2 Responses to Experimenting with paper

  1. Heidi says:

    How interesting to see the difference. Although I don’t have drawing/painting talent, I love nature and that books looks fascinating.

  2. crobbles says:

    It is a really good resource and lovely to look at too. I have already used it more than many other ‘how to” books I have tried.

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