Loose Paper Sketchbook

Tina shared an idea on which I’ve been thinking.  I cannot find her blog post about it, though. Argh.  The idea is to carry just a few folded watercolor pages to lighten one’s sketch-bag load.  Paper alone won’t do for me as I want a hard surface for support.

I pulled out this hard folder that I’ve had for decades.  It was made by Strathmore to hold a particular sketch pad.  I tore up a half sheet of watercolor paper, 4 folios in just one signature.

I’m somewhat enamored with the Midori notebook system.  However,  not so much as to spend the money on them.  The leather is not enough support for sketching and the paper also isn’t good for watercolor.

It gave me an idea to hold the watercolor signature in the folder.  I used a length of beading elastic, pictured above.  Actually, you could just use a large rubber band.  I slipped the middle of the signature under the elastic.  It’s not really tight but good enough to hold it temporarily.  I think I might need a clip, too, as the paper doesn’t lay flat.


It’s more than enough for a day’s sketch outing but not so much to weigh down the bag.  You could add another signature if you do that many sketches on a day out.  The signatures could later be bound into a book.

This would also work for larger size, using a standard office pad folder.  Of course, to be really simple, you could just use a clip board or other hard board for support.  My folder protects the paper and the sketches just a little more.

On another note, I found these collapsible cups at Target.  They are $3 for 2.  They would be good to hold water when out sketching on location.  Cheap, too.  I found them in those $1 bins that are at the front of most stores.

About redharparts

Born in Michigan. Attended undergrad and graduate universities there. I've lived in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington (state). I'm a retired Medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology. I've enjoyed exploring historical re-creation through the SCA. I costume in several fandoms. Lately I've returned to Art and have taken up Urban Sketching, a version of en plein air painting.
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3 Responses to Loose Paper Sketchbook

  1. miatagrrl says:

    You couldn’t find my blog post because I haven’t written it yet! 🙂 I’m still working out the details and waiting for my sketchbook cover to arrive… But i have a signature stitched and ready to go. Stay tuned!

    • redharparts says:

      I do remember reading about how you thought you’d lighten your bag even more for Barcelona and about how you might take just some folded sheets of paper. Maybe in an email? You also referenced it as someone else’s idea. I really do remember it…. I’m not that clairvoyant!

      • miatagrrl says:

        What — you’re not clairvoyant!? 😉 I remember now — we talked about the folded sheets idea in the car on the way to Mt. Vernon. And you did read about my lightened bag on my blog… I’m still trying to slim it down even more.

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