Once in a while, I like to share travel tips for the traveling artist. I call these Watercolor Journey Travel Tips. I always take a watercolor journal with me when I travel and I am always looking for some smart, fun travel ideas for my supplies.
Here is a great zippered bag to hold a lot of art supplies such as pens, pencils, tubes of paint, erasers, small ruler or small scissors. You can get them at one of my favorite online stores, JetPens for pens and such. It is a Nomad Box Pen Case.
This stylish, large-capacity pen case opens wide and stays open so that you can easily pick out the pens you need.
Wide-opening main compartment that stays open on its own and holds approximately 30 pens.
Three pockets inside the main compartment for organizing small items like erasers, lead, and sticky notes: one large mesh pocket and two small fabric pockets.
One large outside pocket for frequently-accessed items.
A loop on one end for fastening the case to a clip, hanging it from a hook, or for using as a handle.
Have you taken your art outdoors lately? Whether in a man-made or natural setting, halfway around the globe or in your own backyard, creating en plein air can result in wonderful artwork inspired by the world around you. Artist Jacqueline Newbold is often inspired by nature for her mixed-media watercolor creations. In this article from our July/August 2014 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, Jacqueline shares her easy, stress-free technique for drawing and painting colorful flora and fauna.
Summer sunshine and blue skies bring out tiny creatures—ladybugs, dragonflies, frogs, and more. Flowers, birds, and animals are out in full force, too. Take a closer look at the wonderful world of flora and fauna surrounding you, and you may be surprised at their color-filled lives.
My interest in flora and fauna started in college when I was majoring in botany. Along with my plant studies, I took an entomology course (the study of insects) to help me get over my fear of little creepy, crawling bugs. What I discovered, with the help of a magnifying glass, was a fascinating world of insects cloaked in the most amazing array of colorful combinations. Bold stripes of black and gold, coats of gorgeous metallic turquoise and copper, delightful polka dots, and shimmering translucent fairy-like wings were just a few of the wonderful hues and patterns I found. Discovering this amazing tiny world of color did get me over my fear of insects, and it continues to give me inspiration and great subject matter for my watercolor journals.
When I first began adding flora and fauna to my journals, I was intimidated by the drawing process and trying to accurately depict these things. Over time I came up with an easy, stress-free technique. I convert flora and fauna into a series of connected ovals, circles, ellipses, and rectangular shapes, and then fine-tune the shapes as needed. It is much more manageable to think of them in this way. Now I enjoy drawing, painting, and adding my field observations of these delightful creatures to my journals.
The Creative Process, A Peak inside my Empty Watercolor Journal
Do you enjoy the anticipation of an upcoming vacation or trip? Do you practice packing your suitcase with your favorite clothes? To me the journey begins way before walking out the door, suitcase in hand. I love preparing my art supplies for my travels. Planning for my upcoming trip, Painting the Italian light, Orvieto, Italy. My smaller journal is a Strathmore 400 Field Watercolor Sketchbook. For years I have had a love/hate relationship with the Strathmore field book. Every other piece of (crappy) watercolor page alternates with a piece of drawing paper. This drawing paper is where my mixed-media imagination soars and I have probably filled at least 20 of these journals with art from my travels.
Pages in my journal prepared for the trip
First page in my new journal with inspiring quote.
in order to compensate for the not so great watercolor paper I tear my Strathmore Sketchbook apart. I kept the metal coil and the black hard covers. I filled it with Arches 140 paper alternating with Strathmore 400 series drawing paper. I prepared the drawing papers with colorful backgrounds and finished the first page with an inspiring quote for my upcoming trip: “To Paint…. to travel…. the combine the two is to celebrate life” (Jack Brouwer).
Artists can get a little bogged down once in awhile and need the inspiration to paint
Sometimes artists need the inspiration to paint. Maybe it is because we tend to paint the same subject matter, use the same color scheme, or feel like we are not growing in our art. One way to get a jump start on the new day ahead is to browse through the latest issue of the Art Journaling magazine. It is always filled with colorful, edgy, creative art. I am excited to say that my Baja Journal is featured in the latest issue of Art Journaling!
This is the cover of the new Art Journaling magazine published by Stampington and Co. I love seeing the brightly colored orange flower against the powder blue background. It is so simply painted and with the added splashes of white paint, the artist makes it look loose and lively. Why not try painting this flower to get you started on a colorful day! Simple, colorful and fun.
Little watercolor sketchbooks are a great gift idea for artists. I take mine traveling as they are small and can easily fit in my purse. I sketch and paint in them while sitting in a cafe or when I have a few moments to myself. They come in several sizes. Since I like to paint with watercolors, I get the ones that have watercolor paper in them. The Moleskine brand is very popular and easy to find. They are available online but also easily found in office supply and bookstores. I found a lesser known brand that I prefer. It is the Pentalic Aqua Journal. I find that the paper is a better quality and great for painting with watercolors. The Moleskine paper is 200 gm and the Pentalic is 300 gm which means that the paper is a heavier weight. Watercolor artists will appreciate that!
Part of the joy of traveling to new places is to take some time to paint in my watercolor art journal. This is my first time visiting Lisbon, Portugal. I am enjoying walking around this colorful city Here is a page in my journal of the cute trolley car. This is what I love to do – paint plein air!
I am always looking for fun, unique ways to add to my watercolor art journals. While I travel, I always pick up brochures, free maps, coasters, wine labels… Then I add them to my journal pages. I also paint little paintings of what I see along my journey. These all create a lasting memory more precious than any photo album.
Try these ideas!
·Doodle or create Zentangles.
·Connect your writing and glued items with lines, dots and squiggles.
·Collect and add business cards, tickets, postages stamps, cut out words and photos from brochures, wine labels, paper money and postcards from your travels.
A Beautiful Time – A Peek into our Orvieto, Italy Watercolor Journals
Our time together in Orvieto was magical. Each day was a new adventure filled with painting, creating, exploring and learning about the rich history and culture. The Colors ofUmbria, Keeping a Watercolor Journal group was creative, fun and always up for learning new things. I loved making new friends and painting with our artistic group. As the week unfolded, our watercolor journals evolved into exquisite memories of our colorful time together. Thank you to all the wonderful participants of this fabulous time together, laughing and sharing good times!
In the summer issue of PAGES magazine, I give you another fun idea for how to add interest to your watercolor journal. This article is about how to use black gesso. I hope you enjoy trying this cool technique!