View Full Version : My Goof-Off Book

04-26-2010, 10:06 PM
Okay, this one is a fairly short journal, since it only has fifteen sheets. It's a Strathmore Windpower watercolor pad, 140lb cold press paper.

I am tempted to alter the cover and will post it when I do, right now it just looks new because I bought it in order to prime all the sheets with Colourfix sanded pastel primer and turn it into a pastel sketchbook. Plans change. I got tempted and sullied it with watercolors, just using it as watercolor paper... and that's how it became the Goof-Off book.

Suddenly it became the journal where I could goof off with watermedia or mixed media or anything I wanted to throw at it, without worrying about whether anything in it was any good.

Page one is entirely experiments from imagination and memory.

04-26-2010, 10:09 PM
Sorry I couldn't upload that page normally. The uploader worked moments before when I posted something in another forum!

Page Two started off on a sick day on the 13th when I decided to at least play with my Daniel Smith "Color Map" watercolors and do a mixing grid. I love how that grid looks. I watched a video on watercolor and did one of the exercises from it, actually a couple of them, then did this blobby sort of reefish thing instead of what the exercise was supposed to be although I did paint the leaf thing from the negative space. It's a colorful and very geometric page, full of ideas for things to paint.


04-26-2010, 10:14 PM
Page Three is the current page, the last thing I painted in it was yesterday when I did one of the images from the WDE. Because it was in the Goof Off Book, I let loose and did some weird things with a large brush in the background, layering large strokes over each other in various colors. The duck's head has some Daniel Smith iridescent watercolors in it as well as regular greens and blues and golds.

My original intent with this was to make the duck really pop out from the background, but a lot of people have commented that the duck seems camouflaged though they like him when they find him. I may have to work on taht background idea a bit more before I can use it in a serious painting.

I don't know what I'll do with the rest of the page, but I'll post it when I do it. Keep watching for more watercolor experiments or at least "mediums that work on watercolor paper" since this is the book where I might try weird combinations.

I might start adding text sometimes too other than penciled, though currently my notes seem to be going in pencil because that was handy. I might start using pen to make them a little more legible though.

Also, moderators, if there's some setting that needs to be changed to let the uploader work, I would really appreciate it so that I'm not just using attachments. You can't see attachments when posting a reply, but you can see images that were uploaded into posts when scrolling down from the text box in a regular reply.

It might be a little crazy, but I'm considering doing the cover last ... building up to it and then making the cover the last post. Or not. Depends on when I feel like doing it.

This is the Goof Off Book and it has no rules, none at all. Other than, hopefully, not to fall apart!


04-26-2010, 10:37 PM
What a cool book, Robert. I love doing color swatches in my journals too! I'm thinking of having a Color Swatch and Color Mixing Journal, where I can go to town with all my swatches and pigment numbers. It would be a real Geek journal! hahaha....

A Scavenger Hunt journal has crossed my mind too...And along those lines, a journal for the WDEs would be very cool for those who do them!

I really like your clean brushwork on the bamboo-like and palm-like foliage on that first page.

Gee, your duck doesn't look camoflaged to me at all! Funny how we don't all see things the same. Maybe it's our different monitors!

COVERS---OMG!!! I have such a hard time deciding what to do about covers and first pages. I often leave the first page blank and deal with it "later". Somehow I never get around to painting the cover, though I always mean to.

I love your idea of using the pastel primer and making a pastel journal. Hmmmm!

I can see your "goof-off book" is a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to future installments!


04-26-2010, 10:43 PM
Great start, Robert. The colors are so intense! Love the background of the duck.

On the attachment issue, it was odd that I couldn't see the images when I wasn't logged in. So I logged in to tell you I couldn't even click on the attachment name to view it. But when I logged in, it all works find. Just odd, I haven't experienced this before.

04-26-2010, 11:00 PM
I am subscribing to your journal thread, Robert. Now I'll find out whenever you post a new page. How cool to be able to know that!


04-27-2010, 12:38 AM
Robert, I LOVE your Goof-Off book. I have a lot of the same kinds of things on odd scraps of paper in a box right now. I think I may paste some of the misc. exercises and experiments together in a similar book of my own.

One of the things I like the most is how free and colorful we can be when we are just "goofing off." Can't wait to see more.

04-27-2010, 03:54 AM
A nice start Robert :clap:.
Also, moderators, if there's some setting that needs to be changed to let the uploader work, I would really appreciate it so that I'm not just using attachments.
If you upload and get an image returned but clicking on it does not insert it in the text, you can copy the picture url (shown under the picture) and insert it yourself between ...[/IMG} tags.
I find the easiest way to "copy the picture url" is to Right-click on the picture to get the "context menu", then choose "Copy Image Location". Followed by the obvious [I]Ctrl-V in the editor.

Jo Castillo
04-27-2010, 08:13 AM
Great start, Robert. Looks like fun.

04-27-2010, 08:50 AM
Wow, thanks! I'll try to post often and add to it. Been thinking about the cover again this morning and figuring out what to do with the nice cover photo of a very modern windmill. I have an idea that is going to be hilarious... and at the same time get across the theme of "experiments" pretty well. Just not sure if gouache or markers would be best. Eh maybe both.

Arnoud, thank you for that tip too. That's driven me crazy and it's happened several times in the past couple of weeks to my complete confusion. The upload goes fine till I click on the picture and then it's as if I never did it. With my having memory problems in the first place, it leaves me wondering if I did it till I try it again and wind up directly in the right subfolder to my unhappy surprise. I'll have to try that next time it happens.

Attachments are annoying because they're harder to respond to, can't be quoted, all kinds of things. If there was some way to put the art into the text properly I'd do that. (Hint... hint... moderators can still edit those posts...)

And now let's try uploading...

Scavenger Hunt 174 #4: Curly or Curved
5" x 4 1/2" (without text)
Monochrome "Lunar Black" Daniel Smith watercolor
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper

Obviously from life. I've been trying to do him in a Chinese painting style for ages and this morning for some reason I can't fathom, it worked using a sample dot of Lunar Black watercolor and a handy waterbrush. I just fell into it and loosened up, didn't worry about doing loose areas, didn't try for as much detail as I would painting him realistically. Except that it is, it's just a different very economical kind of realism.

Of course it figures that as soon as I'm not doing it on a separate little stand alone piece of all-rag watercolor paper where I could pop it out and frame it, I don't get near-misses and awful blotches but exactly the kind of loose elegant painting I always admired in the Asian traditions. I wasn't even using the proper brushes or inks. Ah well. When I do, I'll be better at this!

Lower left corner of the Duck page.

04-27-2010, 11:56 AM
Robert, I love your "Goof Off Book" -- wonderful art notes and ideas. And the title is perfect for my type of "journaling" -- which isn't really journaling in the traditional sense, but playing around with whatever I have on hand.

Your colors are vivid and captivating.

04-27-2010, 12:36 PM
Robert, what a great idea having a "Goof-off" book. May have to try that and loosen up.

04-27-2010, 12:54 PM
If there was some way to put the art into the text properly I'd do that. (Hint... hint... moderators can still edit those posts...)

OK, Robert, done :heart:.

Vivien Maloney
04-27-2010, 02:56 PM
Robert; Love your "Goof-off" Journal! Your Watercolour sketches are great, so clear and vibrant. I'll look forward to seeing more from you on this Forum. I hope you are now beginning to feel better. It must be awful to be to sick so that you don't even feel like doing art! Look after yourself.

04-27-2010, 04:42 PM
Cool stuff Robert, I really like the idea of anything goes. There is a lot of freedom to relax and it shows. For the better! For myself I force myself to take it easy or it becomes a chore.

I love that duck...trying to do the Chinese style though...wow your braver than me!


04-27-2010, 07:35 PM
Good journal pages, Robert! :clap:

04-28-2010, 10:23 AM
Robert - i'm going to enjoy following this journal! I just LOVE those palm fronds you did! Wow! I'm a palm nut!!! I've never actually drawn any before but yours are beautiful!
Great start on what will be a fun journal to follow!!

04-28-2010, 11:13 PM
Thanks! So glad you like the palm fronds. I've been fascinated by palms and ferns for a long time too, may try something later on.

Finished page 3 in the Goof-Off Book with a WDE anthurium and some leaf doodles:

This book is liberating. I used some Daniel Smith watercolor samples that Gakinme mailed me, used up the Mayan Red completely on it and I really like that red. Wish she'd made bigger sample dots.

04-29-2010, 06:43 AM
Robert, that's a nicely balanced page. Love the way that last flower turned out!

That is so cool to be able to share watercolor paints that way! I'll have to keep that one in mind....mailing dots...who knew!!!


04-29-2010, 11:57 AM
Jamie, it's so easy to share colors that way and only costs a normal stamp. Cut a piece of 140lb watercolor paper to index card size or any size that fits in the envelope (a normal envelope). Set out a row of dots of paint on it, squeeze out good sized dots like about a capful and let them dry solid. Put card inside baggie if you want to protect against water. Label card with name of paints. Mail to friend.

I got some of these samples from Daniel Smith where they did that -- that's where I got the idea of about a capful is the right size of dot. I wound up buying all the colors they sent samples of, since they have 225+ colors it can get really costly slowly accumulating them all even when they have sales. It helps a lot to swap them around.

Today I started the next page in the upper left corner:

Scavenger Hunt 174 #7: Oval
4" x 5"
Derwent watercolor pencil and waterbrush
Strathmore windpower watercolor paper

I used some unusual colors, just sketched in Imperial Violet and then warmed everything with Golden Brown, a light ochre-like or raw sienna-like color. It worked better than I thought it would! Ari was up there in the window looking so solid and fluffy that I had to do him right then. Still more of the Hunt for My Cat that I've turned the current Scavenger Hunt into.

04-29-2010, 12:40 PM
The second to the last pink iris bloomed in the yard, so Kitten encouraged me to get outside to draw or paint it before it's gone. It has one bud on it. The weather was so gorgeous that flu or not, I went outside and took the Goof Off Book with me. It didn't scan as well as it looks in person.


I did it once just in watercolor up at the upper right, and then again larger in Derwent watercolor pencils. I love how it looks in actuality. I hope when I get some more onto this page that it'll look right, the way it really does -- it's a bit light compared to the cat but then the actual flower was even lighter.

The one in my watercolor journal in Watercolor Studio is very similar but scanned better.

