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Old 07-18-2010, 01:26 AM
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Jakesgram Jakesgram is offline
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Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

I've been thinking about posting from my Carnet de Voyage watercolor notebooks for a while, but I have a hard time characterizing exactly what I do in them. But today, I did a painting from an old WDE that I want to share, so I'm going to dive in and try to explain it.

The Carnet de Voyage is a 15 page, 6" x 10", 140 lb Arches cold pressed paper. I use it almost exclusively for watercolor. While I take this book with me when I travel, so far I have seldom done any plein air work in it. I often take it with me when I am babysitting at my daughter's house and do current or past WDE's in it, or use my own photos as reference. It's hard to say how this work is different than when I sit down to do a "serious" watercolor, but I guess I am usually relaxed and often the work looks more spontaneous because of it.

I am currently a few pages into Volume 3. Because a lot of these are WDE references, I have posted many of them over there already. So I apologize to any who have already seen some of them. I won't post everything, but will start with what I did today and a few others and over time will back-post some that are interesting for one reason or another.

So what I did today:



7/17/2010
Fish in Coral - Mixed Media
6" x 10" Carnet de Voyage Journal
140 lb cp paper; various artist watercolors
Liquitex Black Lava texturing gel; table salt texturing
Reference photo by lisilk; W/C WDE - 5/14/2010

This was done during my weekly watercolor class. I am glad to say I made the initial drawing freehand, in pencil, from the reference photo. Another factor of note is the black texturing at the bottom. I recently got a jar of Liquitex Black Lava Texturing gel and tried it out for the first time. I really like it! You can put it on as thick or as thin as you like and when it dries, you can paint over it. Watercolor will color the paper but not the black gel; acrylic would color both the paper and the black gel, but you would still have raised texture on the paper. I want to do more experimenting with this in the future.

Next, I'll show a couple of pages of color samples. When I got my 72 color set of Inktense Pencils, I did these in the back of the Carnet de Voyage:



May, 2010
72 pencil Inktense set
Carnet de Voyage 6" x 10" watercolor book
140 lb Arches cp

So far, I have most often used my 48 pencil set, which I take along with me in my traveling art bag, but this one has so many really lovely additional colors that I will be doing more work with it in the future.

Finally, here is a sketch of my daughter's side patio. I like this one because again, I sketched it freehand, plein air and painted color over it in a couple of different sessions. Sorry - the scan is a little bit fuzzy.




May /2010
Waiting. . .
Plein Air
6" x 10" Carnet de Voyage Journal
140 lb cp paper; various artist watercolors


It's late now and I need to get up early tomorrow, so that is all I will post for now. I will catch up some of the other work from this book at a later time, but will mostly show my work going forward.

Jean
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:40 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

These are very nice Jean, thanks for sharing them here. I don't follow the WDE so I haven't seen them. I can only track so much stuff here on WC and still have time for my own artistic endeavours and that annoying thing called my job.

David
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:57 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davkin
These are very nice Jean, thanks for sharing them here. I don't follow the WDE so I haven't seen them. I can only track so much stuff here on WC and still have time for my own artistic endeavours and that annoying thing called my job.

David



Thanks David! I understand the annoyance that comes from the job. My job got in the way of my life too much, so I was relieved to get old enough to retire from it. Now I'm so busy I wonder how I ever had time to hold down a job in the first place!
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:01 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Me too! My friends all say to me how "how did you ever have time to work", but the answer of course is, I didn't do all that I do now when I was working. I am busy now and my day isn't long enough, but I always make time for my art. Love these two paintings. They're both so fresh and clean. I've never used Black Lava Gel. Not sure if we can get it here in NZ, but it sounds really interesting to use. I'm all for trying new art supplies. I like your Inktense swatches. When I bought my Inktense, I did do swatches, but mine are very messy and not fit to be shown to anyone! I originally bought the basic set of 12, then went back to the Art Shop twice and bought individual pencils until I now have 36. I use them all the time for sketching in the Scavenger Hunt and love them. This watercolor journal looks as if it's going to be one to follow. Looking forward to seeing more.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:53 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Jean, these are such beautiful paintings, like Vivien says they have such a light and fresh quality, but real strength in their design, and your relaxed state comes through, these are very calming to look at I wish I could do watercolour, I make the most awful mess when I try. That looks like nice paper to work on, I've seen these books in the catalogue, mayb when I've finished my 21 days sketch habit I could buy one to celebrate the achievement, oh and some inktense too, and some more pecil crayons, I need more reds....
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:31 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Your two sketches are excellent. The black lava gel sounds really interesting. Looking forward to seeing more of your sketches.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:16 PM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

