I meant to get my acrylic paints out again this weekend, as it's been far too long, but instead, I ended up cleaning the flat all Saturday, and then spending most of Sunday stitching together some new sketchbooks. Since it is so difficult to find sketchbooks with proper watercolour paper in a format that is not landscape, I decided to make my own. A big online art shop here has a special offer on Fabriano paper twice a year, so I ordered some paper in their summer sale last month. I have some beautiful Artistico paper in my stack, but decided to try out a less expensive paper for the sketchbooks. I ordered the Disegno 5 paper, eight 70x100cm sheets each, 210g/qm and 300g/qm. After an afternoon spent kneeling on the floor and folding and tearing up each sheet into 8 smaller sheets, you not only end up with aching knees and fingers, but also with 16 pages of a good sized 18.75x25cm for each large sheet. That makes two sketchbooks with 64 pages each for each batch (or rather 62 pages, as the first and last page will be glued down to the cover).
As I don't make sketchbooks very often (last time was here, here and, for the finished results here), it always takes me a while to get my head round the coptic stitch again. As you can see, I totally messed it up in my first (bottom) attempt. That's what happens if you stop reading the instructions properly halfway through and instead start watching a film on tv, because you think you've figured it out... It seems to be holding together, so I might just leave it. Or maybe I undo it and start again. I haven't decided yet. This weekend, I hope to find some cardboard in my stashes and do the covers.
I did do a quick sketch of an aubergine amidst all the dusting and hoovering and mopping on Saturday, though. It had to be quick, as I wanted to cook it. I used my new sword liner brush from Rosemary & Co. It has a funny shape and you don't really have a lot of control over it, which makes painting with it much looser.
And I've been trying to keep up my lunch time sketching up too, although this week, it's only been on two days, as I finally, after far too long a time, I managed to drag myself to yoga class Thursday lunchtime. And it did me a lot of good too. So not that much sketching this week, but I added a couple more ice lolly to this work in progress.