04-29-2010, 12:55 PM
Robert, do you STILL have the flu??? Geez....Hope your doctor is taking care of you! You're an inspiration; I've got to grab my journal and get out there.

How big is a "capful"? So many different kinds of caps, and I don't think you mean the cap of a watercolor tube---that sure wouldn't hold much!


Vivien Maloney
04-29-2010, 02:41 PM
Robert; Love your new pages and that "Ari" cat of yours always looks good. You have a kind of "Chinese watercolours" look to him. Are we going to see sketches of your new Corgi puppy? Hope you're feeling better soon.

04-29-2010, 02:43 PM
Robert, your cat looks so very cat like posed in the window. Love it. The flower is beautiful.

04-29-2010, 03:34 PM
Thank you, and thanks for the good wishes about my getting over this flu. I don't go to doctors unless there's no other choice -- I'm not dying so they're not getting anywhere near me. I've never had one actually help with anything like a flu, instead I'd catch something else in the waiting room while my immune system was busy with the first one. They wind up saying "go home and rest and drink lots of fluids." I've been doing that anyway, I don't need to pay money to be told I should've stayed home feeling lousy.

Finished the Cats-Irises page with another cat, just serendipity. I looked up and there was Miss Gemini sitting up silhouetted where Ari was earlier, so I used the same watercolor pencils to sketch her. She moved before I was done though. They're both now curled up in my bed. On the sheets, not outside the covers, inside them. Cats do know whose room it is... theirs!

Cats-Irises Page Complete
9" x 12"
Derwent watercolor pencils/wash, Daniel Smith watercolors
140lb watercolor paper, cold press

I like how the page came out, it was so perfect getting another window cat in on the lower left to complete it. Added some pen captions to the earlier irises too. I'm getting in a package of color Pigma Microns to review too, so I'll have fun with pen and wash stuff when that box arrives!

I'm loving this Goof-Off Book. My only frustration is that the platen of my scanner is just a bit too small for the full page spreads. I should start leaving a bit more space on the sides and top and bottom so that all the art comfortably gets into the image. Maybe if I rule it off before starting next time I'll actually DO that. Especially if I rule it off in pen...

04-30-2010, 01:43 PM
Next page in the Goof-Off Book... and guess who forgot his resolution to mark off borders so that the pages would scan easier. I should do a dang border that's decorative, maybe then I'd actually stay within it. I keep seeing the edge of the page as the edge of the space available. At least it's only text that'll get cut off when the whole page is scanned.

5" x 6 1/2"
Lukas 1862 watercolors
Strathmore Windpower pad 140lb cold press watercolor paper
Photo reference by BUN201 for April 30, 2010 Weekend Drawing Event.

04-30-2010, 01:48 PM
gorgeous rich colours :)

04-30-2010, 02:19 PM
Thank you! I just finished the top of the page, did a small purple flower from life. Kitten brought it in from the yard, they hadn't bloomed yesterday but now it's gorgeous and so rich in color.

Top of Flowers Page
5" x 9"
Watercolor (sunflower) and watercolor pencils (purple flower)
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper

04-30-2010, 03:47 PM
I might do a whole page in it today! Went back to the WDE and did these geese, their pose intrigued me. I've seen it before a lot of times (well, especially if I was out in a park while they're out panhandling) and always wanted to try to get that sense of their masses, where the bulk of their bodies is when they're in motion. This reference really helped me understand birds walking better.

April 30 WDE Geese
4 1/2" x 7"
Daniel Smith watercolors and Pigma Micron penwork
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper
Photo reference by BUN201 for April 30, 2010 Weekend Drawing Event

04-30-2010, 04:37 PM
...as soon as I'm not doing it on a separate little stand alone piece of all-rag watercolor paper where I could pop it out and frame it, I don't get near-misses and awful blotches but exactly the kind of loose elegant painting I always admired in the Asian traditions. I wasn't even using the proper brushes or inks.

Hey, the same with me!!!:lol: Great start, Robert, goofing off is the way!

04-30-2010, 04:52 PM
Robert! Delightful! :clap:

04-30-2010, 06:09 PM
Gemini is a pretty kitty also. So elegant there in the window. The sunflower is gorgeous. Do you have an ID on that purple flower?

04-30-2010, 07:38 PM
Nice job on new ones, Robert.
It seems like to me that the geese look really happy. :lol:

04-30-2010, 08:57 PM
Thank you! Yeah, that was how they seemed to me even in the reference -- happy, plump birds waddling up to see who brought the bag of bread crusts, buns and assorted other pastry bits to the park. That one in front caught my eye, but I had to put in the other ones too just to balance it.

I had never done geese except in profile before in a previous WDE. So that one's a small triumph.

Here's a very small drawing located around the center of the same page:

Scavenger Hunt 175 #3 (Crystal) and #4 (Shadow of something Clear)
1 1/4" x 1 1/2" (minus text)
Derwent watercolour pencils used dry
Strathmore Windpower cold press 140lb watercolor paper

Two items for the current scavenger hunt, which I'm hosting. I decided there was enough shadow on the little crystal to count as "shadow of something clear" if I positioned it carefully. I may have some more scavenger hunt sketches and paintings to tuck in around it soon.

Jo Castillo
05-01-2010, 01:17 AM
Robert, you are "goofing off" nicely! You will have a great finished journal.

05-01-2010, 09:09 AM
Thanks! I'll probably do some more in it today.

05-01-2010, 01:13 PM
And another cat for the Goof-Off Book, this one from the WDE:

Cat Portrait: Muffy
3" square
Daniel Smith watercolors
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper
Photo reference by BUN201

I've got one space left on this page on the lower left, so I'm not sure what I'll do in that area. Possibly something from life for the Scavenger Hunt, possibly another WDE image. One or the other. At any rate I've got some watercolors out and definitely want to keep goofing off today!

05-01-2010, 02:33 PM
Robert, your goof-off journal is so fun to see.

05-01-2010, 03:36 PM
Eighteen is pretty old for a kitty! :thumbsup:

05-01-2010, 03:50 PM
Thank you both! Here's the last painting for the fifth page -- it only has 15 pages, so this is the third of the way full mark. Plus cover. I will give it a cool cover treatment one of these times, maybe when my new pens arrive would be a good time.

Scavenger Hunt 175
#5: Twig with Lichen
4" square approx.
Derwent watercolour pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper

And here it is in context of the Sunflower Page as a whole. Next page I'm marking off a border and inking it or something before I even start!


Vivien Maloney
05-01-2010, 05:32 PM
Rpbert; Gorgeous page! Love those happy looking geese and your portrait of "Muffy", and the twig with lichen.

05-01-2010, 06:02 PM
Thank you! Yes, they are happy looking geese. I think that's why I had to do them -- they were too much like something out of an animated film, geese with character and a happy outlook on life.

Here's yet another cat study, including his foot for the Scavenger Hunt:

Scavenger Hunt 175
#6: Ari's Foot
3" square
Derwent watercolor pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb watercolor paper, cold press

05-02-2010, 01:18 PM
I thought I would come over and check out the journals, I knew you would be here. You are so prolific. Love them all,especially the cats as usual but that one of Ari curled up done Chinese style is one of my favorites. I will keep checking out eh journal forum.Great idea.

05-02-2010, 08:14 PM
Thank you! He's on my lap right now purring, or I'd draw him again. I've been enjoying this one a lot and surprised myself with how fast it's filling up.

05-02-2010, 10:40 PM
Here we go! Filled page six tonight, mostly with Scavenger Hunt items and one doodle with masking fluid.

Page Six of Goof-Off Book
9" x 12"
Scavenger Hunt 175 Items:
#6 foot - Ari's foot, Derwent watercolor pencils
#7 feather, Caran d'Ache Neocolor II and wash
#8 seed or nut - pecan - pen and Neocolor II as wash
#9 pine cone - Derwent watercolor pencils and wash
#10 marble - Derwent watercolor pencils, wash and penwork
#11 stone - Derwent watercolor pencils and wash
#12 Nail - pen and Derwent watercolor pencil as wash
#13 Screw - pen and Derwent watercolor pencil as wash
Plus an experiment with masking fluid as branching veins in an abstract leaf-shape that reminds me of coleus.
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad

05-03-2010, 01:31 AM
And another page begun. Sorry about the scan quality. I may have to try for a photo of this page, the lighter values dropped out so badly none of my tricks retrieved most of them.

Shells - May Watermedia Challenge
8" x 5"
Caran d'Ache Neocolor II watersoluble wax crayons
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper
Photo reference by MustCreate

05-03-2010, 10:23 AM
And another shell neatly fulfilling both the Watermedia Challenge and the Scavenger Hunt that's over half done. This scanned a little better but it's still harsher in the scan than in life.

Scavenger Hunt 175 #14: Round
3" x 4"
Derwent watercolor pencils, wash and Pebeo masking fluid
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

05-03-2010, 11:15 AM
And with a couple more Scavenger Hunt items, Page Seven is complete. I can't believe this book is filling up that fast. I seem to be sketching more thanks to this forum, it rocks!

I didn't wind up theming this page just on shells though. lol

Goof-Off Book Page Seven
9" x 12"
Caran d'Ache Neocolor II watersoluble wax crayons
Pigma Micron waterproof pens
Derwent watercolor pencils with wash
Strathmore Windpower cold press 140lb watercolor paper.

The border was a good idea, it seems to help a lot in keeping everything on the scanner platen. It even helps me straighten it up on the scanner.

05-03-2010, 11:50 AM
Wow, Robert, you just keep going. These are just great. Love the seashells.

05-03-2010, 12:36 PM
Thank you! Yeah, for some reason titling this one the Goof-Off Book is making it easy to go back to it again and again for Scavenger Hunt things, other challenges, anything I feel like doing. It doesn't hurt that those watercolor pencils are so quick and easy. I sketch with them and it's very simplified, then a quick swish and it turns into a painting. They don't let me noodle over details layering to get the exact hue like normal colored pencils, I know I'm going to have to go lightly to get the wash right.

Still, it'll be nice to get the bigger range this Wednesday and have more different greens. I had to do a fair bit of mixing on the weeds.

