Saturday, January 8, 2011

Seeking Recommendations

banana sketch (Day 140)
sepia ink in Moleskine cahier pocket sketch book
©2010 Stacy L. Rowan

I was lucky enough to receive as a Christmas gift a gift card for the local art supply store. (Okay, so maybe it wasn't all luck since I asked for it, but I was lucky that someone actually followed through on my request!)

I need to replenish some of my standard supplies, but I should also have enough money to pick up some new materials to experiment with. I am looking for recommendations from my fellow artists to help me choose between all the options.

There are two things in particular that I want your opinions on.

1) Paper for Charcoal Drawings -  I currently use Rives BFK paper for my charcoals, but I'd like to try another paper. In particular I'm looking for a paper that allows me to easily achieve subtle value changes. I'd also like a paper which is easy to tone since I typically start my charcoal pieces by laying down a consistent mid-value tone.

What papers do you like working on when you use charcoals or pastels?

2) Watercolor Sketchbook - I have been doing more sketching with watercolors lately. Last year I finished up a small Canson book and now I am about half-way through my Moleskine watercolor book. I actually like the Moleskine paper and will probably buy another of these, but I would also like to try a new watercolor sketchbook.

What is your favorite sketchbook for using watercolors or other liquid mediums?

Now I am pretty sure that every artist has one or two things they can't live without. For instance, I find that I repeatedly turn to the Faber-Castell Pitt pen with sepia ink and a brush tip for sketching. And I love my Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold round brushes for painting.

If you feel strongly about any of your materials and want to share the love, I'm listening. After all, there is always Christmas next year once this gift card is done.

Thanks for your input! I can't wait to go shopping!
For the record, I am not in any way being compensated by the companies above or by Dick Blick (the links I provided). This is just the stuff I regularly use.


Ann said...

I haven't used charcoal in a very long time but when I did I liked Rives too. And Stonehenge - have you tried that? For pastels I like a sanded paper which may not be at all what you are after.

For watercolor sketchbooks the moleskine is my favorite too, of store bought books. I make my own now though and like Canson Edition paper for those. Many of my favorite watercolor sketch artists use Arches wc papers in their sketchbooks though.

My favorite supplies? Besides colored pencils I really like my water brushes for watercolor sketching. Watercolor pencils are fun and so are neocolor II watersoluble crayons.

Have fun shopping!

Robyn said...

Hi Stacy - You are already using two of my favourite products. I love the Canson watercolour sketchbooks. I have Moleskine watercolour books but doubt I'll buy them again if I ever fill what I have.

I'm so envious of you being able to buy Rives BFK paper locally - it is beautiful for printmaking.

Robyn said...

I know I've admired them before but those carrots look fabulous on your banner. :)

Sarah Melling said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog, Stacy! I've just looked at your blogs and look forward to following them as well. It's very interesting to me to see your sketches as well as your lovely finished pieces, as we have similar taste in our choice of subjects. And it's always interesting hearing about what art supplies other artists are buying - fun!

Stacy said...

Thanks Ann! It sounds like we use many of the same materials. I use Arches for my studio watercolors, but I don't know about making my own sketchbooks. That sounds like it might be outside of my abilities. :) I may have to pick up some watersoluble crayons though. They sound fun!

Robyn, I agree that the Rives paper is beautiful, although I've only ever used it for charcoal drawings. If I ever make it to Italy, I'll have to squeeze some into my suitcase for you.

Sarah, thanks so much for stopping by! I did notice that we had similar taste in subjects. In fact I have a bowl of large pine cones in my family room that may make it into my sketchbook soon. :)