I didn’t start off to intentionally test different materials in this sketchbook but it worked out that way when I started doing a couple of test swatches.
While searching for tutorials on using gouache, I came across the blog of Naomi Bardoff and liked her border image in this post. I love the bulrushes, and they remind me so much of all the bulrushes in the ponds behind my house.
I kept this in mind as inspiration for a border that looks like a bookplate on the inside front cover of my artist’s journal. It has a general theme of my garden and property, I even drew a beetle in there. I sketched a heron and a turtle and some flowers with a 2H pencil, and decided that the detail was too fine for paint so I used my Prismacolor and Verithin coloured pencils.
My heron somehow morphed into a fantastical bird, but sometimes these things happen in the woods. I am fond of using my initial in redwork embroidery so used a nice initial in the corner for interest. The inner border measures 3 x 4.5 inches, and it’s small; at one point I had my glasses on and was using a hand-held magnifying glass for tiny leaves and outlining.
I managed to do quite a bit of layering and some burnishing. I also erased a lot, and one motif was excised completely (a watering can) because it didn’t really fit. I burnished over areas with masking tape to lift the colour and then erased. The paper held up really well. The lettering is done with a Micron pen, and I sprayed this with Krylon workable fixative.
Here is the picture of it, although for privacy I have taken out the e-mail address.
Ah well, it’s a bit of cheerful whimsy for the title page, I always like fancier title pages.