Scavenger Hunt 175
#17 Ivy Leaf, #18 Weeds
8" x 5"
Derwent watercolor pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

05-03-2010, 05:45 PM
the pine cone and screws are particularly well observed :) - pine cones aren't easy

05-03-2010, 06:29 PM
Ooh, I like water color pencils. A light wash and poof, the magic happens. :)

05-03-2010, 11:21 PM
Vivien, yeah, I know pine cones aren't easy. I've done them a number of times and they drive me nuts every time. This one was tough too!

Debby, thank you! Yep, that's what I've been finding out especially with these new ones. The new formula Derwent watercolor pencils are very soft and work beautifully as colored pencils dry, plus dissolve exactly as much as I want very easily. I can wash lightly and keep some linear elements or scrub it down to pure watercolor, either way they go much faster than either watercolor or colored pencils pure. That's what's making this project soar like this!

I did page 8 entirely in them and got in much more on the Scavenger Hunt:

Goof-Off Book Page 8
Scavenger Hunt 175 Items 17 - 21
9" x 12" less 1/2" borders
Derwent Watercolour Pencils
Text in assorted sizes of Pigma Micron pens
Strathmore Windpower cold press 140lb watercolor paper

05-04-2010, 02:16 AM
Wow, Robert! I cannot believe how much you sketch and how beauifully done it all is. I'm a sucker for the shells, but I love all the work you do. Wish I had a bit more time, as I'm sure I'd enjoy the scavenger hunt.

I really like seeing your full page scans when the page is done. They are always interesting, no matter how diverse the images are.

05-04-2010, 05:55 AM
Beautiful Goof-Off book!

I especially like your cat drawings :)

05-04-2010, 10:28 AM
Robert - Your sketches are always splendid. The tree branch with lichen is very well rendered. Also loved the duck family and the transparent pill bottle.

05-04-2010, 11:15 AM
Thank you! Jake, I've been working on trying to lay out pages better for at least a year now, getting to where I'm happy with how they look as a whole. In a way it's not about what the specific items on a page are so much as that I use the space well and it has a pleasing layout. I was inspired by sketchbook pages from Leonardo da Vinci and other great artists of the past.

He didn't think twice about having the bones of a foot next to some interesting plant next to the nose of a pretty girl or anything else. But they overlapped or fit neatly around each other to use all the page and laid out well overall, text blocks filled up areas that would otherwise be too small to draw in. I'm starting to get that feeling with my layouts.

Purpalia, thanks! I've been trying to draw that cat ever since I got him ten years ago as a handful of fluff, and am finally at a point where I like my cat drawings. I'll keep doing lots of them.

Hydie, thank you! I'm having a ball with those watercolor pencils, they just exploded for me into being able to do so many more drawings than other mediums. Everything I do with them goes fast and comes out so well.

05-04-2010, 12:24 PM
I've done the silly cover. Look close at the picture of the windmill, you'll see a few changes. Experiments made me think of Frankenstein made me think of that windmill scene and the lynching of the creature.

Cover of the Goof-Off Book
Pigma Micron pen and Pelikan gouache

I also took a photo of the Shells Page because I really didn't like how the light values vanished on the shell paintings.


You can see the pinkish shell isn't as white as it looked in the scan, a lot of them look much better in person. That page had the worst scan, the rest are pretty accurate with some tweaks.

05-04-2010, 02:58 PM
Love this whole thread. I keep browsing it over and over.

05-04-2010, 04:53 PM
Robert, more and more lovely sketches. These are great and very inspiring. The cover is delightful. What a great way to "goof-off"!

05-04-2010, 05:22 PM
Thank you both! I am having so much fun with this that I'm beginning to think I'll finish the entire project -- fill the book with assorted watermedia sketches of whatever prompt, challenge or idea I get at the time. Still want to try gouache on a shell.

Today I got my new 16 color set of Pigma Microns. They rock. I love the color version of these pens. I've loved these pens for years anyway and they last for ages, they also put up with getting lost and then found a decade later after unpacking that last box from several moves ago. But now I've got them in colors! Including all the colors that I think of as essential but Sanford didn't think were essential for the Prismacolors ones (also waterproof and pretty good but don't last as long as Pigma Microns).

The colored pens let me use that Claudia Nice style of pen and wash realism, complete with colored lines. I bought one of her omnibus books and studied it for some time.

Conch -- May Watermedia Challenge
photo reference by lisilk
5" x 7"
Color Pigma Micron Pens size 05
Derwent watercolour pencils
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

05-05-2010, 01:38 AM
totally awesome
love this shell
have her book, love this style
love seashells anyway
Robert, you're doing great! and having fun too! :thumbsup:

05-05-2010, 12:05 PM
Thank you, Gladys! Oh yes, I'm having a lot of fun with this book. I can't believe I've come so far with it too, it's filling up so quickly that I'll need another one soon. I'll probably finish it before I can order supplies again, but do have a new Moleskine watercolor journal coming today and some other cool new sketchbooks. I'm starting to believe it's not a waste to get multiple ones and use them, that I will relax and use them when I've got enough paper.

I bought this one for its being green and cheap, something I could relax and goof around in. Hence the title. But I think I'll need to follow it with another treated the same way since it's going so well!

Here's another small pen and color piece on the same page, upper left corner of page nine. I tried Winsor & Newton Sansodor over the color Pigma Microns to see if they stand up to oil paint thinner or oil based washes.

Yep. They do. Beautifully. More variety in media! I also reviewed the color set today and announced the winner of the Pigma Microns Giveaway on my art supply reviews blog, link is in my signature.

Leaf from Imagination
3" x 4" including text
Sakura Pigma Micron in maroon
Erengi oil pastel applied wet with Winsor & Newton Sansodor odorless thinner.

05-05-2010, 04:56 PM
The shell is magnificent, Robert. Wouldn't have thought to try the pen work against paint thinner. Great information along with great drawings/paintings.

05-05-2010, 06:23 PM
Thank you! Part of the theme of this book is weird experiments -- anything that might work on watercolor paper is fair game to try in the Goof Off Book.

I finished up Page Nine this afternoon using colored Pigma Micron pens and watercolors, also almost finished my Scavenger Hunt list. The only thing left on that list now is "Clouds" but we're not going to get any till Friday so I can finish the Scavenger Hunt then. Till then... here's the new ones!

The Goof-Off Book, Page 9
including Scavenger Hunt 175 items
#22 Blade
#23 Screwdriver (bit)
#24 Open Flame
#25 Tool (Socket Wrench Bit)
9" x 12"
Color and black Pigma Micron pens
Erengi oil pastels and Sansodor thinner
Derwent Watercolor Pencils
Daniel Smith watercolors
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper
Shell reference by Lisilk for May Watermedia Challenge

05-05-2010, 08:13 PM
I love that it's a goof off book. Some of the best ideas and art come from the moments we goof off and let our imagination run wild :)
I like your colour grid too.

05-05-2010, 11:05 PM
Thank you! It did set off a lot more experimentation than the one I have been taking seriously, so it's gotten me going in some great ways.

05-07-2010, 10:48 AM
I see fantasy work there! Nice blade! Keep the imagination going, love the use of mixed media too!

05-07-2010, 08:32 PM
Thank you! I'm working towards doing fantasy work. I might do some more this week because there are castles and a knight up in the Weekend Drawing Event hosted by oldrockchick -- some wonderful references she posted, check it out. It's in the All-Media Art Events forum, near the top of the main index.

Page Ten took about two hours, and that's not counting all the time spent watching paint dry in between the two sessions. I don't usually work this big, but I think it came out decent -- it's the view from my window, somewhat altered because I moved trees around for a better painting.

Scavenger Hunt 175, #26: Clouds
9" x 12" (with 1/2" border marked off in ink and cropped off)
Daniel Smith "Color Map" watercolors
Derwent watercolor pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper.
Unfortunately the cloud shadows vanished in the scan, that was pretty frustrating. I'll see if I can get a photo of this too.
There we go, now the cloud shadows are easier to see.

05-07-2010, 08:37 PM
Very nice view out your window. Wish mine were as nice.

05-08-2010, 12:48 AM
Great book, Robert. I just went through all of your postings. Man, you have been busy. That shell done with coloured pens is stunning. I really like your theme for the journal. Goof-Off Book pretty well covers whatever you feel like doing.

I have been meaning to ask you where this channel was, because I couldn't find it. I now have it in bookmarked and now I have to come up with a theme so I can get involved.

Keep it up, Robert. You are doing great.


05-08-2010, 01:03 AM
Thank you, Debby.

Doug, thanks! I'm so glad you're going to get involved and do a journal. The theme really could be anything -- or so broad that any subject you do would fit it. My theme on this one really is "experiments" so anything I thought was weird or put off trying is getting tried in the Goof Off Book. It was so liberating to call it that. I'm still laughing at how many serendipitous experiments came out better than expected just because I decided this was the goofing off journal.

The other thing that could help with a theme would be to pick a journal that hasn't got that many pages, so that you can switch around when you're tired of doing the theme and still finish it in a reasonable time. I like the watercolor pads for that and still intend to doctor one with Colourfix primer for a pastel journal. I could always title that one Dust and Grease, then do a themed artwork of a desert scene with a car or motorcycle spilling oil...

05-08-2010, 01:17 AM
I just bought a sketchbook that has 110 lb. paper and I am thinking it might be okay to use for water colour sketches and wc pencil sketches. As long as I don't do any heavy washes and put something behind the page I am working on to stop the next sheet from getting wet, it think it should be okay. I guess there is only one way to find out, isn't there?

What do you think, Robert? Do you think I am in business?


05-08-2010, 01:54 AM
Doug, thanks! I'm so glad you're going to get involved and do a journal. The theme really could be anything -- or so broad that any subject you do would fit it. My theme on this one really is "experiments" so anything I thought was weird or put off trying is getting tried in the Goof Off Book. It was so liberating to call it that. I'm still laughing at how many serendipitous experiments came out better than expected just because I decided this was the goofing off journal.

I like this idea of "Goof Off", I mean.. sometimes I feel so stressed about picking up a good subject, or so afraid to "ruin it all" that I end up staring at my blank page for long minutes, finally setting it aside untouched... maybe starting a journal, with no other goals than experimenting and just "drawing for the sake of it" would help?

I kinda started that, when we got our new Derwent pencils.. I started to draw a rose frow memory, just to feel how the pencils would behave... the result was a weird page full of half finished roses, but I remember it all as a really enjoyable drawing time :) :cat:

*edited typos*

05-08-2010, 03:12 AM
Beautiful! Yeah, it seems that taking photos are better than scanning? I've heard a lot of complaints that it "washes" off some colors.

