Feathers, comics and cat polaroids: a personal history of Daler Rowney process journals (not a sponsored post!)
Simple and sturdy with their canvas-textured hard covers and heavy-weight, off-white paper, Daler Rowney’s Ebony journals have served me faithfully for 20 years, as a place to document the process of art-making; to research, experiment and workshop ideas.
Sometimes messy, sometimes elaborate, they hold an eclectic mixture of different media and textures, combining practice drawings and paintings, image designs, reference pics and (more recently) mock-ups of comics.
My early journals (below) bring me back to the excitement of art school days when I was just beginning to grasp what painting methods and subjects interested me, and so much of this knowledge was new.
Note: I’ve used all sizes of the Ebony journal, but for process diaries, I keep returning to the A5. Only four journals are photographed here; I’ve used a fair few more, and in terms of my entire journal, notebook and sketchbook collection, well, this is but the tip of the iceberg..
Top to bottom: from late 2017, two self-portraits in journal, 30-45 min each; preparatory sketch for upcoming painting, Jan 2018; 2015 self-portrait sketch in front of studio window