So, I know I’m a little bit behind on the times here but I’ve finally had a bit of time to play around with the Archer and Olive watercolour journal, and let me start by saying I’m IN LOVE. I’ve always used watercolour in my journals, even though they’re not technically made to withstand that medium. And it’s definitely possible, but you really have to change your painting style to suit the paper. Therefore, when Archer and Olive released their new watercolour journal, I was extremely excited to give it a try! Keep reading to learn how to create this painting yourself, and some first thoughts on this journal!
- Archer and Olive Watercolour Journal – Watercolour paper… in a journal!! This is perfect for you if you love to use heavy mediums, and of course watercolour.
- Watercolours - My go-to watercolours are Winsor and Newton as they offer a brilliant range of colours at an affordable price.
- Dr Ph Martins – The best white I’ve ever come across!
- Paintbrushes – To be able to paint pretty much anything, I recommend having a mop brush (for covering large areas), a medium sized round brush (can do everything!), and a fine brush (for small details).
Step One – Sky
Using a mop brush, I painted indigo watercolour from dark to light over three quarters of the page. I must admit, I completely forgot that I didn’t have to be overly careful with the amount of water I used in this notebook, so at this point I didn’t go heavy handed, but I was already impressed with how well the page held the water.
Step Two – Snow
Next, I used white ink, blending from the indigo sky down to the bottom of the page. I like this effect as it makes the landscape look so snowy that you can’t see the horizon. At this point I didn’t worry about if it was blended completely, I just wanted to lay down where each colour would be.
Step Three – Layers
After the first layer dried, I kept layering the indigo and white until I was happy with how deep and blended the colours were.
After really putting this paper through its paces and completely saturating it with water several times, here are some of my first impressions:
- For a start, I love that it didn’t dry down straight away, giving you time to manipulate the water.
- There was no buckling of the paper, even less than some professional cotton watercolour paper I use.
- The paper is lovely smooth texture.
- The dots do not lift, even with an excessive amount of water.
- So easy to use – I felt at ease that it would handle any water I threw at it.
- No ghosting/bleeding through the page.
Honestly, I really love this journal, and if you love watercolour this could be perfect for you to!
Step Four – Trees
When the background dried, I added a row of trees to the bottom of the page, using the same indigo colour. I used a round brush and made loose brush strokes, starting from the top of the tree and making them wider and closer together as I went down. I really like this loose brush stroke effect for pine trees.
Step Five – Falling Snow
Making sure the painting is dry, I then splattered white ink all over the painting. I did this by saturating an old brush with white paint, and flicking the brush on the side of my finger onto the page. The more water you use, the bigger the splatters with be. I like to create a mix of sizes. One tip, if you want stars in your painting only splatter the sky. If you want snow, put splatters all over the painting (on top of the trees).
Step Six – Snowy Trees
Finally, if it’s snowing, there would definitely be snow on the trees! To do this I used a detail brush, and added snow to the top of the branches. I didn’t have much method to this, I just stopped before the tree was completely white!
Overall, I am extremely impressed with this journal. At first, I was unsure whether I would like having a journal which is ring bound, but I know I could get used to that in favour of having this amazing quality paper. I can’t wait to play around more in this journal, it’s so much more relaxing to paint in a journal when you don’t have to worry about bleeding, water control, ghosting and page warping. Also, I hope you enjoyed this simple winter painting I created!
Hopefully I’ve given you some help and inspiration to create some winter paintings this season! And if I have, I would love to see your paintings, so tag me on Instagram (@hayleyremdeart) and use #hayleyremdeinspired to get the chance to get your creations featured in my stories!