I'll surely check out that event, well, at least on the thread though I'd really love to go to events. Looking forward to your fantasy works!

05-08-2010, 08:22 AM
Doug, thanks! I think your 110lb sketchbook paper would probably work for light washes. A waterbrush is a good idea. I use the waterbrush on almost any art paper without too much trouble. If it cockles, it can sometimes dry flatter when the book's closed.

Purpalia, that sounds like a wonderful idea. Your page of half finished roses probably looks really cool too. I can just imagine that!

Prismalos, great! Scavenger Hunt is all about drawing from life. Weekend Drawing Event is always cool, every week there's a new set of photo references from a different host and often a challenge to go with it. This week's is very fantasy themed with a knight and all the castles and quays and historical places.

05-08-2010, 09:03 AM
Robert, nice sketches on your page 9. I especially like the shell. It's so lively!

I agree that running multiple sketchbooks simultaneously can be the way to go for someone who works in several different media or subjects, or who likes a colored ground from time to time, or for those times when we need a larger/smaller book.


05-08-2010, 10:40 AM
Thank you! I have been doing multiple sketchbooks for a long time. Partly it's because I change mediums so often. Partly it's because of size -- the smaller ones fill up a lot faster than the large ones. I tend to use the larger ones on good days and smaller ones on bad days, so that I do something even on bad days. Last, I just like collecting and trying different sketchbooks, but it would be crazy to do that and not actually use them.

Even rotating them though, sometimes I come to a point where they're all getting full at the same time -- as I did with this month's Blick order where I had to replace the big letter size one, the little 4 x 6" one and the Moleskine watercolor journal all at the same time. I did not have the sense to put another of these pads on the order though, so I'll be going from this back to doing stuff in the Moleskine ones. I know I'll be doing more watermedia sketching after this, will just have to use something else till I get another watercolor pad.

Here's the start of my Page Eleven:

Jug at Headingham Castle, Essex
Photo reference by oldrockchick from WDE May 7, 2010
3 1/2" x 4" (minus text)
Derwent Watercolour Pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

The scan doesn't do this justice at all. I lost way too many of the light values and a lot of the darker midtones darkened too much along the way -- let's try for a photo of this to compare with the scan.

Here we go. I think this is a lot truer. It shows the soft edges and light values much better! I think I must have used thirty or forty different pencils to get exact hues on this, most of them on the jug.


05-08-2010, 11:57 AM
Great journal entries -- I'm thoroughly enjoying watching the book progress.

05-08-2010, 03:32 PM
Comparing the scaned with the photographed paintings I have a hard time believing, that those are actually the same paintings O.O
The photos look so much better :D
I especially like the one with the clouds. It's so beautiful.

05-08-2010, 08:20 PM
Great work, Robert! I particularly like the landscape/clouds. I've played around with the Derwent Inktense pencils a bit, and I like them a lot - although they are so strong when wet that it takes some thought to use them as watercolor pencils, at least for me. Very nice work.

05-08-2010, 08:24 PM
Robert - your work continues to be amazing and I cannot believe how much sketching you do. My all time favorite so far is the shell on page 9, but the view out your window is gorgeous and the pitcher on page 11 is a very close second favorite. Thanks for continuing to share so we can all enjoy!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

05-08-2010, 08:42 PM
That jug and bricks are amazing. Great work.

05-08-2010, 10:13 PM
Wow, thank you all! The jug was a lot tougher than I expected but I was happy with the results. I feel about the same way about the shell, it's probably the best piece in the entire book. Yet it came about because this is the Goof Off Book, the play-place where I don't have to get it perfect.

All this sketching is paying off! I'll just have to keep on and see what I come up with next -- and what other barriers I can bust through by experimenting.

05-09-2010, 04:03 AM
Yup, exactly, just draw and enjoy!

As always, love seeing your work, thanks for sharing!

05-09-2010, 04:11 AM
I really like the way you push the medium to the maximum when you are experimenting, this little jug is simply amazing: it is crazy how the result looks so clear and simple, while in fact there has been a lot of work put there! :)

Also, thank you for the encouragements! :)


05-09-2010, 12:38 PM
Thank you both! It's so cool that both of you are participating together on WC. Makes me dream of meeting and dating an artist someday, it's got to be so much more rewarding to share the site with your partner.

Sandra, I really appreciate it that you sign your posts with your first name too. It's much easier for me to remember and learn names that way, otherwise I wind up responding by handle even to people I've known a long time. It helps a lot with my memory problems. Your handle is cool too. Both of you have great handles.

I have yet to try Prismalos colored pencils but I probably will someday when I swing back to using colored pencils as such. Right now I'm having so much fun with the Derwent watercolor pencils that they've become my favorite set, shoving all the rest of my colored pencils off the table and back to the shelf. I've noticed each brand has its own unique working qualities, opacity, softness and proprietary colors.

05-09-2010, 02:55 PM
I also added a tiny drawing to the page with the jug -- it's right next to it on the right, with space for another next to it. So it's middle top drawing for the page a bit over an inch wide:

Scavenger Hunt 176
#1: something that flies
Derwent watercolor pencil and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper.
This morning I was just reaching for my pencils wondering what to draw when a crow fluttered toward the middle distance pecan tree and hung in this pose for about five seconds. It's from life, barely, and didn't take more than a minute or two to get it down with that fresh impression. Sorry it wasn't more detailed but birds haven't been landing on the one right by the window much lately.

I think this gives me a possibility for an interesting layout too, if I don't block it into nine different chunks but put in some varied sizes and shapes of things. I've got a good WDE to work on and a great Scavenger Hunt list, so there should be many more cool things before I post the page as a whole.

05-09-2010, 03:04 PM
Mais de rien! (You are welcome!) :)

Being both part of the same forum is very nice, because we can both share the feedback :) Also, considering the size of this community, we often share the links threads that we discovered, or discuss about a drawing :) Same when it comes to drawing, we both share the same table, and often time the same pencil set ^^ (which can be epic, when both of us are in dire need of that one shade of purple, or of the very sought-after Gunmetal in the Artists box!)

No problem about my first name, I also set it in the signature itself, I thought it might be a good thing too :)

~ Sandra

05-09-2010, 03:25 PM
Thanks. Yeah, it's magic (we actually met in a forum!) and that way we can share the set of pencils we have too! :lol:

We hope to participate on WDEs too, looks fun and looks like good practice! I have never drawn under time pressure before except for one drawing contest in 6th grade.

Thanks for sharing, can't wait for the next ones! :wave:

05-09-2010, 04:39 PM
That is so cool! Both of you can get twice as many supplies too, you're right, though some favorite colors may wind up needing extras faster.

Weekend Drawing Events rock. The current one is great with castles and a knight and other fantasy subjects, also a challenge to re-costume or replace the people or other objects in the photos. I don't worry about the time pressure, if it runs longer I take a progress scan at the two hour mark and post both the progress and the finish. That keeps it from being stressful.

Here's the next two on this page, both Scavenger Hunt items:

Scavenger Hunt 176
#3: Broken (unicorn toy)
Derwent watercolour pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper.
20 minutes

Scavenger Hunt 176
#4: Collar (of lighter fur around Ari's neck)
Derwent watercolour pencils
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper.
5 minutes

I'll post the whole page when it's complete too, of course.

05-09-2010, 07:09 PM
Here we go! Finished Page Eleven... here's the last two pieces by themselves:

WDE May 7-9, hosted by oldrockchick
2" x 8"
Derwent Watercolour Pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper

Right above it and on the left of the same page, under the jug:

Bactrian Camel
WDE May 7-9 hosted by oldrockchick
3" x 4 1/2"
Derwent Watercolour Pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper

Page Eleven as a whole:
The Goof-Off Book, Page Eleven
9" x 12" minus 1/2" borders
Derwent Watercolour Pencils and wash, Pigma Micron captions
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor paper.
Photo references for jug, Bactrian camel and Stonehenge by oldrockchick for Weekend Drawing Event May 7-9, 2010.

I seem to be falling into a habit of composing a page in the same medium, though some mix watercolors and watercolor pencils. It's kind of nice when the whole page is with penwork or the whole page in WC pencil like this though.

05-09-2010, 09:02 PM
Robert, you are so prolific. :thumbsup: The drawings are great. All different subjects, but hang together on the page the way you've laid them out.

05-09-2010, 10:45 PM
Thank you! I love using this for the different challenges. I'm going to have to do another one after it's finished, have one in my cart at Blick since I know I'll finish this one this month. I'm surprised at how quickly it filled up doing this!

05-10-2010, 12:04 AM
Another wonderful page, Robert. I hope all them critters get along, because they don't have much room to roam.;)


05-10-2010, 12:09 AM
You're right. lol

I like how the layout works though. It became an interesting mosaic to see what would fit next. The toy unicorn wound up larger than the real camel, that was a bit trippy in itself.

05-10-2010, 11:57 AM
Robert, I can only second what Debby already said, you are truly one prolific artist. Wow!
Do you intend to ever make bigger paintings out of those sketches from the WDEs or do you only do them for practice?
The jug with its wonderful colors as well as Stonehenge would make some really nice paintings. :)

05-10-2010, 01:08 PM
Nice journal page, Robert!

05-10-2010, 01:40 PM
I love your journal Robert. Make me think of starting another one too!!!!

05-10-2010, 05:34 PM
Awesome! A well orchestrated page, especially with the camel and unicorn facing each other and stone henge right under.

Maybe it's a good idea to use only one medium per page, alternating them? But then again, mixed media in one page is cool too! Hard to decide on this one. Just go with your mood, I guess. :thumbsup:

We'll certainly try out some of those weekend drawing events. I especially like the idea of morphing the reality of a subject into something different.

Thanks for sharing!

05-10-2010, 06:39 PM
Great page Robert! LOVE the Stonehenge!

05-10-2010, 07:24 PM
Thanks! Silvia, I haven't decided which of these to develop into bigger paintings. I do these sketches the way I take reference photos -- do them, enjoy them, then much later go sifting through them when I decide to set up a painting. Stonehenge will probably get into one though because I've always been fascinated with it and this is the best version of it I've ever done.

