Since I have my travel water color kit sitting on my desk, and I ended up doodling a bit during some meetings, I figured I’d do a little mixed media and see how well the paper would handle it.
To start, I just did a pretty simple design sketch with a mechanical pencil (a Kuru Toga for those who want to keep track). This was not anything too fancy, and I tried to keep the impression light so that when I got to coloring the water wouldn’t pool too much. Of course, since I had already written on the other side of the page, this was bound to be a little suspect, but I wanted to try. Regardless, with the writing board behind the page, it worked well enough to get a rough outline down on paper. I suspect there is room to try some embossing techniques in the future, but for now I’ll just keep it in mind.
Compared to yesterday where I ended up using a lot water with the pigment, I tried to control how much water was applied to the page. This resulted in quite a bit more control of the colors, I will say at first. Where I tried to apply a second coat, or use where it was subtly wet already to push the pigment, you can see the tones give that not quite consistent water color look. I also found with some careful rewetting of the pigment, that I could to some extent lift the color off of the page to a reasonable effect. I definitely find with lower quality papers that this can be a problem as the ink kind of penetrates the paper, and kind of doesn’t, which can lead to some different kinds of inconsistencies.
Finally, I figured I would give the included brush pen that came with my Hobonichi purchase to do some sharp outlines. Yes, I know that no true water colorist would do this, but I was trying to see if I could do a striking design with mixed media on the page, and not a traditional water color painting. Given that I let the page dry before I did this black outline, I am quite happy that there was no bleeding, and the brush pen doesn’t appear to have picked up much, if any of the pigment off of the page.
You probably cannot notice it from the picture, but after I did the brush pen outline, and letting it dry, I did go back with a brush to tighten up some of the non pigmented spots, which again, I feel worked well enough and through careful application didn’t really suffer from any additional pigment pooling issues. Finally, I went back at the picture somewhat carefully with an eraser to clean up some of the more egregious pencil marks, and for the most part the pigment and brush pen didn’t noticeably lift off the page, however my eraser tells a slightly different story, as it clearly did lift up a little bit of both. Not enough to damage the picture mind you, but enough to I know it is something to keep in mind to be careful of… or possibly to use as an effect.
One last thought… if you’re a texture adverse, I might suggest staying away from using water color on the Tomo River paper. It ends up feeling a bit gritty, so if you like that smooth finish of the paper, this is probably not a technique for you. Personally I don’t mind it, and think it gives the paper an additional level of character that you don’t entirely get from other types of paper.