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Monthly Archives: August 2018

  • Bookbinding Techniques 2. - Concertina

    Concertina, or Accordion Fold Book

    Folding-out booklets are not only good for interesting ways to sketch, but perfect for display purposes as well. And it's not too difficult to make on your own!

    What You'll Need:


    • Bonefolder
    • Ruler
    • Brush
    • Scissors or craft knife


    • 2 Bookboards
    • Bookcloth
    • 2 sheets of paper
    • PVA glue



    cut two long rectangles that are the same size.

    Fold them in half,

    ... then fold them like an accordion.

    until you have a "W" shape.

    If you want more sheets, you can make as many accordion fold as you want to, and you can just attach them together with glue.

    To make the covers, get two sheets of heavier paper/cardboard/bookboards that are slightly bigger than your folded booklet. If you want to cover it with bookcloth of paper, cut rectangles that are a few cms/inches bigger than the cover.

    Cut the edges of the paper/cloth...

    ... then glue them and fold them inside.

    This is how it should look outside and inside:

    Glue the inside of the cover and attach the first sheet of your accordion booklet.

    And it's finished!

    You can try making the book with watercolour or any other paper for sketching, or you can make a photo album, or something crazy that fits into an artist book.

    References and Photos:

  • Guide to Choosing Paper

    Different Types of Paper and Their Use

    There are so many different papers available, and often they look quite similar. If you aren't sure what paper is the most suitable for your work, you might find this guide helpful.

    For a brief history of paper, click here 

    Paper sizes and Measurements

    The common sizing system in Europe is called ISO 216, where the paper's weight is expressed in grammes per square metre (gsm). The biggest unit is A0 (1189 x 841 mm).

    In the US, paper sizes are based on customary units. 

    There are seven main Paper categories:

    • Printing Papers
    • Wrapping papers
    • Writing papers
    • Drawing papers
    • Handmade papers
    • Specialty papers

    Pastel Paper


    (click on the pictures for more details!) 


    The best weight for pastel paper is at least 175 gsm, heavy cartridge or lightweight watercolour paper.

    For mixed media techniques, a rough-surface watercolour paper (that has been painted) still has enough tooth for soft pastels.

    There are many different papers that are suitable for pastels, from very coarse to very smooth. Ingres paper has a ‘laid’ effect, meaning that one side the grains produce fine liner while the other is slightly blotchy.

    The reason why there are a great selection of pre-coloured paper for pastels, is because pastels never really cover the whole surface, therefore leaving a few gaps (that aren’t shockingly white) is a standard use. Having a dominant coloured surface is also useful to determine the ‘atmosphere’ of the whole picture and create a unity of colours, as a deep reddish colour will give a warm tone, while blues are helpful to achieve a subtle, moody effect.

    Cartridge Paper

    • Generally used for drawing, but it’s also good with paint, pens and markers, as well as with pastels, crayons or inks.
    • It’s available in different weighs, depending on the used technique (heavier for paint, lighter for drawing)
    • it can also be used to make simple  models.


    Watercolour Paper

    There are three main weighs of watercolour paper:

    • 190gsm - 'student grade', as it's pretty lightweight, requires stretching, and can't endure lots of scrubbing
    • 300gsm - 'standard' type of paper, it takes paint ell, but still better to stretch to avoid buckling. dries quickly and medium priced.
    • 638gsm - it's almost like a board, therefore doesn't require stretching, but takes longer to dry.



    more about Watercolour paper:

    Printmaking Paper

    Printmaking paper is specific to printmaking techniques, because it has to be able to take soaking, absorb ink, and take multiple runs through a press without disintegration or deformation.
    For this purpose, they are made with a so-called archival fabric, that means it contains cotton (in Europe) or mulberry bark (in Japan)

    Tracing Paper

    • thin, translucent paper
    • 60 - 90 gsm
    • it's used for making copies of drawings, or tracing a pencil sketch onto canvas for instance

    Recommended Videos:

    Selecting Art Paper

    Arches Printmaking Papers & How to Evaluate Your Paper

    Watercolor Paper Comparison - Arches, Fabriano and Canson - Beginners Which Paper to Choose?

    How to Pick Great Watercolor Paper


  • Posca Paint Markers

    Possibly one of the most versatile water-based paint marker pens?

    Posca Pens are great permanent paint markers that come in many different sizes, shapes and colours.

    They are great for many art practices, from sketching to more specific surfaces like glass, rocks or fabrics.

    Read more to find out what else they are capable of!

    How to use Posca Pens:

    The Posca Paint markers contain opaque, fluid paint that is quite similar to acrylic paint. Even light colours can be painted on darker shades without loosing their effect. Colours can also be blended, with your fingers or with brushes. For a watercolour effect, work with wet brushes.

    The markers all have water based ink, that’s non-toxic, therefore you can use them on your skin if you prefer, as well as suitable for children’s use.

    The paint dries very quickly, but required a few minutes on less porous surfaces. They are also permanent, or can be made permanent on all surfaces.

    Available sizes and tips

    The Posca Pens are not refillable, but it’s possible to change the tips. PC-1M, PC-3M, PC-5M, PC-8K and PC-17K have replaceable tips, but generally they all can be reversed.
    If the tip dries, it can be simply taken out by pulling and rinsed with water.

    On rocks, helmets, surf boards, guitars, skateboards, shoes, polymer clay, T-shirts, skin, asphalt,

    Pavement art

    T-shirts and textiles



    Mugs, ceramics

    Making Posca Permanent:

    Instructions for making Posca pens permanent on different surfaces:

    • Paper/Card: No action needed - Posca pigment will be absorbed into the fibres, making it permanent.
    • Terracotta: Bake in the oven at 220°C for 45 minutes, then spray with clear varnish.
    • Textiles: Iron on the reverse side.
    • Porcelain: Bake in oven at 160°C for 45 minutes, optionally spray with clear varnish.
    • Metal: Spray with clear varnish.
    • Glass: Bake in oven at 160°C for 45 minutes, then spray with clear varnish.
    • Wood: Spray with clear varnish.
    • Plastic: Spray with clear varnish.

    Test results of Posca Pen on different surfaces:

    What type of varnish is suitable for Posca Pens?

    Clear acrylic based varnish for paper, canvas

    Durable polyurethane varnish (for guitars, wood, metal, plastic, glass, cars, stone, canvas)

    References and Photos:


    Posca Water-based Pigment Ink Markers

    Posca Pen Sunset on rocks

    Blending with Posca Pens

    Posca Pens on textile 

    Wall painting with Posca Pens

    Posca Pens on mug / ceramics

    Posca Pen drawing on Tshirt

    Posca Pens on wood 

    Varnishes to use on Posca Pens

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