Ice cream versus my review of the Winsor and Newton Watercolor Bijou Box

Ice cream versus my review of the Winsor and Newton Watercolor Bijou Box

An ice cream and my watercolors are companion today for lunch.
After a short lunch break I needed to go out for a walk. While walking I’m thinking that I have still my Winsor and Newton Jewel (Bijou) Box with me and I didn’t use it. Bad.

I don’t want any monkey to stop my sketching, but hey, today I need a serious relief for my eyes. Sleeping is perfect, but in the mean time I cannot. The view of the sea is quite enough.

Opening my faithful daily bag, where believe me or not now I hold 4 kinds of sketchbooks and notebooks. Here a peek into my bag just dropped on the table.
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You can clearly see my daily work agenda, a Rhodia, and then a pocket leather travel cover made by me. The other two notebooks and notebook cover are in the shadow.

So I start dismantling my Sketching Kit Mark III that from today is officially Travel Sketching Kit Mark IV. I love to give names to things… I think there is some (crazy) creativity.

For the sake of accuracy, yes, I did another leather travel sketchbook cover that can hold up to A6 sketchbooks. Now it’s holding three hand-made 150g sketchbooks.
Slightly larger and higher but I can hold really everything and a lot. Blue is one of my favorite color, so I did it in that way. 🙂
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So, after dismantling the biiiig package there is a brand new watercolor box. Look, all the color pans are still wrapped.

I like my lemon ice cream with liquorice holder. I feel like a baby today.
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So, what I have to do now? Do I have to let melt the ice cream and unwrap the watercolors? Or to eat that fresh lemon ice cream delaying the subtle pleasure of unwrapping some good watercolors?

This is the visual reply.
ice cream and watercolors

I just didn’t care about the ice cream. I went for the watercolors. Of course!

Did you have any doubt? Me no. This is a brand new Winsor and Newton Bijou Box and still untouched. And I like to use it badly! As you can see in the picture I unwrapped the pans so badly that some paper still sticks on the (melting… my goodness) surface of the colors. No problem, a quick sketch will wipe off that fuzzy things.
The vision is wonderful isn’t it?
The box sports 8 fantastic watercolors in two rows, if the pans are held horizontally. But if you set the pans vertically you can have 5 colors for each row. Plus the wonderful central row can hold 4 more colors if you toss the tiny brush.
In conclusion this small package can carry from 8 to 14 watercolors half pan.

What else?
It’s an enameled box and it’s a fantastic pleasure for the eyes and to touch. I now pack inside only 8 colors but knowing that I can eventually pack more and that exciting indeed.

If you want to read serious review (not like mine) about this Winsor and Newton Watercolors Bijou Box go to Parka Blog.

Time is running. And I need to go back in the office.
Well I have some ideas for the next coming leather projects. I have some needs and I think a good leather cover or a leather case can help me. I cannot tell more for now.
So just to not forget what I’m thinking about now I just sketch and note some ideas. Maybe they are already old ideas, maybe they are some taken ideas. they are my ideas and I love to write and to sketch. Is it an excuse to pop out my fountain pen and my paper? Yes it is… 🙂
Here it is the page before I was writing. You know I’d like to have secrets inside the notebooks, between the protective wings of my leather cover.

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I’m a visual person, I know. I don’t know if this is called sketching or drawing or taking visual notes. Don’t want to label it. But I like it.

As I like to have my faithful art weapons with me: my Lamy fountain pens, my watercolors, my waterbrushes and a pinch of madness.


Sketching while traveling to Laayoune

Sketching while traveling to Laayoune

Sketching while traveling to Laayoune

I’m coming from a business travel to Laayoune, and obviously I was sketching some. This time sadly I was going to have a training and I went to this place only for few days. I know that I should spend more time near the desert: colors, air and light are wonderful. And I had really no time to sketch more from out. Just a couple of more sketches from pictures I took that are now in my travel diary and I will show probably later.

I used to sketch on one of my cheapo paper recycled hand-made sketch book. I just remind for one that don’t know me that it’s only around 14 pages of cheap photocopiers paper taken from wastes of my office, binded with old folder covers. Cheap. Recycled. Good. I love it since I stash them every where. Believe it or not I have several of them in all my bags…

Travel to Laayoune 01

So the sketching is in reality covering mainly only my stop in the airplane and in the airport of Casablanca, in Morocco. There I awaited the flight connection with my colleague that was with me, flying to Laayoune for the same training I attended.

First of all some airplane sketching, a classic: the meal (if you have the chance). My airplane was quite good and i started sketching soon. I soon ended because I was very tired and I woke up in the morning something like 4.00 AM.

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Then later we arrived in Casablanca. I was really impressed about the modernity and the cleanliness of this airport. Probably most people expect something lower than average airport but this is not the case. Casablanca has a nice airport, full of people, and seating on a coffee bar in the national connections flight I started sketching. My colleague was near me and I was very excited to spend some time sketching. He was instead going on the Ipad.

My micro sketching kit mark II (yeah) and my Travel Leather cover are always with me. Always.

Sketching while traveling to Laayoune

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Other sketching snapshots taken while seating. Yeah I was so happy to waste time in this way.

Travel to Laayoune 09 Travel to Laayoune 08 Travel to Laayoune 07

At a certain point I left the watercolors and I stopped to color and wash the lines. I went only going black and white using first my hated/loved Noodler’s Konrad.

