This tree study was sketched from my studio window with my Stillman and Birn 5.5x8.5" Alpha book. I used Caran d'Ache Supracolor II Soft pencils in Umber and White. I felt I needed to be able to go just a hair darker, so I added a Wolff's Carbon 6B pencil toward the end. These are all water soluble. I wanted to keep the water option open, but I decided I liked it the way it was, and only worked dry.
There is gold acylic paint added to the Sepia background color. You can see a bit of that shimmer where the light glare is in the photo. A little touch of that glow on the pages is a beautiful thing, but it's hard to capture in a photograph.
The little bit of white on the top left is a lifted-up sheet of glassine that I glued to the page to protect the pencil work, to keep it from smudging onto the facing page when the book is closed or somebody's leafing through the it. I realized that if I do more work in pencil, charcoal, or pastel (and I intend to), I'll need to have some small glassine sheets on hand to put over the work as I do it; otherwise some of those pieces would be ruined before I even got home from my sketching location. I can also use a sheet under my hand as I sketch with smudgy media, to prevent my hand from smearing the page. I went on an anti-smudge campaign!
Yep, I made an envelope as part of the book to store sheets of glassine. I keep a glue stick in my messenger bag with my sketching supplies, so gluing it in on location whenever necessary will now be very easy. To make this pocket, here's what I did:
- I knew this would take up extra space in the book, so to avoid bulging, I went to the very last signature in the book, and carefully removed the center page spread, tearing down the middle and removing both sides.
- I selected the two pages I planned to use to make each side of the pocket, and cut a semi-circle out of the top of the first page, to make it easier to remove the glassine. (To do that, I drew the arc, then put a cutting mat underneath the sheet, and cut it out with an xacto knive.)
- Using one of the pieces of paper that I removed from the book, I made a one-inch wide "tape" the height of the page, and folded it lengthwise with a bone folder. I did the same for the width of the page. Holding those two so that they overlapped on the lower right corner at a right angle, I placed them on a cutting board and made a 45 degree cut through all four layers. That way, when glued into the book, there would be no overlapping, and they would lie flat.
- I used a glue stick to coat the paper "tape" and the outside page edges, and glued it all together.
- I cut a 16x20" sheet of glassine into eight, 5x8" pieces, which fit exactly into the little envelope holder.