I have, for many years, admired travel sketchbooks and journals, especially those done in watercolors.
I am a big fan of watercolors in general. I don't know if it's their softness, or the way they seem to be especially forgiving, as it really seems to me that many appear to be colored "outside the lines." I just like them.
For me, part of the appeal of sketchbooks and travel journals is that they are done quickly and in the moment. I fully admit that patience is not one of my strongpoints. So the idea of completing a sketch or painting in a journal in a matter of minutes or an hour, as opposed to days or weeks, really thrills me.
My grandmother painted. She dabbled in acrylics and I have one of her paintings hanging in my spare bedroom. It's just a vase of flowers, and it's not perfect, but that's not why she painted. She painted because she was a creative type. She gardened, she crocheted, she sewed, she loved to write letters, she loved to cook and have luncheons for her lady friends. I have realized just in the last couple of years how much I am like her. And I miss her.
My favorite of her paintings, though, are a couple of miniature watercolor landscapes that she did for me. She used just the little dime store eight-color paint palette and the paintbrush that came with it. And her "canvas" was the tiny piece of cardboard that used to be in the bottom of the purse-sized packets of tissues. It's about 2 or 3 inches wide by about 4 inches long. I was probably still in grade school when she painted them, and I was in awe. She was an artist!
I have "dabbled" myself several times in the last few years. Other than a few very small Chinese brush paintings that I am fairly pleased with, I never felt that I got the hang of it. I never liked the finished product. I've tried watercolor pencils, a small watercolor palette, and even a few tubes of watercolor paints. I recently signed up for a class next month - just three hours one morning at a botanical garden. But I decided I wanted to practice a little bit ahead of time. I found some instructional videos on the Internet and watched them, and decided to give it another go.
The first sketch I did just in watercolor pencils a couple of months ago. I had not added any water until today. I don't love it, but it's a little better after I played with it today.
The next two I did tonight. I used watercolor pencils again and just looked at some pictures from a magazine and copied thrm.
I rather like the lavender. And the fruit is kind of growing on me. I definitely can't wait to try some more! On to the paint palette next.