A Winsor & Newton paper for daily sketches

This summer I had the privilege of having my Chicago Urban Sketchers symposium sponsored by Winsor & Newton. I often see people using really dry pan paint, so what a treat to be able to hand each participant a new palette and five tubes of fresh, artist quality paint to work with!

In the weeks before the symposium the sponsors sent me the same supplies to work with and included in the package was a spiral pad of paper I had never tried before. I used it for a few weeks and liked it so much that I painted all of my workshop prep on it, including this page of Winsor & Newton colour swatches from the palette that I used for all of my tree paintings (palms in Vancouver, the view from Nanaimo and the beach in Tofino).



It’s a great pad to use as a teaching tool because of the spiral binding, but I also appreciate that the pages are perforated so I can tear them out if need be. This is not their 100% cotton Professional Grade paper which probably is a bit more costly, but it’s great stock for my daily sketch outings because the paper can take repeated washes, the colours remain bright, and colours lift well if you need to lighten an area.

Now that the symposium is done I’m continuing to use this paper for daily sketching, including this one I did yesterday on my way to school.


11 Comments on “A Winsor & Newton paper for daily sketches”

  1. Alison says:

    Lovely greens! This swtatch sheet is terrific, most instructive! I’ll be referring to this for sure.
    Stupid question, maybe… but I’ll ask anyway, perhaps I’m not the only one wondering this. In the past when you have mentioned “cleaning your palette” and “fresh paint” do you mean that you wash out all the remaining paint and add all new paint? My frugal nature makes me want to use up every bit on the palette, even if it’s been in there for many months, but maybe I need to start fresh more often?


    • Hi Alison, That is a good question and no one has ever asked me that before. I have a frugal nature with paint too, so no, I just pile more paint onto the dry stuff. And I also use a tiny spray bottle to wet paint before I put the brushes in. That extends the life of the brush because you don’t have to use it to soften the paint. For these colours, I used an entirely new little travel palette just for Winsor Newton Colours. It is a Cotman palette, the same one that was given out in the workshop.


      • Christi says:

        I checked for the Cotman palette and it comes with little squares of color already in it. Is that what you were talking about? I am enjoying your blog and love to see the paintings you are doing. Thank you for sharing!


      • That is the one Christi. I take out the Cotman colours and put in my own fresh paint from tubes.


  2. Jodi says:

    lovely greens created! beautiful painting


  3. Nice light in your shading of the foliage. Wishing you a great school year!


  4. Belinda says:

    Hello Shari
    Catching up on old emails. This sketch is particularly beautiful. I was going to ask if you quickly roughed in your sketch with pencil, but looking very closely I do see some pencil. What hardness of pencil do you use? It would be fabulous to see the painting before you add color. Love your work.


    • Hi Belinda, Thanks so much for writing! I do usually pencil in the outline before I paint. I use a B mechanical pencil. I will try to remember to take a photo before I paint, one of these days. Thanks for the idea. Shari


  5. Dory Rice says:

    Hi Shari,
    Don’t know if you will see this as it’s from an old posting but I loved these sketches and already have most of these WN paints so I wanted to play with this palette. My question is are the Winsor Blue the red or blue shade and the Winsor Green the blue shade or the yellow? I’m going to try to find the paper too, it looks great for an inexpensive paper. Love your painting and your blog!


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