The fish are marvelous. The black gel stuff sounds interesting.

Ah, inktense, on my list of supplies to get one of these days. Great swatch test.

The patio looks inviting with the shade lines across the chairs and that lovely plants to keep things cool.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:02 PM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Really like the fish Jean, well done!
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:24 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Jean, both of these are beautiful. The fish and coral scene is exquisite. One of my favorite subjects rendered perfectly. The patio scene is gorgeous too, the light in it is great. But that coral scene lingers in my mind, you have the feel of it and the graceful motion of the animals so perfect.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:39 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Vivien, Christine, Michelle, Robert: Thank you all for your kind comments. I DO love watercolor and generally have more success with it than anything else, as I have used it a lot more.

I'll go back now and pull a few out of Volume 1. My first Carnet de Voyage was a gift from my watercolor teacher at the time and his wife. They organized a group trip to Italy and gave each of us a journal to work in as we went along. The trip was great, but we had much less time to paint than I had expected. At that point I had REALLY not done any plein air, so was pretty hesitant and slow.

We stayed at a lovely villa in Tuscany called Poggio alle Villa. I got really travel weary one day and decided to stay back and paint the grounds. This is one that I did that day:



Poggio alle Villa
October, 2008
W/N Cotman Field Travel kit /
Carnet de Voyage 6" x 10" journal

This was the view from our hotel in Florence. I had a lovely room, with this great view, while our teacher had a window facing a blank wall. He was not very happy about that!!!


Florence (Firenza), Italy
October, 2008
W/N Cotman Watercolors
6" x 10" Carnet de Voyage notebook
Sketched on location, finished in studio


The next one is a copy of one that my teacher posted on his web site for his students. This was drawn freehand from a print and painted while I was on a cruise ship down the Pacific coast of Mexico in May of 2009.



Tom's Window
May, 2009
W/N Cotman watercolors
6" x 10" Carnet de Voyage notebook
Reference from Tom Tiedeman (with permission)

These beautiful birds were also painted from a photo on the same cruise. I've not been very good about noting where the reference come from, as I have been learning and had no intention of selling my work, so I hope I am not violating anybody's copyright by showing this one. I will definitely be more particular about that in the future.



Mating Dance
May 2009
W/N Cotman Watercolors
6" x 10" Carnet de Voyage Notebook
Reference photo: Unknown source

Finally, here is one I did at the beach at Carlsbad in March of 2008:


Carlsbad, CA - by the Power Plant
March, 2008
W/N Cotman Watercolors
6" x 10" Carnet de Voyage Notebook

That's it for tonight. I'll post more in a few days.

Jean
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:08 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

These are all so beautiful. Great form, strong values, beautiful colors and great compositions. I think the class must have made quite an impression on you. Thanks for posting so many of these beauties.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:46 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Beautiful watercolors Jean! My favourite would have to be the two birds. I love the wet in wet background on that one.
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:48 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Jean - all your paintings are absolutely gorgeous. I love the fish and coral at the beginning as well as all your daughters patio. And i absolutely LOVE the mating dance painting, it's stunning!! what a great journal/sketchbook. i really enjoyed looking at it (and more than once i might add)!!
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:04 AM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

These are all wonderful sketches, Jean. And what great reminders of your travels. I too love the colorful, soft background on the bird sketch.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:19 PM
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Re: Jean's Carnet de Voyage Watercolor Book

Wonderful paintings. Great remembrance of travels taken. Just beautiful.
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