View Full Version : Little Watercolor Moleskine 1

11-29-2010, 04:43 PM
I named it number 1 because I know when I fill it, I'll get another of these. I love the Moleskine watercolor journals and bought a pocket size one. 5 1/2" x 3 1/2" with the usual black leather look cover and 90 or 100lb watercolor paper, heavily sized so that it's easier to paint both sides.

I bought it over a year ago and stashed it in the pocket of my vest, so that if I went out I could do watercolor sketching in it. Only for over a year I haven't done any outdoor painting or sketching or gone anywhere. After losing a good half of this month I decided I needed something to cheer me up and started a new sketchbook.

So here it is - the watercolor one that may get finished faster than the larger size ones. I used the little watercolor set from Cheap Joe's and also used my size 8 Escoda Kolinsky travel brush for the first time. I love that travel brush, it's wonderful and holds so much water that I could do washes and wet in wet techniques on something this size. It's done with Daniel Smith watercolors.


11-29-2010, 05:31 PM
A beautiful little watercolor! Love the colors.

11-29-2010, 08:10 PM
Very nice, Robert! Nice intense colors in this great little scene. (I like the fact that you added some flying birds here, obviously...! :lol: )

Carole A
11-29-2010, 09:00 PM
Robert, you are a brave soul to be painting in your moleskin! I have two - they are 5 x 8 " and I am afraid to death to put down paint in even one of them. They may end up being heirlooms for my granddaughter who is q budding artist. :lol:

Very nice colors in your sunset.:thumbsup:


11-29-2010, 09:18 PM
Nice sketch. Beautiful colors. So are you cheered up now? I would be after a start like that.

11-30-2010, 12:09 AM
So simple but what a vibrant painting! I like imagining things deep in the shadows, and that the birds are heading home for supper...

11-30-2010, 02:52 AM
I love my moleskine too. I have had it a while but just started using it. A very handy size and pages heavy enough for some wetness, yet also great for colour pencils and pen drawings.

A great colourful start to your journal.

12-01-2010, 10:50 AM
Hi Robert, great work! I've been a bit absent lately in posting but still checking in on what all of you are up too. Glad you seem to be feeling better. I just got one of these little Moelskines too and I love it. I stashed it in a little cosmetic bag with a pencil, waterbrush, micron and my Altoids w/c kit. Perfect!

Joan T
12-01-2010, 11:56 AM
Robert - Great job on the first sketch in this journal. I love the dramatic look of the sky and the black silhouettes. The good part about the size moleskin you're using is it isn't overwhelming, and a sketch can be done it it fairly quickly...unless you're a stickler for detail like I sometimes am.

Carole - I had the same problem with my first moleskin...I was afraid to put anything in it. My advice is ... GO FOR IT!!!

12-02-2010, 12:49 AM
So cute but soo tiny for my big clumsy fingers :)

12-09-2010, 12:47 PM
Thank you all! Yes, I'm definitely cheered up. Especially today when I think I'll have time to do another little painting in it. I might try one of the Landscape Challenge references or something since I've been busting my brain on the Johannes Vloorthuis landscape classes lately.

Rainy, that blue-black is the Sodalite Genuine I was talking about. A beautiful, useful color when you want a smooth transparent blue-black or a cool darkener in mixes.

John, I thought of you when I put the flying birds into the scene. You're an inspiration! Sometime I'll do a vee of geese or ducks migrating. One of the challenges I'd like to try someday is a mega-flock - the sort of thing where you see thousands of sparrows or crows in an abstract mass darkening a patch of sky with individual outriders scattering around them. Those flocks always have so much motion and beauty to their constantly changing shapes.

Carole - be brave. It's only a piece of paper. You have two of them. I get over my nerves about messing up a beautiful moleskine journal by having an extra one I haven't touched yet. Once I break that first-page virginity, I can and do relax about it. Think of it this way - if you use up one learning how to paint better, you'll paint better in the next one. Just buy another new one as soon as you paint into the first so that you've always got the stash to look forward to.

Trust yourself - you will improve with practice. Just date everything you do so that you can see how far you've come. That helps a lot.

I paint better than I used to and not as well as I will.