05-10-2010, 08:29 PM
3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Pigma Micron pen size 01
Derwent watercolour pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad

This isn't on the Scavenger Hunt list and wasn't from a prompt, but it's a live flower so I had to try to get it down before it fades.

Vivien Maloney
05-10-2010, 11:45 PM
Robert; Nice page from WDE! and the carnation is beautiful.
I see you are using Derwent Watercolour Pencils, a lot. I think you mentioned, in one of your posts something about a new, updated version of these? I've had my Derwent Watercolour Pencils for approx 10 or more years, so have Derwent brought out a new range since I purchased mine? I'll be intereseted to hear. I was never very impressed with mine and thought that the colours were a bit insipid but perhaps I wasn't using them strongly enough? I should have another try with them.

05-11-2010, 07:41 AM
Vivien, yes, they did bring out a new range since you bought yours. The ones I have were upgraded last year, I think. At most, no more than a couple of years ago. They're very new. Look for the tin that has a Venice painting on the cover, half washed, and a sticker that says New Formula.

Derwent has been through several iterations improving their Watercolour Pencils. Yours are probably turquoise. At one point they were natural with varnish and color dips, those are the ones I had back in the 1980s.

The newest version, these new ones I love are hexagonal with a dark green-cast blue paint on them, nearly navy blue, and silver lettering. The blunt end is slant dipped with a band of silver above the color dip that indicates the color of the pencil.

Derwent responded to all the complaints by reformulating the pencils more than once. From being a disappointing watercolor pencil they have become the best I've ever used. I am not kidding. These are soft, used dry they are good soft colored pencils -- nearly as soft as Coloursoft and good for a strong laydown even dry.

They dissolve quickly to strong color. Not quite as uncontrollably strong as Inktense, they are only one step below that and take a light hand to get tints. The solubility is just right for getting partial dissolving with a semi-dry brush and light hand so that you can get softened but still distinct marks, something I do on some of these. With a heavier hand and more water, they dissolve completely.

Using them like pans by touching the wet brush to the tip, I can get very strong color when I want it whether I'm using a water brush or a wet watercolor brush. Either way they work great. I think they may also have changed out some of the colors for new ones, but I couldn't say without seeing a tin of the old ones or a list of colors. They may have also kept some color names and changed the formula of the hue.

Some of my beloved favorites are still in the set like Bottle Green and Water Green. Mist has gone away entirely, there is no Mist in the set. A little over a quarter of the set are neutrals, browns and greys, while the spectrum is evenly divided with some good light blues and pinks. Greys are reduced to four useful greys, black and white.

Back in the day, it was hard to use them strongly enough to get strong color. If you weren't using them strongly enough, that was natural. It's a problem I had with some other watercolor pencils too until I tried some of the better ones like Cretacolor Aqua Monolith.

Derwent did much better with the AquaTone woodless watercolour pencils than with their regular ones until this version. These are as soft as the woodless AquaTone ones and come in a good 72 color range. I am thoroughly enjoying them and surprised at how much I used the 12 color set when Derwent sent that for a review sample.

My old set, which I no longer have, dated back to 1988 or so and had a picture of a trout fisherman flipping a fish out of the water. I've seen a tin with some trout laying on the bank that I think was the cover illustration that came after the trout fisherman and foreground fish curving in the air. Back then both their watercolour pencils and their Artist's colored pencils were hard and dry, very frustrating to use, but I liked the color range.

Now I'm more used to the Artist's firm hard dry texture and use them more heavily, also use them in more of a textured style rather than trying for blended burnished coverage. Coloursoft filled the gap nicely, though I wish they'd do Coloursoft in a 120 color range.

Try a 12 color set or 6 color bubble pack to see if you like the new ones. The little sets have a well chosen range -- there's a magenta in the twelver that made it a lot easier to use both warm and cool red and blue, plus a good violet and greens and a couple of well chosen browns. I think you'll probably like the new ones as much as I do.

05-11-2010, 07:57 AM
Your page is fabulous and also the information about what media your using, thank you for sharing. I am going to have to try the watercolour pencils for sure. The colours are a lot richer than I imagined.

05-11-2010, 10:41 AM
Robert - I loved looking at the page as a whole. You are a very vesatile artist. I wish some of your enthusiasm passes on to me, cause I am a lazy sketcher.

05-11-2010, 01:12 PM
Thank you both!

Hydie, I've seen you do scavenger hunt sketches, I too hope my enthusiasm catches you up into it because you're so good.

Alfreda, I've tried several brands of watercolor pencils, so far my top favorite are the new formula Derwent watercolor pencils. They are softer and much stronger than their old ones or any other ones I have except for a set of 48 Staedtler ones that I think might be student grade -- those were good too.

Here's what I did this morning to the right of yesterday's carnation:

Ari Asleep with Plaid Pillow
3" x 4 1/2"
Sakura Pigma Micron size 05 pens in Black, Brown, Sepia, Red, Green, Blue
Derwent watercolour pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad

I was going to do the pen and ink challenge flower, but I looked over. He was sound asleep in a cute position and he was good this time -- he didn't move till I was done with the washes. I was amazed. He's given me a good 15 minute pose with this one.

05-11-2010, 01:21 PM
Robert, the carnation is excellent. Ari looks charming. I really like the pen and wash style. I need to work on that since I like it.

05-11-2010, 01:31 PM
Thank you! Enjoy trying it. They're easier than pure watercolor, always have been for me because I can pencil first lightly, correct any problems at the pencil stage, clean up the lines a bit in inking and from there it's like a coloring book, very easy compared to when I'm doing watercolors without sketching under them so that the graphite lines don't show.

Another reason why this is the Goof Off Book, it's much easier to watercolor with the penwork than without!

05-11-2010, 04:06 PM
Wonderful art journal Robert! I love how you have fitted so much onto each page, and managed make each page look vibrant and interesting. Love this goof-off book!
Isn't this forum great! It's about time that Wet Canvas had a place like this!

05-11-2010, 04:32 PM
Camellia for May Pen & Ink Challenge
4 1/2" x 5" approx.
Color Pigma Micron pens size 05
(Dark Green, Light Green, Green, Pink, Red, Yellow, Orange)
Derwent watercolour pencils and wash
Photo reference by Queen_Bee.

Cairo, thank you! I agree with you 100% -- this forum is what got me started on this journal and it's come out lots better than I ever hoped. It's great!

05-11-2010, 07:43 PM
And there's more! Two little Scavenger Hunt items. Of course I did the pen nib of the pens that I've been using on all of these. Everyone else was doing fountain pens or pretty dip pen nibs, why not draw the one in hand?

Scavenger Hunt 176
#5: Pen Nib
#6: Scar on my right hand
Pigma Micron color pens size 05
Derwent watercolour pencils with wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.

Got the scar when I was five playing Superman, plunging my hand through the screen door window banging it open. It didn't hurt for a while, my grandmother was more upset than I was. I was just trying to memorize how it looked bleeding and get the color of blood right, but trying to draw it like a comic book back then was much harder than turning my hand over and glancing back and forth while using the hand. At least now I can use my hand!

05-11-2010, 09:18 PM
The flower is vibrant. I agree, use the pen in hand. :lol: We are the sum of our scars. Great story about playing superman.

05-11-2010, 10:09 PM

05-11-2010, 11:15 PM
I was offline for a long time, very irritated about my access wobbling out. But while offline I started to cut an apple for a snack... and realized that was in the Scavenger Hunt list. So here it is. One more space left on Page 12 and when I do the next ... you'll see the whole, together. It's actually working despite the very disparate elements.

Scavenger Hunt 176
#7: Sliced (Apple)
3" x 2"
Color Pigma Micron pens size 05
Derwent watercolour pencils washed
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad

From life. This is the same apple that appeared whole on page 8.

05-12-2010, 12:06 AM
Some more very good drawings and paintings, Robert. I really like your white carnation. It looks very dramatic. The pen work looks great with the the washes on others, like the apple and Ari. I have the old Derwent wc pencils and really have no clue how to use them. Guess I should experiment with them and my Inktense.


05-12-2010, 08:31 AM
Oh, cat work! Those scavenger hunt sketches are cool and superman moments are ever so priceless! :D

05-12-2010, 01:48 PM
Doug, thank you! The old Derwent watercolor pencils are not like the new Derwent watercolor pencils. Try one of the new ones from open stock or pick up a small set like a six color blister pack or 12 color set. You'll be surprised at the difference. The new ones are almost as soft as Inktense and nearly as intense. They are much easier to use and have become my favorite watercolor pencils.

Watercolor pencils are one of those mediums that it really helps a lot to have good ones. So compare the new ones and then see if you want to keep the old ones or sell the vintage set to support getting new ones. Right now I think their new formula is not only their best, but beats the several other brands I've tried for ease of laydown and strength of color once dissolved, as well as easy solubility. But if I recall correctly, the old ones dissolved easily too.

One way to use them is just like watercolor pans -- touch the tip with a wet brush to pull off color and paint it on. With the new ones, lay down a smooth light layer and wash over it, scrub harder if you don't want any of the marks to show. They're fun, but it's tricky and I'm getting better at them with every page of this journal.

Raymond, thank you! Yes -- oddly enough despite how horrible it was for the grandparents I was vacationing with at the time, that is actually one of my happier memories. Both the sheer joy of running across the kitchen to slam out through the door (I did honestly expect it to open), the fun of staring at it and watching the blood with an artistic eye, the kick of getting stitches like some really tough kid... it was a cool experience. One of my few tastes of normal boyhood.

05-12-2010, 06:21 PM
Fini! The long and difficult Page Twelve that took much more than a day or two is complete! I love this page as much as the others, but I had some bad days in there where I was only doing one or two sketches.

The Goof-Off Book, Page 12
9" x 12" less 1/2" borders all sides
Pigma Micron pens in colors
Derwent watercolour pencils 72 color set, with wash
Strathmore Windpower watercolor pad, 140lb cold press.

I can't believe there's only three pages left in it. I might wind up doing some marker cartoon or gouache doodle on the inside back cardboard piece when it's done... or just ballpoint scribbles ... or maybe not. I'll decide when I get there. I like how it's turning out.

I'm also boggled that I only started this in the middle of April and now it's nearly done. I've never finished a sketchbook in a month and even with fewer pages, this is a big surprise for me.

