The Beginnings Of A Paris Sketchbook

5:57 AM


Even though I won't actually go to Paris until October, I want to maximize my anticipation of the trip by working in my sketchbook NOW!

The image above is the cover page of the sketchbook I'll be taking to Paris in October. I created an image in Photoshop using the leaf I had previously painted, some French ephemera and some indicia stamps. I then used gel medium to transfer the image to my sketchbook page.

The sketchbook is one I'm making and the page is 5.75 inches square. It's made from 140 lb. CP Moulin du Roy watercolor paper. I'm loving this paper! It's easy to work on and it folds nicely for a bound sketchbook.

Transferred images are not hard to do if you A) practice first and B) have plenty of patience. There are directions all over the internet if you're interested in giving it a whirl. Just be sure to give the gel plenty of time to dry and be very gentle when you go to remove the paper fibers!

Expect and embrace some imperfections in the image. (I've never had one to come out spot-on perfect.) In this case, the little things that went wrong add to the aged look of the letters behind the leaf.  I did one other version which had a different stamp on it and my impatience cost me the page as I lifted the paper before the transfer was completely dry. It lifted the stamp and left a gaping whole in the image.

While this isn't something I'd likely try while traveling, it is fun to do to build up my enjoyment and anticipation of the trip. By creating NOW rather than waiting until time to go, I'm able to work past the "white page paralysis" of a new journal and I'm keeping my sketching skills sharp.

Examples of other pages I intend to create include what I'm learning about Paris, books I've read, movies and shows I've watched about Paris, what I'm packing, my art kit, frequently used French words and so on. I also want to get out and do some sketching at the local coffee shop as a way to acclimate myself to sketching around people more.

Interested in joining me in October? There are still a few spots left for this workshop but it is beginning to fill! If you're thinking this is the trip for you, please sign up soon. Click the Paris link at the top of this page or click here for more info!

Have a question? Leave me a comment or use the Contact form at the top of the page!

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