It pays to know your supplies! A while ago I tried doing some watercolor sketches in my Moleskine sketch book. Even though the company bills this as a sketchbook that you can use with watercolors, it isn’t as easy as you would think. The sizing on the paper is resistant to watercolor and so instead of absorbing the paints, it leaves the pigments sitting on the surface. And if you use a fancy Kolinsky sable brush like I did in the beginning, that just compounds the problem. The brush just glides ocross the surface. I put the book away in exasperation.
A year later, here I am trying to do watercolors in the book again. Now I’ve switched to a round nylon brush (a sturdy one from Princeton that has a snap to it) and switched to a honey-based paint (I’m using Sennelier). Now I’m doing better though I am not totally happy with my pen (a Pentel Slicci) because the ink blurs when I add watercolor. I had to redo the lines with my Sharpie pen.
After much trial and error, I am beginning to understand what makes this little book happy. It likes Sennelier watercolor paints and it likes sturdy nylon brushes and Sharpie pens. It pays to know all of your materials!
Here are some of the first few pages: