As part of my commitment to bump art on top of my priority list, I have signed up for Sketchbook Skool.
SBS is a lovely, inspiring art course set up by Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene. I was so excited for the first lesson that I stayed up until klasses opened at midnight (I was one of the first to post!), and watched all the videos (although I didn’t complete the homework right away because I wanted to take my time and savor them), and as a consequence I had to spend the entire next day sleep deprived and slaving away on a report deadline. I regret nothing, though.
Our first homework was to go shopping for art supplies. You can’t get any more exciting than that!
The parameters were simple: Don’t spend more than $15 on a sketchbook and more than $3 on a pen.
I already have a watercolor Moleskine, but I wanted to stick to the idea of hunting for cheap art materials. I brought along my fourth-grade cousin, Mari to go art supply shopping with me.
I got myself a Yasac unlined notebook. It’s one of those random Chinese brands you can find at the SM department store. I fell in love with the cream and brown pages right away, but I’m not too crazy about the cover. Although it is hard, it looks like it’s going to distort and dirty very easily. Maybe I’ll make a cloth sleeve for it when I have the time. It cost me PhP 159.oo (or about USD 3.54).
I decided to test my watercolors on it and, surprisingly, it takes it quite well. It doesn’t absorb paper too fast that it’s unworkable (but still fast enough that you get drying lines if you’re not quick). The colors also take on a sharp edge, unlike a Salay handmade notebook I’ve tried that had gorgeous paper but absorbed paint to quickly with a blurry edge. It buckles only very slightly unless you wash the entire page with diluted color. And the colors don’t bleed to the back. The drawing pen DOES bleed a little bit, however. Not much, but it’s still slightly visible on the next page.
For the pen, I got myself a 0.5 Simbalion drawing pen for PhP 50.00 (or about USD 1.11), which glides smoothly over paper. But maybe I’ll experiment with a ballpoint pen later on to avoid the bleeding on this notebook. It’s lovely with my watercolor Moleskine though.
I also wanted a white gel pen so I could add in highlights on the brown pages. But we couldn’t find any at that particular mall so I decided to experiment with correction tape worth PhP 21.00 (about USD 0.47). You can only get one width with it, and it has the tendency to chip but it makes for some interesting effects.
After the deed was done, Mari and I headed over to the Coffeeworks booth for a snack. I usually get a cappuccino or a latte but I decided to try their frappe. It was a bit too sweet for my tastes though. Mari got a chocolate milkshake and a mango cream cheese cake.
All in all, I’m pleased with the supplies I got. Altogether they cost a lot less than my Moleskine OR a single tube of my watercolors. I am a bit of an art supply addict and I buy sometimes costly art supplies whenever I need to. But at the same time, I recognize that good supplies do not make the artist. It was nice hunting for stuff that doesn’t burn a hole in my pocket but pleases me anyway.
Here’s to many more sketchbook pages to come!