A new sketchbook and some irises

Last month in Santa Fe, someone in my workshop group let me try a new 100% cotton sketchbook from German paper maker Hahnemuhle. I just did a small sketch but was really impressed with the paper. This week I received a couple of these books from Hahnemuhle — an A4 portrait and an A4 landscape — and I’ll be experimenting with them this summer.

There’s a gorgeous spring bouquet on my counter, filled with flowers from Lutaflore in Pointe Claire and waiting to be painted, so I decided to give the book a try. I sketched the bouquet first with a fine grey marker, and then added colour. The paper is a bit smoother than my Etchr Perfect Sketchbook, which makes it easier to do more detailed drawings, both in pencil and in ink. It’s closer, in fact, to the paper texture of the Handbook Watercolour Journal that I have been using for years. If you work in ink, you might like this book because pen glides really easily on the paper. As for taking watercolour, I was really impressed. The colours remain vibrant, the washes flow well, you can glaze and layer, and lifting is easy. So far it’s a two thumbs up for me.

24 Comments on “A new sketchbook and some irises”

  1. Chris Rusk says:

    So pretty. I love your grey linework, it makes everything so soft and appealing. I like how contemporary your vase and the water level looks in its simplicity. It is easy to be left with a sense of how each flower rests against each other in the vase – so much energy! Very stylish and well delivered.


  2. John D Egan says:

    Wonderful art, but how were you able to distinguish from your sketch what lines meant what, as it is so detailed?


    • John, you’re right. It was definitely a bouquet that you could get lost in, but since it was right in front of me on the counter, every time I got lost I just looked at the flowers and found my way again.


  3. beth says:

    so pretty!


  4. sandidureice says:

    Oh what a beautiful painting. I like the way you have left some of the smaller details in pencil. Gorgeous.


  5. Pbelle says:

    Love this.. especially the purple ink.


  6. De says:

    What a beautiful, cheery bouquet! The variety of greens intrigue me. Thanks for the comparison on watercolor sketchbooks. I’m an Etchr fan but always enjoy trying new things.


    • De, I have tried this book a few more times. I will post the results soon. The biggest difference with Etchr is that this smoother surface is much nicer for pencil drawing.


  7. Barbara Beynon says:

    Thank you for your commentary on the Hahnemuhle sketchbook. It looks like it’s a true bright white–is that the case? Your lovely bouquet looks beautiful on this paper and I love the suggestion of the vase in the grey ink.


  8. Lori Zajic says:

    Beautiful!!! I look forward to trying out the paper! Sounds nice😁

    Lori Bryan Zajic

    All Things Interior Live Beautiful! Sent from my iPhone



  9. susie langley says:

    Very beautiful and very springy. Thanks Shari!


  10. Denise says:

    Whether you are painting snow, boats in the water, or a bouquet of flowers, your posts are always amazing!


  11. This came out lovely!!! I could happily wander around your floral bouquet looking at how you did the individual flowers.


  12. Thanks Shari! Gorgeous flower painting– those gray-greens are lovely with the purple iris. And thanks for the info on the paper. I saw these sketchbooks in Italy and bought a small one to try, then left it in a taxi! Ugh. I liked the feel of the paper and the quality of the binding. Might just have to place an order.


    • Jean, oh no! I hope it was an empty book! If it had your beautiful drawings in it, that would have been a lot worse. I really like the paper for washes, and it has a gorgeous texture for drawing too.


  13. Judy Sopher says:

    Gorgeous. My laptop has been off for about 2 weeks. Finally took it to the computer co. with a great tech. Got it back today and trying to catch up. Missed your blogs and am part way in one of your classes.


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