In Search of Glory . . . and the Perfect Journal

Morning Glory Sunshine © 2005, jessica wesolek, santa fe, nm

The Glory is the Morning Glory, and we’ll get to that story in a minute.

The perfect journal is much harder to find. In fact, I haven’t found it yet.

But, I sometimes come close and I am very happy with my most recent discovery. My current Moleskine has been devoted to the most recent road trip, and so I decided to try a sketchbook found at the local art supply. It bills itself as “the only sketchbook you’ll ever need”. Pretty big talk so I had to try it.

Found the size I wanted (6″x9″) at Dick Blick here:

Bee Paper Aquabee Super Deluxe Sketchbook

The book is spiral bound, has 60 sheets of 93lb paper with a nice tooth, and a nice natural white color. (The color of my Moleskine Sketchbook drives me crazy.)

As soon as it arrived, I took it for a full test drive.

I love to tell stories in my art journals, and this is the story of my struggle to get Morning Glories in my garden this year.

The Uniball pens worked beautifully, and a tiny vignette using a waterbrush and the tips of watercolor pencils as a palette did not warp the paper at all. Nor did anything bleed through. The photo was printed on my Magic Matte 36lb and attached with double-stick tape. So far, so good.

More Uniball pens to write in different colors, and illustration done with watercolor pencils applied dry and blended with a waterbrush. Background wash applied with pan watercolors and waterbrush. Very little warping even with broader wet area.

Illustrations of the Solo cup is done with watercolor pencils applied dry and blended with a waterbrush. Photograph at the bottom is a Sheer Heaven transfer. I trimmed around the rock shapes on the Sheer Heaven before transferring.

This is just Uniball pen and another photo, but you can see the intense Solo cup painting through the paper – just barely.

Illustrations done with watercolor pencil. Even blending right to the page edge on the pepper shaker, did not warp the page. The bunnies were traced with Pitt Pens onto Sheer Heaven and transferred to this page. Notice how they are the mirror image of their previous appearance?

Everything I have tried so far in this sketchbook has been pleasing. It is fulfilling many of my requirements for the “perfect” journal, but I am not done yet – I have to try a larger, wetter,watercolor illustration and a large transfer, so stay tuned. The cost of the 6″ by 9″ Sketchbook at Dick Blick is around $10, and there are larger and smaller sizes available.

Just so you won’t be in suspense, the Morning Glories are still unmolested. This system really works!

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