Travel to Laayoune 06

Then going with Pigma Micron 0.3 becasue has always reliability over the tiring day I was searching for. I sketched this one, please notice on the background, always without one single line, without almost not leaving the point of the pen from the paperTravel to Laayoune 05

Travel to Laayoune 04

An I finished the day sketching my shoes. You know, I was having not that much mental and physical strength, but also one of my favorite subjects!

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Just to let you know I used Noodlers Black, Noodlers Konrad Flex pen (not so suitable for travels, sometimes leaks while you are in the airplane), Pigma Micron Pen and Winsor & Newton Artists’ Watercolors.

Hope  you liked this sketching!


Sketching from Rome to Singapore to Dili

Sketchingfrom Singapore to Dili 06

Sketching from Rome to Singapore to Dili

I’d like to show some sketching made while going from Rome to Singapore to Dili. I stopped over all these wonderful places and… suddenly popped out from my pocket one of my handmade micro sketchbooks. Yes I keep always one or two even near my passport pocket, believe me or not. At least I can use them as notebooks.

This time I sketched in two micro sketchbooks that are around 6cm x 6cm so around 2 inches of side. They are made with scrap paper from my office, also the cover are made from old folders: and I like to save in this sketchbooks all the prints, marks, labels and so what so to made more visible that are recycled.

Sketchingfrom Singapore to Dili 01

This sketching was done mainly in the time that I was not running between airports, and since I was leaving my wife alone for my new deployment, pregnant at the 8th month, 12000 km away so I awaited some good mood to sketch.

Here there is a sample image but please see later my gallery.

Sketchingfrom Singapore to Dili 10

So I was sketching in this tiny books, first of all because I’m shy despite my size, and to be discrete and quiet. Although sometimes is beautiful to have a pinch of vanity while you are sketching and people asks to you and says  “Oh you are so bravo. Cool!” or things like that, I like most of the time to be almost invisible.

Here the gallery of today, have fun and let me know what do you think about, sincerely!

All these sketches were made unbelievably, when I was in good mood first (you know with around 27 hours flight I had some chances…), with my faithful workhorse the Lamy Safari Fountain pen filled with Platinum Carbon Ink. And the colors are as always my ever shining Winsor& Newton Artists’ inside my handmade micro kit and the Kuretake BrusH2o waterbrushes.




Miscellaneous sketching on my recycled sketchpad

 Miscellaneous sketching on my recycled sketchpad

This time I’d like to share some miscellaneous sketching on my home-made recycled sketchpad. It’s nice to have all and better to make these sketch pads because

  1. Recycling is never enough, saving trees, water, environment and all elemental we touch;
  2. Everyone can make them with every kind of paper, from the most rewarded to the cheapo wrapping paper;
  3. They make an excellent excuse to make late;
  4. They are funny to make and to decorate inside and outside;
  5. They are so handful that can be stored inside almost any pocket;
  6. They allow you to sketch anywhere and anytime filling them with warm-up sketching, bad drawings, doodles or simply lines or circles;
  7. Everyone can even use them as note pads, so no need for buying other than once in a while
  8. They can save money (there is crisis!!) because you can build them from trims and scraps of your office or working environment or church or whatever is the source of trims and scraps;
  9. They are so lovely and useful that even you chief at work wants one;
  10. you are an artist whatever you do. Fundamental.

So with this really crappy presentation here some miscellaneous sketching made with different inks, fountain pens and colors. Consider that some of them are tiny. I don’t know still know how I can do it. 🙂

Here some from my kitchen, probably many people knows better than me what I have in my kitchen. I used the wonderful Diamine Grey Ink and Lamy Safari fountain pen with a EF nib. Without any color this ink expresses the best gray around I believe.

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sketching miscellaneous 04

Here I made this sketching with Noodler’s Lexington Gray and Winsor & Newton Artists’ watercolors. A terrific combination.

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Finally some Derwent ColourSoft pastels over the lines that my fountain pen left here. THe fountain pen is my usual workhorse.

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Sketching on wrapping paper cartoonish style

Sketching on wrapping paper cartoonish style

My sister is a colorist and so I was tempted to make some sketching on wrapping paper cartoonish style with bold white along the outlines. I like it a lot.

I like the wrapping paper or boxing paper, the cheaper one, that one you can find in any store. It’s warm, stinky and heavy enough to have fun with a lot of techniques. I even made, and I’m making, a lot of sketching pads with it. I even mix the paper types in the same pad so to have new challenges every different page.

So this is the first attempt made with Noodler’s Ahab Flex pen and making some strange characters. I love to sketch strange characters like these… I doodle a lot of them also in the office. I made the white lines with the Stabilo All white China Marker.
sketching on wrapping paper 01

I did also encouraged by no one, a sketching of my sister and a friend that came to have a coffee with us. I realize that I’m not so nice in portraits, but with this white line like my sister does and I saw around it’s some thing that I like a lot. This time I used my workhorse fountain pen Lamy Safari filled with Platinum Carbon Ink and this time things went even better. Better contrast in this sketching and also the hand has a good warm up… 🙂

sketching on wrapping paper 02

Tell me what you think about it, what you know about it, everything you about this kind of technique and on my mad experiments!!