Day 219 More Caran d’Arches Experiments


This is a sketch using Caran d’Arches Neocolor II looks
pretty lame until you wet the colors.


Then it looks like this. All of these sketches were done with the Caran d’Arches and then sprayed. The bottle I use does a very fine mist. The paper is Strathmore 500 Mixed media.


I love the way it will run a bit. Sometimes less sometimes more depending on how much I spray it.




Tufted Titmouse – the grey stuff below the bird is not where I messed up but where it ran. I love runny stuff.


Cardinal. Love the drippy stuff on this one. I did highlight the eyes with a gel pen.


My secret weapon. An old spray bottle that makes a fine mist!!

Thanks for looking!!

Day 217 – How to cover that Journal!



I started with a plain Strathmore soft back mixed media Journal.  I decided that if I was NOT sketching at home I had better add hard covers to it…and besides its not the prettiest book on the shelf!


Supplies I used…be sure your box cutter has  a sharp blade.  Makes life easier as does a metal ruler…cant cut it with the box cutter.

Supply list!

Archival paper for cover

Archival Cardboard

Green self healing mat

Parchment paper, freezer paper, waxed paper or deli wraps

PVA glue and or Modge Podge

Foam Brush



Metal Ruler

Sharp Box Cutter

Bone folder

Old credit card to smooth bubbles from paper

Binders clips or clothes pins to clamp edges

First I cut two heavy cardboard covers from the back of an old art tablet.  Good to use archival NON acid paper so the wood pulp wont be able to eat up your sketches!

 Trim all paper and cardboard with the box cutter and metal ruler to keep those edges straight!

I have a great box of marbled and other fancy papers from Paper Mojo...lots of beautiful scrap.  Because its scrap none of the pieces are big enough to cover a journal entirely so I piece the covers out of coordinating papers.

Lets get started!!

first cardboard covered

Cut the paper used to cover the cardboard about 1/2″ larger than the cardboard cover. Use the bone folder to make nice folded edges.


Heres the front side of the cardboard with edges folded over. The paper is glued on! Smooth any bubbles out with either an old credit card or the bone floder.

The covers were glued onto the journal with the PVA glue.


Once the covers were glued on its time to flip over the folded edges. miteredcorners1

Miter the corners just like wrapping a gift.  CLIP diagonally across each corner to eliminate bulk.  Then neatly fold in your corners.  This will be covered with a piece of paper for the endpapers so the uneven paper does not show when you open the book.


I use binders clips with deli wraps inside to let the folded edges dry.  You could also use parchment paper or freezer paper to do this step.  Clothes pins instead of binders clips.


Time to cut the spine.


Time to cut a piece for the spine.  The spine should be the width of the book including the covers and the length of the book. Clear as mud right?? The width of the spine to include the covers. spinecovercentered

Here is a picture of the paper covering the spine.  I put two hashmarks top and bottom on the center of the paper that is to cover the spine.


To make covering the spine even more of a challenge I had to center this boxy looking lattice on the spine. I folded it along each side of the spine using the bone folder to crease the paper. I then checked before I glued it down to be sure it was centered.


At the top and bottom of the spine cut a 45 degree angle and fold the paper on the spine down to cover the cardboard spine.  Spines normally float free and should not be glued but my paper was thin so I decided to glue it down.


Glue the spine to the book and fold over the remaining edges. I didnt need to clamp it with the binders clips because the glue is so sticky it held. If it hadnt I would have held it in place with the clips till it dried.

Cut two pieces of archival paper to cover the insides so all your folded paper doesnt show. These are called the endpapers.  Glue them down with the PVA glue.

Clamp with the binders clips and protect the book with deliwrap.

 Let dry.


Glue a scrap of watercolor paper painted with pretty colors for your title!

Coat the book with Modge Podge to make it more durable.

Now go forth and draw!!

Thanks for looking!!