Today I got my new A4 Moleskine Watercolor Folio from Dick Blick though. So whether I overlap these and give the big Moleskine its own thread, or just finish the Goof-Off Book before breaking its virginity and doing something on one of its blindingly perfect clean new pages, that one will probably be my next project. With 60 pages it may take quite a bit longer to fill, even if I go on doing groups of smaller works per page and sketching daily.

Vivien Maloney
05-12-2010, 07:11 PM
Robert; love your Journal pages! Thanks for all the info on Derwent Watercolour Pencils. I've had my set for over 10years, so sounds like its the older, less intense ones I have. I didn't buy them in a tin, just bought them individually, so I cant tell, but I've never been very satisfied with them. The new version sounds great. I might invest in them at some stage but I'm still getting used to my new Intense Pencils, which I love.

05-12-2010, 07:25 PM
Robert, I am always truly amazed at your work! So inspiring and beautiful.

05-12-2010, 10:03 PM
Thank you both! Dena, I'm so glad you like this style. I'm still working on it and getting happier with the results on every page.

Vivien, you're definitely using the older ones. I think the new formula only dates back to last year or at most 2008. They are much closer to the Inktense texture, soft and strong -- solubility is a lot like Inktense, but they're not staining and will re-wet as easily as regular watercolors. Lighter colors tend to be a bit opaque, darker ones or mid tones turn satisfyingly transparent, any of them become transparent in thin layers.

It may help to try small sketch examples with your Inktense too. I'm having more fun getting used to them by small paintings than by just swatch studies, but swatches can help too. When I chart them, I leave space blank to drag color off the sketched part and see how strong they are painted on by wet brush to the point. I keep the swatch chart handy while I'm working with them to know which shade of brown comes out vivid gold when thinned and which one turns the right soft beige for my cat and so on.

05-13-2010, 04:37 AM
While all of your sketches are beautiful by themselves, I'm always even more impressed when seeing the whole page completed and all together.

How dare you to call this a goof-off book, when it is obviously so neat and pretty arranged and tidy? ;) :D

The white carnation is fantastic, the background color really works to make that white-creamish color of the flower pop out. The superman-story was cool :). I felt reminded of a commercial I've seen loooooong time ago, where some guys would run through glass windows and walls as if they were made of paper and not bricks. Always wished I could do that, too.

Did I mention that I like the way you always mention the media used for your sketches, that's a good habbit and I'm going to try to do that, too, in the future.

05-13-2010, 06:18 PM
Thanks! I called it The Goof Off Book to let myself do whatever I wanted in it rather than get caught up in trying to make everything perfect. So I've been doing experiments in almost every painting or sketch, trying out things I saw in books, tutorials, videos or other artists here at WC.

I loved Leonardo da Vinci's sketchbooks and any other sketchbooks by brilliant historical artists, especially realists. For years I wanted to do one like that -- varied subjects, all well rendered, all studies that could later be used to develop more complex, larger works possibly in other mediums. Without intending to, The Goof Off Book became one that's turning out almost as cool as theirs, so I get happier the farther I go in it.

I might be getting too organized though with doing one medium per page, might break it up and do different mediums on a page again. I did two watercolor paintings this afternoon (paint is drying) but may go back to pen with watercolor or the quick dramatic watercolor pencils for the next ones. I'll edit these two into this post as soon as they're touch-dry and scanned.

Scavenger Hunt 176
#9: Favourite Food
3 1/2" x 4 1/8"
Lukas 1862 watercolor
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.

Scavenger Hunt 176
#10: Cooking Utensil
2 1/4" x 6 1/2"
Lukas 1862 watercolor monochrome Payne's Grey
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.

05-13-2010, 07:22 PM
Impressive stuff Robert. I like the experimentation with notes. I'm also impressed by your willingness to spend time sketching the more mundane things in life. That is good practice but I haven't found the motivation to do that.


05-13-2010, 09:14 PM
I like the finish to the previous page. The shells are just beautiful. The pen and wash technique really makes the shells stand out nicely. Your experiments are very much appreciated because I'm learning about media I don't use (yet) by seeing what you are doing with them. Thanks.

05-14-2010, 08:38 AM
Thanks, David! Check out the Scavenger Hunt thread in Artwork from Life forum. A lot of the small mundane things from life are Scavenger Hunt items from the lists posted every 9 days. Sometimes it's a stretch for me to find something that fits the list description since my everyday life isn't much like other people's -- since I don't cook and have some mobility limits, any of the kitchen stuff is very difficult for me, also I don't go out so I don't always see trucks, buildings other than the ones right in my window and so on.

Debby, thank you! I love doing shells. I could fill an entire page with shells easily, they're one of my favorite subjects. I might, come to think of it, that'd be fun and the May Challenge is shells.

Here we go with another Scavenger Hunt item that I did yesterday right next to the spoon. Couldn't post at the time because my access went down.

Scavenger Hunt 176
#11: Knife
2 1/4" x 6 1/2"
Derwent watercolour pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.

Not quite as mundane as the spoon. I loved its curving shape and interesting details.

05-14-2010, 09:33 AM
I like your metalwork, Robert! Great interpretation of the shiny blade. Do you usually wet the paper before laying down the wc pencils? I tend to put too much water or brush too much of the pigment that it becomes smudgy. It's quite hard to control when water is added :(

05-14-2010, 12:59 PM
Very nice start!
Spoon and knife look awesome, yet they appear to be very dark. I guess that's just because of the scanner again?
BTW, what kind of knife is this? Can't remember to have seen anything like that before.

If I'll find the time I'll happily join you over in the WDE and in the Scavenger Hunt this week :)

05-14-2010, 01:17 PM
Raymond, thanks! When I'm using the pencils I usually start drawing on dry paper, shade carefully as if I was going to keep it dry and go a bit lighter than I would if I were going to do it as pure colored pencils. Drawing onto a wet page produces a full strength soft-edged line, and while I've done that occasionally afterward in accent darks, I don't do it often.

Silvia, thank you! Spoon and knife were deliberately that dark, for once the scan didn't let me down. I did the spoon late in the day and the knife after dark, also the blade isn't that bright. Shiny but not very bright. It depends on what's reflecting into it and I am wearing black. It's a folding knife my daughter gave me, looks like a sort of all-purpose camping knife for skinning animals, cutting up food, cutting rope, doing all the things you need to do with a knife outside.

I think the blade is precisely the length to be legal in several major cities like Chicago, I've seen some others with this style and a blade the full length of the handle. Oh, and it could be used for fighting but not really as a quick draw, more that if you got attacked in camp and happened to have it out, it could be very handy being both sharp and heavy. I collect knives, we're both into knives and blades, unfortunately I'm not the sort of collector that labels everything and knows what brand it is and all that.

Right -- next thing on page thirteen!

A Nice Cuppa
8" x 3 3/4"
Sakura Pigma Micron colors size 05
Daniel Smith "Color Map" watercolors
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.

There's one small space to fill on the left and then I'll post the whole page. But this one was crazy. Ten minutes to sketch, including corrections. Three hours to ink it with stippling and cross hatching. Stop me before I stipple again! Ten or fifteen minutes with watercolor including watching some areas dry to add the next bit... and there it is. Due to the scan, the pink teacup is more blotchy than it looks in reality.

05-14-2010, 03:40 PM
Third go at the Pen & Ink May Project... the Barn reference. If I do the Roosters too then I'll have gotten them all. The camellia on an earlier page was from this challenge and so was the teacup. Now I've done the Barn and finished off page 13... at last!

Old Barn
2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Color Pigma Micron pens size 05
Daniel Smith watercolors
Strathmore Windpower cold press 140lb pad.
Photo reference by greymist

The completed Page Thirteen as a whole!

The Goof-Off Book, Page Thirteen

05-14-2010, 03:53 PM
Thanks for clearing that up :D.
I already assumed that it must be some sort of hunting or fishing knife, but only because hunting and fishing are some of those outdoor activities I really know nothing about ;).

Oh my your latest sketch is just awesome :D! How many hours did you spend there stippling???

05-14-2010, 05:21 PM
Three hours stippling and hatching the pink teacup still life. That's probably the slowest, most difficult drawing in the entire volume. Thank you!

It was about an hour to do the barn sketch, but that one's only ACEO size. I didn't realize it was exactly ACEO/ATC size till after I'd finished and gone to post it! Measured it and laughed -- but no way will I cut it out, this barn stays in the book!

Just for fun, I got an idea for the inside back cover of the Goof-Off Book. Sketched it in fast from memory and sprayed it with Blick Gloss Fixative (Varnish) so that it wouldn't smear at all from being handled while I do pages fourteen and fifteen. I did the cover out of order too, that's no big deal.

Inside Back Cover, Goof Off Book
9" x 12"
Derwent Tinted Charcoal, "Peat" color
Heavy 1/8" thick cardboard back board of Strathmore Windpower watercolor pad. Sketched from memory. Yes, Ari has been neutered.

05-15-2010, 11:37 AM
Great page 13. I like all of them. The metal objects are fantastic. The teacup came out exceptionally well. However, I appreciate your time notes on stippling. Think I'll give that technique a pass. :lol: And, the back cover is delightful, a perfect ending. Wow, you only have 2 more pages to go. Do you have another book lined up?

05-15-2010, 03:03 PM
Yep! I'm using great will power not to start in it prematurely. I want to finish The Goof Off Book first. I bought a Moleskine Folio watercolor journal, size A4, which is just a little smaller and will fit nicely on the scanner. It has 30 sheets or 60 pages if I use both sides. Though the paper's thinner it's sized on both sides.

Because Blick sent the wrong one in my main order, the A4 Moleskine Folio sketchbook, I've also got that to get started on. So they'll each get their own thread probably. One for various dry media and ink drawings, one for watercolor and water mediums.

Two more to go. Got to decide what to start page fourteen with today!

05-15-2010, 06:19 PM
Another good page today. Wow. This is almost complete... one more page to go and it's on to the Watercolor Folio!

Goof Off Book, Page Fourteen
9" x 12" less 1/2" borders
Derwent watercolour pencils and wash
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.

05-15-2010, 06:48 PM
That was fast Robert. A whole page. The trees out your window are delightful. Wish my view were as nice. The detail on the handle of the butter knife is awesome. Great job on the glass stopper. The shadow work is so realistic. I assume that the toy is one of Ari's?

