You can’t feel the feel the paper in this Hahnemühle Nostalgie art journal but it is incredibly smooth. That’s super when writing or sketching in ink. The paper, at 190 gsm (grams per square meter), is heavy enough to take water media quite well… just don’t overwork it as I have here.
I have a few layers of ink and watercolor on each of these pears and I must have been a bit too zealous with my brushes. The paper is rougher and has just started to pill along the edges of the pears.
I love the book though, it’s sturdy with a wonderful grey fabric cover. It opens totally, hardly buckles even when soaked, and watercolors remain brilliant. I even got some granulation which you can see above the rightmost pear.
Is it my favorite Hahnemühle book? Not sure… I have one of their watercolor books to try. No rush though, I still have many pages of this book to fill.
Pears, of all and any variety, are among my favorite subjects. I wait all year for our natives and these tiny Seckel pears were a gift from a friend.
I’m not sure which was sweeter, these or my friend!
So what’s a double fold out called?
It’s when both the right and the left pages fold out and you feel as if you’re going through the gate to the scene beyond. That’s what I wanted to achieve here, but first I needed to deal with the closed spread.
When all other ideas elude me, I paint my favorite models… pears.
I love how the plate and shadow bleeds off the spread and how the border stripe echoes the pears’ coloration.
But now it was time to tackle the fully open spread. When totally opened it measured 32 inches across, so wide that it was too daunting for me to just simply dive in. I took out my gridded notebook for some planning, and of course, more thumbnails.
I didn’t use any of these designs but you can see how I calculated the best focal points using the rule of thirds.
I mined one of my previous sketchbooks for a suitable landscape and as I painted I placed the skyline to blend with the edge of the plate. I may have been overthinking it but it turned out well.
32 inches of panorama.
Now that it’s done I’ve thought of a few other ways to handle a gatefold. Maybe next time I’ll handle each of the 4 panels separately, but unified by a single theme, like the seasons. Maybe I’ll draw a progression across the spread, like how a rose bud opens, blooms and finally withers.
So many options for me to try next, I know there’s more sketchbook modifying in my near future.
We’re firmly in pear season… yum!
No… not from Harry & David… but still juicy and sweet!