After Chelsea I went in search for a sketchbook. I had finished my last one during my SBA Diploma so I slowly made my way on the district line to Aldgate East - Henry's stomping ground and the place of Atlantis. Atlantis is the most amazing art shop in the world, it is humongous and has everything and at reduced prices.
I spent a while scouring the watercolour sketchbooks, looking for the best buy. There were so many to choose from. Eventually I decided on a book of Saunders Waterford paper which wasn't that cheap in the end, but I am a firm believer in that you get what you pay for and I remembered that this was the paper Rachel Pedder-Smith used for her Herbarium Specimen Painting. I remember being amazed when I first saw the artwork - there was no cockling on the painting despite the fact that it had been dry mounted and the paper hadn't been stretched. I knew then that this was good paper. In the end I bought the sketchbook with the thought that I could try it out and see if this is the paper I want to use for the Bare Necessities Project.
Then I had a look at prices for BIG PAPER. This is some of Atlantis' own brand (which I have only just noticed)... only £91.80 for a pack of 10! Looking at their catalogue I can get a roll of Saunders Waterford for £125.60 (1.5m x 10m). Eek! I better start saving...
This is what they say about the paper in the shop:
"Saunders Waterford is a very high quality watercolour paper that can be used for acrylics, drawing, pen and ink, gouache, charcoal and calligraphy. It is made with 100% cotton fibre, gelatine tube sized and is acid free. It is internally starched. as a result, the surface is resistant to fibre lift when removed masking materials. Lines will not feather when pen and ink are used, it will also stand multiple erasures when using pencil or charcoal. Saunders Waterford is very stable and will have little or no cockling or distortion when soaking or with heavy washes."
So I think I will start saving for a roll from today.
I did a quick tulip in an hour when I got home. It's not a great sketch, but I was desperate to try out my new sketchbook and didn't have much time.