International Moleskine Exchange

   The Moly_x_20 Project

moly_x_20 Book, Napa Sketch (larger)

This is my first contribution to the popular International Moleskine Exchange (aka moly_x) mail-based art exchange project. The idea is that artists work in small groups filling accordion-style Pocket Moleskine notebooks that are mailed, round robin fashion, around the group. Thus far there are 29 groups formed: I am in group 20 (aka moly_x_20). Each group has an individual blog to track partipation and communications, and all projects post images to the unified Flickr group: a great place to monitor the progress of the project at large.

For my own book I decided to do a variation of a sketch I did recently in Napa. I’d never really reprised a sketch before but found it a lot of fun to figure out what to change and add to make it work in the new format. The paper in these Moleskine books has a waxy finish which is resistant to watercolors (which is why I rebind Moleskines for my own use), so I also had to do some experimentation to find a similar way to add color.

I discovered that watercolor pencils work fairly well in both wet and dry form. The pencils I used are Caran d’Ache Supracolor II, of which I happened to have a few assorted colors on hand. I think it’s time to go out and round out my collection of colors, in anticipation of this project!

Lisa (rightside) has done a beautiful next entry in my book.
Check it out!

More Entries in this Project:
     My Moly_x Drawings

For More Online Information:
     Moly_x Explained [requires Flickr login]
     Moly_x Image Pool
     Moly_x_20 Project Blog

9 Responses to “International Moleskine Exchange”

  1. sandy Says:

    Thanks for the Big Link to the projects, it is fun to watch the progress – thanks for the WC pencil tip with the Moly too. – Love this sketch the first time AND the second.

  2. E-J Says:

    It’s a super little sketch, Martha. Not sure I would have the nerve to participate in a Moly exchange … the pressure!!! … especially given the top-notch artistic company the moly_xers are finding themselves in.

    Incidentally, I’ve found that watercolours work just fine in a Moleskine on top of a lightly-applied layer of coloured pencil, or when I’ve used a putty eraser to get rid of a graphite outline. I guess either of these alters the shiny surface slightly, allowing w/c.

  3. vivien Says:

    This looks fun :>)

    I’m taking part in 2 exchanges at the moment too – one of a little moley like this and the other of a hand made book, larger and with varied paper as people add to it as it travels – links will be on my blog later today.

    It’s a great way of sharing and owning work from people you like isn’t it?

  4. africantapestry Says:

    This looks beautiful Martha, I’m looking forward to see the progress of it.

  5. martha Says:

    Hi Jana: Yes, each person purchases and starts a book, which goes around the group a couple of times and (in theory at least) you get your own book back filled with art.

    You can follow all the books on the Flickr group. It’s fun to see the same ones come around and see what happens to them next. And, new groups are still forming if anyone is tempted to jump in.

  6. Jana Bouc Says:

    Will you end up with a book at the end? Where do the finished books go? These traveling sketchbooks are so cool. It would be fun to knowing all the places the book has been and the people who’ve contributed to it. The reprised sketch is in some ways even nicer than the first, the way it’s spread out over a few pages.

  7. Peter Says:

    Thanks for the speedy reply. I think I’ll have to get some watercolor pencils to play with.

    BTW – the Moleskine exchange idea is totally cool! Your book is going to be incredible when it finally makes its way home.

  8. martha Says:

    Hi Peter – yes, either works. I mostly drew first. I also was able to pick up color from the pencil lead directly with a wet brush – that works well too on this paper.

  9. Peter Says:

    So how do watercolor pencils work exactly? Do you draw on the paper with the pencil and then smear it around with a wet brush, or do you wet the paper and then draw on it?

What are your thoughts?

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