Revising My Opinion

beginners experiments supplies

I may have to eat my words: I have loudly protested that sketchbooks simply weren't for me, but over the course of a little over a year, I completed 5 sketchbooks! 

It seems sketchbooks are a thing for me, as long as they have a theme; I completed 3 of these because they were used for a very specific purpose. Two of them were used solely for my 100 Days Project to keep it all together. The third was used to paint skies and sunsets. 

stack of 5 sketchbooks

Having multiple books available also seems to help. My palette knife painting process is very quick--especially if I'm testing new color combos, I can go through a half dozen sections of a sketchbook spread in under 30 minutes! So being able to switch between a couple or three books helps me keep painting while the other pages dry. 

The paper makes a huge difference too, as I am always harping on. I've made a few sketchbooks myself with cheaper 100% cotton paper, and those are easiest to use. When I switch back to a cheap book with cellulose paper, it's more of a struggle because it just behaves so differently than what I'm used to. It is less of an issue with palette knife painting actually, since I typically complete those in a single layer, or maybe two if I add a few details later. Trying to get the layers or color charging effects I'm used to on cotton paper is a huge struggle in the cheap books.

I've been painting for only a few years, so I am still figuring out what processes work best for me. Like everything in life, it's all a big experiment and I'll continue adapting and changing as the months & years pass. For now, I'll ruefully shake my head at how I've already changed regarding sketchbooks, and add another pack of the low end cotton watercolor paper to my cart to make a few more sketchbooks to rapidly use up.

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