Testing a “New” Sketchbook

I am trying to decide which art supplies to take with me on an upcoming trip. I made this little sketchbook using Strathmore Aquarius II, 80 lb watercolor paper quite a while ago and have never really used it. The pages are 5.5″ x 4.5″, which makes it the perfect size to keep in my bag. The paper is pretty soft, but does not buckle when wet. I found that I could make preliminary lines using a light watercolor pencil, then ink the drawing using a Micron Pigma pen.  Since the paper is soft, the ink lines are not as crisp as I would like and the ink tends to stay on the surface without drying quickly.  After a couple of smudges, I used a hairdryer to make sure the ink was dry before adding a layer or two of watercolor, and a touch of watercolor pencil. I will make further tests using my Platinum Preppy fountain pen. Perhaps the lines will be a little more crisp. In spite of the soft paper, I may end up taking this one along as a fun doodle sketchbook.

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