A nice spring break

During the spring break we often travel somewhere, mainly cities, and explore museums and streets. This time however, we decided to stay at home and just relax, enjoying long lazy mornings and doing some simple activities in the afternoons. One day we just went to Ikea where I bought a funky yellow chair (and a nice notebook as you already know from my previous entry). In another shop, I also bought a super retro bag that reminds my of the shopping bag my grandmother had.

relaxong

A small box of watercolors for the summer:

watercolors

I also invested some time learning about digital drawing:

UntitledThere was also time to visit some family and friends and, all in all, I would say this has been a very nice spring break.

My Ikea Sketchbook

One month ago I started using ” real” watercolors and since then, I wanted to buy a new sketchbook specially for them. I already have an, almost finished, “Moleskine watercolor notebook” filled in with drawings made with acrylic paint and watercolor pencils. This specific model of moleskine has nice thick paper (200 grs.) that is perfect but it is also rather expensive. It is also difficult to find around here since art supplies in my city seem to have some emotional problem with this specific brand.

Last week I went to a big art supply shop but they didn’t have sketchbooks specifically for watercolors. Adventurous as I am sometimes, I decided to buy one sketchbook with the thickest paper they had (probably 120 grs.). Unfortunately the paper couldn’t stand water so well and I wasn’t happy with the results.

Markers and watercolors bleed quite fast in this paper :-(

Markers and watercolors bleed quite fast in this paper :-(

Yesterday at Ikea I saw that now they have a stationary section. Again following my adventurous side, I bought one of their notebooks. Since the paper was even thinner (80 grs.), I didn’t expect it to work. Well, I was wrong, it stands water and markers a lot better than the one that I bought in the art shop. Taking into account it also was 4 times cheaper, I think I am coming back to buy a few more!

The first page

The first page

sketchbook

The covers are also super funky!

I also bought a yellow chair but that’s another story.

Thinking about the summer

The spring just started around here but I am already with my thoughts in the summer. I have to confess, the summer isn’t my favorite season as I don’t like the heat and also tend to get a bit bored with the “summer activities”. Hence I always start planning well in advance what can I do to enjoy it. I prepare lists of books to read, add in pinterest possible crafts to do and ideas for drawing inspiration.

And thinking and searching for nice drawings, of course, I got inspired:

thinking-process-15

I love my new box set of watercolors!

thinking-in-the-summer-15

We will have some time to eat nice food in nice places

Trying with watercolors

Learning how to use watercolors is something I am trying for years and always end up giving up because I just don’t know how to use them properly. But after a while, I always reopen my box of watercolors and try again…

One of my main problems is that I don’t like most of the tutorials that are offered out there. They tend to teach you how to draw flowers or idilic scenes with clouds, beaches, trees and more flowers. Do you know any alternatives that can help me?

I actually found something vaguely interesting.: the online courses of Koosje Koone on learning how to draw food and recipes. It is not exactly about watercolors but at least I like her drawing style. The problem is that the course starts now and, exactly now, I don’t have the time to invest in the course. So here I am, trying again by myself to use the scary watercolors.

watercolor

Trying again with watercolors by drawing one of the nice drawings of Koosje Koene in my Moleskine. Still not perfect but better than a few years ago.

Cooking with Blond Amsterdam

I already told that I like the Dutch brand Blond Amsterdam. Their colorful style just speaks to me and this is why I have a lot of plates and cups from their collections. But more important than buying their products, to me these two designers were my source of inspiration when I started drawing. Inspired by one of their cooking books, I draw this nice girl in 2009. It was my first time using watercolor pencils and it shows a bit: COOKING09 This year I decided to try again this time using “real” watercolors. Again, it is also one of my first times trying with the (oh, so scary!) watercolors and I guess it also shows a bit:cooking2015 In both cases the girl is cooking the famous Dutch speciality “stamppot”. I still cannot decide which one I like the most:

Together with the original

Together with the original