Debby, yep, I am thoroughly cheered up! This one little thing helped break my stress over finishing the Sketchbook Project journal. I felt pressured to keep up with that and frustrated at only being able to use pens for my daily art instead of my usual bouncing around between different mediums. This helped me a lot and even though I set it aside for more Pitt pens drawings, I knew I'd be able to pick it up again as soon as I had time.

Candace, thank you! You're right, this one has lots for the imagination to fill in. I didn't realize how well it worked as story till I came back to it today.

Elain, you're so right. More and more I'm leaning toward using watercolor journals or multi media ones, it's so great to be able to do anything I want on the strong sized paper.

Dena, that's awesome! I remember your Altoids kit. I was absent in posting for a horribly long time too, that happens. Life happens.

Joan, yep! When I work this small I can finish what I'm doing in a single session, that helps so much when I'm working around my fibromyalgia. Often if something's not finished after a long session, it gets dropped and months or years go by. Then I'm so much better that I don't even want to finish it.

EP, everyone's got a comfort zone for size. You always like to divide your pages, with something this size you'd need to use a magnifier and a 6x0 Rapidograph to be able to do your type of pen drawing in something this little! Your stuff works best on good big journals.

Now, of course, I've got a few hours that I can come back to this and paint something new in it. Got to decide which watercolors, brush etc. This is going to be fun!

The background on this looks a lot better in person. I tried fixing it but the scanner did some funny things to it. Whole patches of background aren't there.


Lukas 1862 watercolors on pocket watercolor moleskine, from memory. It looks a little better in person.

12-09-2010, 07:49 PM
Hi Robert. . . that bird looks nice to me. I so cannot draw well from memory at all, so I admire it that much the more! BTW, I mixed a dark that is sorta similiar to that with Indathrone Blue and Burnt Umber. I might get a few more DS in the next few days during the free shipping but not sure.

12-09-2010, 11:48 PM
Nice bird, Robert - pretty good for from memory!

12-10-2010, 09:46 PM
Excellent bird from memory.

12-11-2010, 12:08 AM
Thank you! I forgot to post my gouache landscape yet - here it is:

Johannes Vloorthuis critiqued it so I'll rework it tomorrow - but here's the Before. Wait till you see the After. His critiques are fantastic.

Ack, uploader's not working. I'll attach it.

Okay, this is really screwy. The uploader's not working and I can't get the URL off of the posts where I already put it. It's in the Western & Southwestern Challenge though and also in the Johannes Vloorthuis landscape class thread in Landscapes.

12-16-2010, 11:29 PM
December Landscape Challenge
3 1/2" x 5"
Daniel Smith watercolors on pocket Moleskine watercolor journal
photo by Paula Ford

A Winter Memory
3 1/2" x 5"
From memory/imagination, sepia Daniel Smith watercolor on pocket Moleskine watercolor journal.

Photo of A Winter Memory:
Color is way off but more of the light values show.

12-17-2010, 12:25 PM
Nice small landscapes, Robert! I've been meaning to fit in one or more of the December challenges, but between holiday stuff and Johannes' lectures, time has been a bit hard to come by.

12-18-2010, 12:20 AM
Beautiful landscapes. Are these based on the Johannes lectures?

12-30-2010, 09:53 PM
What fun Robert! I especially like the monochrome sketch, monochrome has been speaking to me lately, I should get off me bum and get my Moleskine watercolor book out. I finally finished the Sketchbook Project Book, 4 days ahead of my personal deadline! Woohoo, now I'm just going to ride along on your coattails and do some watercolor!
Happy New Year and may it be auspicious my friend.

12-31-2010, 11:54 AM
I really admire the monochrome most also. . . I think monochrome are great and that one came out real well.

12-31-2010, 02:02 PM
I really like all your paintings. Look forward to another year with this group...and being inspired by you all.


Vivien Maloney
01-03-2011, 10:36 PM
I like your watercolors in your new Moleskin Journal, Robert, especially the little bird on the windowsill. Your Journal sounds tiny but would be ideal for little landscapes etc. I intend to buy a Moleskin but as yet, I haven't, as they're so expensive here in New Zealand - but one day.

01-03-2011, 11:09 PM
I like that winter memory sketch. It's very striking.

