Compromises With Paper

Coloured drawing of a red pencil

I seem to be a tiny bit behind with Boot Kamp. Maybe at some point I’ll catch up – or maybe not, it doesn’t matter too much.

This assignment was about creating a watercolour wash background to draw on with coloured pencils. It left me with a bit of dilemma – should I use my current sketchbook, a Leuchtturm, which is great for coloured pencil drawing but not so great for watercolours; or use up the last page of my last Moleskin watercolour sketchbook, which is obviously perfect for watercolours but a bit too textured for coloured pencils?

I went with the latter, just so I could really play around with the watercolour paint in the background without it drying quickly, causing the surface of the paper to come away or bleeding through the page from the amount of water used.

I discovered from my selfie drawings that the texture of watercolour paper really doesn’t allow you to get much detail or sharp edges to a drawing when using coloured pencils. So I’m not massively happy with this one but it’s much better than I thought it might be and it’s another one of those drawings that I got a fresh perspective on once I saw it scanned and on a screen.


12 thoughts on “Compromises With Paper

  1. Dale Reply

    I love it!

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Thanks Dale. I want to try and find some watercolour paper now that might work even better if I do try this again, although, like I mentioned, this one looked a bit better to me once I’d scanned it and saw it on a screen! 🙂

  2. Peter Reply

    Paper is always part of the media equation. Surface textures are an important consideration. I think that working towards achieving a style of our own requires experimentation, whether that be a grade or brand of pencil or pigment or a choice of sketchbook.

    I like what you’ve achieved here.

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      You are right Pete and a sketchbook is a perfect place to experiment of course! I bought a tiny pack of watercolour paper the other day (a different brand from this one) so I foresee more experimentation :).

  3. Margarita Reply

    It’s very cute!

    I’m a beginner, and have found that the size of the drawing makes a difference. It’s harder to use textured paper when the drawings are small, journal sized images.

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Absolutely Maragarita, the size really does make a difference because, as you point out, it’s difficult to get the definition in a small drawing. Thanks for reminding me of this!

  4. Kathy Reply

    Looks pretty good to me, for further experimentation try hot press watercolor paper, unfortunately it is more expensive and doesn’t absorb water as quickly as cold press or Rough but it has a smooth surface so you will be able to draw on it just as you would any other smooth paper. Or you could try Stonehenge, many colored pencils artists use it for colored pencil work, it is a mid weight rag paper and should take a watercolor wash without dissolving. On the plus side it is less expensive than Hot Press Watercolor, and can be purchased in tablets.

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Thank you very much for the tips/advice Kathy, I really appreciate that. The small pack of paper I bought a few days ago is Seawhite of Brighton, which I recognise as a good brand. I’m not sure that it’s hot press but it definitely has a different texture from the Moleskine paper so it might be interesting to see how it works for this kind of technique.

  5. Cathy Holtom Reply

    I quite like the texture, it’s great!

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Thanks Cathy. I think it’s just different from what I might prefer and creates a new challenge :).

  6. Alex Tan Reply

    Nice one!

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Thank you!

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