05-16-2010, 01:01 AM
Thank you! It wasn't fast though, I started when I got up this morning and posted it six or seven hours later, though I had some breaks in between. I just didn't scan it till the whole page was done.

There's actually a video store and a pizza parlor and some garages visible through some of the trees. I just don't put them into the paintings because I haven't tried to do one with the architecture yet. The trees really are this beautiful, I just simplify the background to more trees.

05-16-2010, 12:36 PM
Great additions to your journal, Robert. That orange just pops off the page with that dab of orange in the shadow. The 'cuppa' sketch may have taken you a long time to do, but it was worth it because it turned out great. The barn, spoon and knife turned out good as well.

The view from your window is well done with you handling all those greens beautifully. The detail on the knife handle is very well done.

I just told my wife what you said about buying some new Derwent wc pencils from open stock. I wish we had an art store near us, but the closest one is about a three hour drive and it is highly unlikely they would have them. I always get my art supplies from Blick or Dakota. My dear wife told me to order the new ones and a wc journal or two as well. She is a great enabler.:evil:

I have been playing with the old Derwents and I think I would use the new ones, because I can do it while sitting in my trusty recliner. Between you and my wife, I have no hope of curing my addiction to art supplies.:evil: :thumbsup: :lol:


05-16-2010, 01:30 PM
Thank you! Blick's got the best price on the new formula Derwent watercolour pencils and their stock is definitely the new formula with the Venice sketch on the tin. A set there would be cheaper than open stock pencils in person, since Blick never charges retail. They range up to 54% off in the tins at Blick, and have a couple of interesting hardwood sets.

Art supplies addiction... I love these so much that the 24 color hardwood set tempts me even though I've got the full range and a 12 color tin. Why I'd need a pretty wood box set is beyond me. But the rate I'm using these, I might actually use them up if I splurged on the pretty wood box.

05-17-2010, 03:29 AM
These sketches are just amazing Robert, I am AMAZED at the efficiency and beauty of your work.
Also, now I want a set of wc pencils, BUT hubby isn't that sympathetic, we just don't have the money, and in Australia, they ain't gonna be cheap!!!!
Anyway, I am watching with keen eyes!!!!!

05-17-2010, 11:47 AM
I like your shiny objects, Robert! Nice work! Darn it, how I wish Blick wasn't international to us. Goods would be bombarded by tax and shipping costs! :(

05-17-2010, 11:54 AM
Robert, i had time, so checked out your goof off book today- very inspiring! Some really nice sketches in there. I love your kitties, and the view! Kudos!:cat:

05-17-2010, 01:20 PM
Rachel, thank you! So glad you like my cats -- cats are my favorite subject and I've got two live ones to chase down and paint/draw when they're in the mood.

Raymond, thanks! If you use the toll free number with Blick or email them, you can find out the exact shipping costs of any given package. Sometimes their coupons and general prices are so low that it might cost less using them even though they're shipping internationally.

They charge exact cost of shipping and use FedEx, which is very reliable. I haven't ever had busted packages from FedEx and they're usually a bit faster than UPS. They also have the best customer service of any online or offline company I've ever used. I am not kidding, they beat them all including places that aren't art supplies.

Can't do anything about the tax or import duties though. But at least you could find out what it is and compare. Some of the prices you quote for supplies that you get at stores shock me, but online companies have a lot less overhead so I'm used to their prices ranging from 1/2 to 1/4 off just about anything.

Stacey, thank you! I've tried the Mont Marte watercolour pencils too, a friend in Australia sent me some. The range is only 36 but they're pretty good for student grade watercolour pencils. You can probably get all the effects that I do with the Mont Marte ones, especially on a good toothy cold press watercolour paper.

Just to try them, a set of Mont Marte would probably perform adequately -- texture is a bit harder but they do dissolve nicely and the range is well chosen, they are fairly strong -- good student grade. Not down in the children's category. Much better than the Mont Marte coloured pencils that aren't watercolor actually, I think it's the gum arabic binder that makes the texture consistent across most watercolour pencils.

There are also some online art supply companies Down Under that have better prices than the store prices on those, which are loony cheap, or on Derwent. I do think the New Formula for Derwent watercolour pencils beats every other product on the market, but happily for you, Derwent is also the #1 import brand on your continent. It's at least going to be available unlike such brands as Prismacolors and so on. Also, the price difference between Derwent here vs. there or other brands like Caran d'Ache that do get to Australia, the Derwents aren't marked up as much.

So good luck at saving up pocket money to pick some up sometime. I've used a 12 colour set of New Formula Derwent with really good results -- the set of 12 has an excellent range and includes a magenta, so you do get both a warm red and a cool red in the small set. That's something that bugs me a lot on small sets of many brands, the red will just be the warm red and something important like violet or pink will be left out. Magenta shades up into a very nice light cool pink either with extra water or blending with white.

My review set is only 12 colours and I've done almost everything I can do with the full range. I bought the full range because I like having full range on any colour pencils I like -- but not because I really needed it, the 12 colour set is so good that I'll be taking it along on plein air excursions and use it up completely.

Mont Marte ones are so cheap though that I think if you skipped one Starbucks visit you'd probably be able to pick up a set of those just to try the medium. I hope you do try them, watercolour pencils are so versatile. Anything you can do with watercolour pans, you can do with watercolour pencils. Anything you can do with colour pencils, you can do with watercolour pencils. This itself might be a way to persuade hubby to get you the Derwents -- point out that a set of 12 of those will be just as good as getting a set of Derwent colour pencils and a set of watercolours.

I forgot to post today's art! Right, we're out in the fibro fog today... or at least I am, and my cat's not articulate enough to remind me "Post your art, Robert, even though you drew the dog instead of me." Also, he's still asleep on the bed while the dog Zoe, a Siberian husky, is now romping around the yard playing with the other dogs. She has blue eyes, they were a little hard to see at that distance and shadowed so I did them with a steel-blue grey.

Scavenger Hunt 177
#1: Looking through a Doorway (Zoe in the Garden Shed)
#2: Corner of Something (Rubber Cement Remover)
5" x 5 1/2"
Derwent watercolour pencils
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.

05-17-2010, 03:19 PM
Love that page fourteen !!! :cat:

05-17-2010, 03:55 PM
Puppy!!! I think Huskies and other sled dogs are so handsome. Love the ones with blue eyes. Precious the way it's in a doorway.

05-17-2010, 05:26 PM
Thank you! Here's another one from the Scavenger Hunt, finishing off the top of Page Fifteen. I don't know if I'll finish with one large painting or more than one smaller painting, but what's left is one big contiguous space.

Scavenger Hunt 177
#3: A Mirror (Self Portrait)
2 1/2" x 5"
Derwent watercolour pencils and Pigma Micron pen
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.

05-17-2010, 10:59 PM
Brave of you to do a self portrait. I don't think I could manage that. Well rendered.

05-17-2010, 11:17 PM
Thank you! It's not my best one, but you can tell it's me and that's good enough since this is the Goof Off Book.

05-18-2010, 12:57 AM
Hey Robert. These are all good, but my two favorites of all of yours so far are the self portrait and the landscape from your window. :clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

05-18-2010, 02:27 AM
Good job on the self portrait. Do you use the Derwent wc pencild dry any time, or do you add water to all of the painting?


05-18-2010, 02:32 AM
Jake, thank you! Glad you like my self portrait. I love the landscape out of my window too, I keep painting it in all seasons and now I'm coming around near the date that we moved in... that's very cool.

Doug, thanks! I do use the Derwent watercolor pencils dry sometimes, just haven't done that in this book since it was on watercolor paper and I've been exploring watercolor techniques with them.

And here it is...

The finale...

The very last painting on the very last page...

Corals with School of Small Fish
5 1/2" x 8"
Daniel Smith watercolors including Duochrome and Iridescent colors
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.
Photo reference by lisilk for May 14-16 Weekend Drawing Event.

And here is the final page of The Goof Off Book as a whole!

The Goof-Off Book, Page Fifteen
9" x 12" less 1/2" borders
Daniel Smith watercolors, Derwent watercolor pencils and Pigma Micron pens
Strathmore Windpower 140lb cold press watercolor pad.

I can't believe I finished it. I'm sitting here a bit stunned... the grand project complete. I don't think I've worked this sustained on any art project for that many sessions that long before. That's pretty cool. Thanks again to everyone who voted this forum into existence, it's sure stimulated me to something I never expected to do!

I set aside my two new A4 Moleskine Folios, one Sketchbook and one Watercolor, until I finished this book. It's done, so tomorrow I'll start a new thread with a new book... and keep up with the All-Media Book too since I rediscovered it and have been doing things in it.

05-18-2010, 03:46 AM
THANKYOU Robert for the information, greatly helpful!!!!!!!!
This page is becoming amazing already!!!!!

And CONGRATS on finishing!!!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

05-18-2010, 01:21 PM
Thank you! :D

It's the morning after and I still like the coral painting.

I flipped through it slowly and have this warm glow of achievement. This is also the first time I have filled a sketchbook and none of the pages make me wince with embarrassment. Usually on showing someone my sketchbook, it'll be "Oh yeah, this is a good one. Er, that page was something I was fooling around with and it didn't work. Uh, those marks, I was just sort of trying something. Ugh, I couldn't do cats at all back then. Well, this page is really old..." and so on, making excuses for half of what's in it.

Then I'd look at some of my friends' sketchbooks, like a certain cartoonist friend and another friend who did manga art, jaw agape because from the first page to the last, their pages were completely full of studies and small sketches that made sense. Even if unfinished, they looked good in that friend's style. I'd see improvement from the beginning to the end of a full sketchbook on those friends, but the cartoonist's first pages were still funny and recognizably his. The manga artist's first pages were loose penciled sketches of characters in motion and they did look reasonably accurate for manga proportions.

Then I'd look through the sketchbooks of people like Leonardo da Vinci or drool at travel journals by people from the 18th century onwards who used watercolors for postcards instead of bringing a camera. I'd be awed. I know that the next time I get to travel for pleasure, I'll be prepared to do a good travel journal.

This project is empowering.

I'm good enough to satisfy myself on life sketches or photo references of most things that I want to draw. I can laugh off my goofs because you can still tell what it is -- it's not like I'm doing potato-head people any more or blob-cats with fox ears.