07-02-2011, 03:36 PM
Purrr thank you for all your comments!

I had this in my vest pocket today when I went out with Kitten to watch her feed the horses at The Equestrian Zone, which is the pony barn she works at. I was going to try drawing horses but I was too tired, it was too hot and they moved around too much. So here's a pen sketch of the trees behind the fenced area they eat in.

Trees at The Equestrian Zone sketch, life
3" x 5"
Pigma Micron pen on pocket Moleskine watercolor journal.

07-02-2011, 05:10 PM
The trees are nicely done, wonderful negative drawing. Hope you got to spend some time with the horses!!!

07-02-2011, 10:59 PM
Sorry about the heat. Those trees sure look like they'd be cooler underneath. Great sketch.

08-23-2011, 12:16 AM
Purr thank you! Yep, I got to look at the horses close up when Kitten was bringing them out to feed them. I even petted a couple.

I'm out from under the blistering heat. Today I think it maybe reached 70 or 72, it was bright and pleasant in San Francisco. I wernt to a drop in clinic to try to get my paperwork for In Home Support Services done and get my prescriptions. Got one prescription and one new one to help with fibro, which I hope it does. I was there all day from 10:30am till five thirty when I finally got home.

So I sketched in my little Moleskine in the waiting room. Also did a pen sketch on a watercolor block:

Golden Gate Bridge - this will get watercolored.

Golden Gate Bridge from same RIL reference, in my Moleskine pocket watercolor journal. Pigma micron.

Waiting room sketches from life, Pitt Artist Pen


Plus I also did a couple of ATCs using six Coloursoft pencils - the 6 color bubble pack set - on a Borden & Riley Recycled Sketch ATC pad. I'm subsuming that pad into this thread, I've got too many threads anyway. This now becomes "The sketchbooks in my Vest of Many Things" thread.

Flowers ATC from life, six Coloursoft pencils bubble pack on Borden & Riley Recycled ATC pad.

Golden Gate Bridge ATC, six color Coloursoft set on Borden & Riley Recycled ATC pad.

Yeah, those two little ones are actually only 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".

08-23-2011, 12:38 AM
The bridge is cool but I LOVE the trees from the equestrian zone. Awesome simplicity :)

08-23-2011, 05:59 PM
Ah the waiting at the clinic. Not so fun. Glad you had something to fill the time. These are great sketches. Being in San Francisco, how can you not do a few of the Golden Gate? Don't see that angle too often.

08-23-2011, 09:52 PM
Debby, thank you! I saw it from that angle when I first moved here and was so fascinated. Then when I found the reference in the RIL, I had to do it. I was looking for one that wouldn't be too stereotyped.

Scott, thank you! I had fun doing those trees. It was one of my best plein air sketches.

08-23-2011, 10:52 PM
Good job on all the sketches, Robert! I especially like the people in the waiting room - tough to pull off, but yours project individuality and personality.

Vivien Maloney
08-25-2011, 05:34 PM
Hi Robert, Im catching-up after not visiting this Forum for a while.
I really like your people in the waiting room sketch. You've caught their different expressions perfectly.

08-26-2011, 01:07 AM
Thank you! I've tried sketching people in waiting rooms before this but these are the best ones I've ever done. Something clicked after the last time I tried, it just worked and I could draw them the way I do Ari.

So that's what I did today in the ATC pad. I drew Ari. Uploader's not working though.

08-26-2011, 04:51 AM
those waiting room sketches are very good and I like that angle on the bridge you've done. You seem to be settling in happily.

08-27-2011, 10:41 AM
Hey Robert! Congratulations on making it to your dream destination. You should never want for sketches from life in San Francisco. You are off to a fabulous start with these. I've been absent for awhile but somehow ended up reading your thread about preparing for the move on the pastel forum. I am so happy for you that you made it back to the place that pleased you so much. Live the dream Robert!

09-08-2011, 05:52 PM
Great sketches Robert! I remember you starting this one last year but have only now just caught up. Love the "Golden Gate Bridge"! :)

Joan T
09-15-2011, 11:19 AM
Robert - I love the sketches of the Golden Gate!!! I can't wait to see the subjects you get to post from out there.