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Stuck-in-the-rain Sketching

The last quarter of the year is a time where the days are short and rain is aplenty. Yesterday, I went to the mall to buy watercolor paper and jeans. I wasn’t too hopeful about getting either. For some reason, National Bookstore now refuses to stock archival cotton watercolor paper. (I snagged the last stocks of a 640gsm cold-press paper that smelled rather stale a couple of months ago.) And it seems that every single Goddamn clothing brand sells only skinny jeans these days. (Skinny jeans tend to fit my pear-shaped body poorly and even when they do, they’re really uncomfortable.) I didn’t manage to get watercolor paper, but I did snag some Bainbridge Cold Press illustration board. I also didn’t get one pair of jeans. I got two. (Well, one of them is technically slacks.) And then when I was all set to come home, the thunder started rolling and the rain poured down like crazy. Now, I am not one who is willing to spend money on taxis when other modes of transportation are at a fraction of the cost. So I decided to wait for the rain to subside while having a nice coffee at Bo’s Cafe. And there, choosing a semi-hidden corner that was available, I decided to test out the illustration board.

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It’s no Arches, I can tell you that. But then if it’s a watercolor paper that is readily available and doesn’t cost a small fortune, then I’ll take it! Like the usual watercolor paper, it takes washes well and the colors dry vibrant. The slight texture is alright, but I especially love the feel of drawing on it with pens! It dries fast, but not too fast that the paint quickly becomes unworkable. It takes wet-on-wet quite well too. There were but two drawbacks. First, about five washes were enough to change the paper texture considerably. Second, I’m not sure if it’s archival and that’s something I’m a bit worried about since I do like giving paintings away as gifts. I also painted the above display of coffee cups at Bo’s. It was then that I realized that working this big is wont to attract far more attention in public than painting in my small, discreet sketchbook. I definitely won’t be doing it again if I can help it! Some attention is alright, and a little bit of company can be pleasant. Too much of it is just way stressful!

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