Back to the islandPosted: September 13, 2021
If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you probably know that I love to test out art supplies. I’m not fussy about the “best before” date of things. I sometimes find stuff in the back of a drawer that I didn’t know I had, like this mysterious ink without a label, or this old paint tube. But it’s even nicer to try out new stuff, if I’m lucky enough to be the recipient of some samples. Last month, just before I was scheduled to teach at the Urban Sketching Summer Retreat on Madeline Island, I received a pad and a block of The Collection watercolour paper from Hahnemuehle Paper, one of our generous sponsors. I used the paper when I was sketching in Gaspesie, and liked it so much I did all my workshop demos on the pad.
One of my workshop demos was of the old wooden structures of the Madeline Island Museum. My workshop topic was about using triads and other limited palettes in watercolour, so you can see all the swatches I created before we got around to drawing our subject. I was using the 9″ x 12″ pad for my demos. This paper has a really nice texture and a lovely softness for pencil drawing. It also takes colour really well and the 140 lb cold pressed surface allows for some great dry brush effects (like what I did in the grassy foreground).
We also sketched at the legendary Tom’s Burned Down Café, one of Madeline Island’s most iconic spots. The poles, awnings, flags and hand-painted signs make it kind of irresistible for a sketcher. It’s a hard scene to paint because of its complexity, but we tried to contrast inside and outside space. As you can see, the paper takes the saturated, deeper colours really well too, which makes it a winner for me. I painted each of these scenes four times on site, so I can say I put the paper through a full test and I was still happy at the end. It was really durable and great for glazing, but I haven’t tried any scrubbing or lifting yet.
If you’re interested in receiving a free sample of The Collection watercolour paper to try, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and mention “Shari Blaukopf Blog”. (These samples are only available for shipping to the US and Canada.)
As for the Urban Sketching Summer Retreat on Madeline Island, I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve been invited back to teach again next summer! Dates are July 11-15, 2022, and details are here. If you joined us this past August, have a look at the descriptions, because we’ll all be teaching a little something different next year.