two jars of pickles, our book project and you

pickle jar water-colour
5 minute pickle jar water-colour

Margaret and I are posting as we work through ideas for our book proposal. These sketches come from a chapter on sketching what is close at hand. They are part of our “test drive”. This is a timed sketch (5 min. or less including the water-colour). The choice of subject- the pickle jar, is a deliberate attempt to eliminate ideas of what might be “sketch able” or “worthy” in favour of finding and sketching what is readily available. What is available being the larger (and possibly more interesting) category. As we work through chapter ideas here, we would love to hear from you. Your comments and suggestions and responses to the posts will shape our proposal. Thanks in advance. We are so grateful for this blog and for our readers and your great ideas.

pickle jar painting, egg timer
When my 5 minutes was up the sketch lacked depth so I spent another 3 deepening the color-Margaret

Watercolor sketching materials (Margaret)

portable watercolor materials

In my travel sketch pouch (pictured above 6″x 9.5″, something like these or  these) I like to keep a 3″x5″ notebook (Elizabeth gave me a pack this may in Morocco) because they are tiny and can travel anywhere and a 3’x5″ water color sketchbook. The little moleskine and a pencil (especially the older ones which have grown shorter) fit in a pocket too. The water container (1 or 2 oz watertight jar) fits in there along with a couple of paper towels for blotting.

PAINTBOX: Sennelier half pan travel box of 12, to which I’ve added Holbien Cobalt turquoise, and Naples yellow Deep. When the Pthaylo blue ran out I replaced it with cinerous but i’ve been missing the Pthaylo. And the ultramarine was replaced with maybe a cobalt.  (I am more accustomed to using an ultramarine and a Pthaylo.) I’ve enjoyed all my paintboxes, each has its own charms.  I like a synthetic, round #10  or #12 BRUSH (something like this). Micron pen I use an 05(on the larger side but I like the smaller ones too). On Elizabeth’s advice I have been enjoying the blackwing PENCIL more and more, they are soft and make a dark mark but by varying the pressure you can get a wide variety of tones, and there is a terrific eraser right there on the end which is much handier than hunting around for a kneaded eraser.

watercolor sketching materials

Pictured above is a stack of my larger-scale sketch materials. That’s a multimedia SKETCHBOOK. The spiral makes it easy to use and it is an economical way to work with wet media.  In a pinch any notebook will do for dry media sketching and this month at staples these were on sale (back to school) for one penny!

*Please note that the underlined words are links to materials available online.