I've also discovered that the watercolor pencils are the best, fastest way to get down an impression of something real in a short time. That ink details will greatly speed the process with watercolor and add clarity. That Claudia Nice's approach of using colored pens is spectacular with watercolor and a little less intrusive than black pen work on a watercolor -- though either can look good.

I'm very happy with it. That's the best I've ever done. And it's dated, so the next time I do the best I've ever done I can look back at this turning point with a smile and go "Yeah, that was one of my most fun turning points."

I still remember the empowerment when I first got the proportions on a human face right and recognized the person. When I could get eyes that looked like eyes instead of like Egyptian symbols for eyes. I still remember the very first time a sketch looked like a cat -- an actual cat -- not a rat or a dog or any other animal. So these turning points are pretty important happy memories of my life and I'm so happy to be able to share one with you. It's a peak experience, that kind of snap.

Today, I can sketch in water media. I have a reward set aside for this too. I ordered some new supplies from Blick at the start of the month including an A4 Moleskine Folio watercolor book. Blick sent the A4 Moleskine Folio Sketchbook instead, something I'd meant to try later on. They were generous enough to let me keep the Sketchbook and sent on the Watercolor Folio right away, it came days and days ago.

I didn't want to put one mark on either of these beautiful new Moleskine books till I finished The Goof Off Book because I know me and projects -- if I got distracted, you'd see a year between the date I left off and the date I remembered I was doing this one. Today, I can pick up one or both of those virgin fancy sketchbooks and deflower them. Watch for two new threads.

Enjoy. And keep filling your art journals, it's an incredible feeling to finish and pick up a new volume!

05-18-2010, 03:06 PM
Congrats on the finish! :clap: The coral and fishes are just wonderful. Great from beginning to end.

05-18-2010, 03:23 PM
it's lovely when you make these leaps forward in skills and confidence :>) well done

05-18-2010, 03:26 PM
Oh Robert , what can I say...I've just sat and read this in its entirety and I was enthralled. What a wonderful journey! My personal faves are the chinese art Ari, the sunflower, the pink shell, the coral reef.....well all of them really:lol: I have rated this thread and I encourage others to do so, its an inspiration:clap: :clap:
:wave: Marie

05-18-2010, 03:47 PM
Wow, thank you! This rocks. I'm so happy to be able to share this moment, this sea-change in how I do things. I hope it encourages all of you to pick up your journals and try things that you never thought you could do -- the title set me free to do stupid cool risky things and they all worked!

05-19-2010, 01:34 AM
I think the best part of the journal is that we make it for ourselves and we're having fun every single step of the way without the stress. Congratulations and thanks for the inspiration too!

05-19-2010, 09:00 AM
Robert, I've definitely been away too long! Your work just blows me away! I can't even say I have ONE favorite in the whole thread.. but the most memorable (you are so prolific!!) are the cat paintings of Ari, and the sunflower, the spoon and knife, and your self portrait! You really have gotten the watercolor pencils down. I am amazed at how much you can do in a day, YOU are empowering. I feel like drawing now :) .. what a terrific job, congratulations!! :)

05-19-2010, 01:31 PM
It's a trip innit?
Nice job on your last page. :clap: :clap: :clap:

05-19-2010, 01:35 PM
Raymond, you're so right. Being able to do my favorite subjects and not sell them even if they come out stunningly just-right perfect is a joy to me. There were times I was so broke I could not afford to spend any time in my sketchbook or keep even the smallest sketch, everything had to sell just for me to survive and of course, people wanted my favorites first. They could see they were the good ones!

Rose, thank you! I remember leaving behind a set of 72 Derwent Watercolour Pencils in New Orleans in 1996 because I couldn't handle them. I didn't know what to do with them and was so afraid of messing up that I didn't give them the time to learn. Doing this book improved my mastery of those pencils. It's not that visible, but the farther along I got in it the faster and easier I was sketching and then washing.

I don't sketch as heavily when I'm going to wash. I know where I can wash in light color from around it, so it doesn't take as long to color anything in. I just do the mid shadows and darks, the rest of the light values happen with moving the brush around -- yet painting goes fast because I know where everything is and can see it.

I've also, thanks to this book, been spending more of my day painting and drawing than I have in a long time. The weather's getting nice so I spend more time actively doing something than just resting and posting online.

Thank you both so much! I'm glad this inspired you! The one thing I enjoy as much as drawing and painting is egging on my friends to do more drawing and painting too. I can't wait to see what you put in your journals!

05-19-2010, 06:03 PM
Congrats on the finish and all that you accomplished with the Goof Off Book. And thank you for sharing it all with us as well as the thoughts that went along with it. I always love reading your posts and seeing your work. Feels like a good visit with an old friend when I can converse with you or read your posts to others.

05-22-2010, 02:14 PM
Thank you! Dena, I feel that way too about the friends I make on WC. I see so much of your lives and art, we talk about everything... this is my social life. I'm housebound so my friends are 98% online. You've been in that category for a while now to me. >^..^< (purring smiley).

I think the All-Media Book is the one that's becoming the new Goof Off, the one where I do anything that comes to my head. Folio One and Water Folio One are themed sort of, one by an idea and the other by medium. Actually both by mediums since Folio One can't take anything wet. But the All-Media one is on watercolor paper too so I use sketch & wash, or pens, or anything in it, some pencil stuff, some charcoal. It's looser. I do exercises in it.

05-26-2010, 03:06 PM
Wow you did this fast! Well done! Love it all... but my favorites are the very first palms you did, the shell, stonehenge, love the "old jug" and of course - all of ari's sketches, esp the one at the window and the one where she slept for you for 15 minutes! But when all the sketches are put together on the same page, page after page, its amazing! I like the little ones tucked in here and there. Its small things I should start off with.
You should be very proud of yourself! Certainly inspirational to me! :-)

05-26-2010, 04:38 PM
Robert, I should turn all my started sketchbooks into "goof off" books, and then maybe I would use them. Each one has been started for a different purpose, and then I don't follow through. And then I do something that I don't like, and feel like it's ruined and don't use it again.

I like your watercolor experiments, and I love the duck. He doesn't look camouflaged to me. He's bright and vibrant and beautiful.

05-27-2010, 06:46 AM
Robert, Your Goof-Off Book is amazing - i have no other words, but that is really amazing... i wish i could look at it like a book in real life...

i Particulary like the Conch -- May Watermedia Challenge - that came out SOO nicely!!

Look forward to seeing more :)

05-28-2010, 08:37 PM
Wow, thank you! I think it's spawned several successors.

Water Folio is a big A4 Moleskine Folio watercolor book that's getting this sort of painting, three pages in it are done.

Folio One is a big A4 Moleskine Folio sketchbook I got from mistake that I'm turning into a pen and ink sketchbook mainly, with some other dry media like colored pencil. It will not stand up to washes.

All-Media Book is getting treated like the Goof Off Book in its purpose of exercises, challenges and so on. Right now I'm doing a "Start a Sketchbook Habit" series of 21 exercises in a workshop on Ning, I'm on number 12 and most of those are in All-Media.

Then "Itty Bitty Book of Kitty" is just for fun, a themed Moleskine Volant only half an inch bigger than an ATC on the long end. It's all pen and ink cats, most of them will be Ari but I'll have some good guest cats in there too with captions. Already have one guest kitten posted, six pages in it.

Enjoy! I don't seem to be able to do one at a time.

05-29-2010, 04:24 AM
Those folio sketchbooks are a much better size to work on aren't they?

Is the paper in the folio sketchbook the same as the usual moleskines? or is it different? I'd like a folio one with that curious waxy paper as I like the way cp's, pencil and ink work on it. You are the first person I've known who has one so I could ask :)

I've got a folio watercolour one that hasn't been touched yet as I've got ongoing ones of a similar size.

05-29-2010, 03:06 PM
That curious, cream colored very heavy sketchbook paper that's slightly waxy is what's in the Folio Sketchbook. The Watercolor Folio has the same slightly off white cold press watercolor paper as the Watercolor Moleskine. A4 size fits on a scanner without losing a half inch or so to the size of the scanner bed.

I got the sketchbook by mistake, but I'm glad I've got it now. Folio One is probably going to be mostly pen and ink, but I might do some pencil in there too and did do one colored pencils piece to see how the paper took them. Same as on the little Volant ones.

It is not the very thin paper of my pocket Moleskine, the one with 192 pages has a different surface and is much thinner. It's the heavy cream colored sketchbook paper used when Moleskine says it is a "sketchbook" instead of the thin paper for "unlined" books. They're all archival.

I got a new Large Moleskine Watercolor 5" x 8 1/2" but it may stay in the drawer till I finish the A4 Folio, since that has the same paper and is working out so well.

05-29-2010, 04:16 PM
oh great! I've been saying ever since I got my first moleskine (waxy paper) that I wished they made them larger - I find the 'large' one is small to me! I shall invest in a folio as that's very much the size I prefer to sketch - so thanks for the information, it's a great help.

The moleskine watercolour paper is quite nice. I find I prefer the slightly smoother papers as the pattern of rougher ones can be intrusive - I prefer to make my own marks, Don't know what others feel?

05-29-2010, 06:18 PM
I do too, most of the time. If I ever buy a roll of watercolor paper, it's going to be Hot Press, because I like making my own textures.

WC Lee
06-01-2010, 04:07 AM
great sketchbook .. I especially like the inside back cover :lol:

06-01-2010, 02:38 PM
Thank you! I had fun with that, even if it wasn't the last sketch it was so right for being the last illustration. I might sketch Ari walking forward in the inside cover of one of my new ones.

04-05-2011, 12:37 AM
Robert......what a brilliant book that is...beautiful work...luved it....brilliant colours.....

04-05-2011, 11:53 AM
I just discovered this thread, thanks to the last post bringing it up near the top again. Love it! I love your color sense. I do my whole journal pretty much as a goof-off book - it's just a journal, there'll be another page tomorrow... It's a long time since I've actually done a painting.

98% of my friends are online too. I have CFS though have been lucky to escape fibro so far. It works, I'm discovering... we're all real people. Friends are people you go to for support, fun and new ideas in your life, and all that happens online just fine.

04-06-2011, 03:51 PM
Thank you! Good luck on living with CFS, Kema. It's rough no matter what disease causes it, I hope you can find good treatments that bring you lots of energy and strength. It's great to keep a goof-off book. You never know when something that started as goofing off turns into a good painting either.