Above: Spread from my 9 x 12 inch Venezia journal. The text is obscured for privacy. I prepainted the entire background of the page spread, but the sketch on the right (done outside the journal) covers the recto page almost completely now. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
I sketched Gert here with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen on a piece of mixed media paper from the Strathmore Journal Line (this paper is not available in sheets—hint, hint Strathmore). I added some gouache (Schmincke). This is the first time I've ever sketched Gert with her mouth shut so I wanted to include her in the regular stream of my journal (which is sort of irregular now because I am working in two journals: the in-studio one and a portable one; see related posts since June 10, 2011). I thought about saving this page spread to paint on directly. I could easily have put Gert on blank spread later on, but I had just told my Strathmore students not to worry about using up great backgrounds—You can always make more.