Folding Palette Test in Stillman and Birn Gamma Sketchbook

I was a bit disappointed that two of the tubes of extra colours I bought are so close to the standard colours in the Van Gogh Watercolour kit. At some point I had purchased a Daler-Rowney Quinacridone Magenta which is close to the Permanent Red Violet in the VG range, although much more vivid. Similarly, I had added Phthalo Green to the existing colours and I find it very close to Viridian but more intense. I probably would have done better to buy an olive green and a lavender. Oh well, that’s how it goes. At $3 a tube it’s not so bad. Update: I did eventually buy tubes of Chinese White and Olive Green.

Anyway, here is my testing page after I squeezed paint from the tubes onto the palette to dry. I placed the samples across the page from the Staedtler watercolour pencils test page because I wanted to be able to compare them. Click to enlarge.


This is a shot of the page in profile so you can see how it is buckling after having lots of gouache on one side and watercolours from a tube on the other. I still think this is pretty good for painting on two sides of 100 lb. paper. Once it is thoroughly dry I will close the book and weight it for a time to alleviate some of this buckling.


I am glad that I took the time to put these tests in the journal. It’s going to be very helpful when I am painting.

The main thing I like about these tests and samples is that it starts the journal without giving me the “white page syndrome” of not being able to start at all due to fear or perfectionism. Mind you, now I have to draw something after this. I was interested in trying a pictorial map with illustrations of historic landmarks or something, but maybe I’ll start in on learning how to draw portraits and people. Or I could try some tutorials from the new book I bought on drawing birds with coloured pencil.

As you can see, I am oh so careful in my work and details, what could I do if I loosened up? Scary stuff!



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4 Responses to Folding Palette Test in Stillman and Birn Gamma Sketchbook

  1. mooninfog says:

    Painting now? Yay!
    I want to get back to painting, too. I’ve done hardly any.
    A few weeks ago I was staring at the place in our dark back stairwell where, for complex and ultimately stupid reasons, I needed to bridge between a light tan and a light blue wall paint near the landing. With a gallon of mint green ($3 at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store) and some brown and white I had laying around, and a black Sharpie, I made a tree mural. Now I want to do it everywhere LOL sounds like you’re having fun with your colors and I like what you’ve done so far 🙂

    • JJ ColourArt says:

      Well, I am staggered by your casualness in mentioning this gorgeous mural! (for those who don’t know Debra sent me pics in an e-mail.) I would have been all uptight about planning and being perfect and you made this wonderful thing. I need to loosen up.

      I once wanted to do a mural of bright flowers and fish on a red wall. Mmmmm.

  2. mooninfog says:

    Thanks for the kind words 🙂

    Yes, well. I originally planned a simple geometric repeat pattern with a triangle potato stamp. Then I thought, “Do a mural” and visualized Rousseau’s jungle paintings. But late one night with the housepaint and a couple of old brushes, one thing led to another. I did the Sharpie accents a few days later.

    In short: I don’t think you can plan to loosen up. You just do.

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