Friday, July 8, 2011

Fieldwork Friday: Mt Ouray SWA

Mount Ouray State Wildlife Area is just a couple of miles from the house.
It's an interesting combination of riparian wetland on one side of the river
and gravel pit and historic ore smelter remains on the other.
Click to embiggen.

Determined as I am to avoid squandering the entire summer in contract work, Fieldwork Fridays are essential. Even if, as this morning, I can only get out for an hour or so.

If you're anything like me, you are constantly searching for the "perfect" sketchbook or journal for the field. I've used "store-bought" spiral- and stitch-bound books and made my own books, but never, NEVER, am I completely satisfied. I like a fine-toothed paper for drawing and writing, and something with some weight for watercolors. I don't know why I can't have both.

Once upon a time I did start working with an assortment of loose sheets, intending to bind them later.... it was a semi-successful endeavor that I may try again.

At any rate, I recently found a Daler-Rowney "Cachet" spiral-bound sketchbook with decidedly cream-colored pages, rather than white. I thought it might be easier on the eyes than the bright white (or even "soft" white) of most books, and so far that's true. Of the myriad discomforts that could (and did) arise this morning (heat, biting bugs, and allergies for starters), paper glare was not one of them.

I like the look of the cream pages, but the paper could (as usual) stand to be a little heavier. My Sharpie pen isn't bleeding through, but I can see the "ghosts" of preceding pages. And even light-handed application of watercolor causes some paper buckling.  Ah, well... it's a good excuse to keep buying sketchbooks and papers.


  1. Even your simple field sketches in pen and watercolor are just beautiful works of art. And the cream paper suits both the art and the journaling well - sort of lends it a neat aged look.

    This totally makes me want to try field sketching; did you get the sketchbook locally or order it?

    Enjoy your workshops and travels!

  2. Hi Sonya... I got the book online from Dick Blick. (They call the color "ecru.") This is the link...

    One of these days we should get together and go sketch! It's not like you're THAT far away. (About 4 hours, I think.)

  3. Hi Sherrie.

    I use the Daler Rowney Spiral bound books, Haven't seen one with cream pages though, mine are an off white colour. I use a Rotring Art pen on them which works ok but I agree the pages could do with being a bit heavier for watercolour.


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