2x2: 2 Artists, 2 Sketchbooks -- Week 4

Coming up to this week I was filled with different ideas. Dana's page was created with markers and gouache, two types of media that I don't have much experience with. Before this, I had never worked with gouache. And markers? I wish I liked working with markers. Other artists seem to use them in their sketchbooks so effortlessly, with beautiful results. Me? Not so much.

Although I had plenty of ideas, I was a little nervous. I wanted to use markers and gouache, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull off any of my ideas using them. I practiced a little with the markers in my personal sketchbook, not happy with the results. I blamed the lightweight paper in that book and hoped for the best.

2x2, 2x2 Sketchbook, sketchbook, gouache, markers, Anne Butera, Dana Barbieri
Dana (l), Anne (r)
It's not my favorite page so far, but I think it works well with Dana's.

2x2 Sketchbook, 2x2, Anne Butera, Dana Barbieri, Sketchbook, Markers, Gouache

Plus, it was fun. And I got to experiment with new media. A sketchbook should be a place to experiment, try new things, work out ideas and to have fun.

Don't forget to stop by Dana's blog for her take on this week's pages.

About the project:

2x2: 2 Artists, 2 Sketchbooks is a collaboration between artists Dana Barbieri and Anne Butera. Dana and Anne met in an online painting class. Although they have never met in person, they have become friends through regular visits to each others' blogs. It was through this connection that this project began. Wanting to move from friendship to collaboration, each spent two months filling one half of a sketchbook before mailing it off to the other. Dana worked on the lefthand pages and Anne on the right. Each will be responding to the other's work on the adjacent sketchbook pages over the coming year. Watch weekly as they reveal another page of their story.

About the artists:

Dana is an artist and crafter living in the foothills of the Catskill mountains two hours north of New York City with her husband, two children and little kitty. She is passionate about painting, knitting, crochet, color, pattern and design.

Anne is an artist, writer and crafter who finds inspiration and joy in the beauty of her garden and the magic of nature. Dissatisfied with and disheartened by the pace and lifestyle of the city, she and her husband (with their two rescued greyhounds and an aging Siamese) relocated to a small town in the beautiful Driftless region in southwest Wisconsin with the goal of living a slower, simpler, more intentional life.


  1. The colours work so well together! I love the paint sampler that you have put on the bottom. Have you tried using Aquamarkers Anne? They are water based and can be watered down and applied like paint. I don't get on so well with my Promarkers which are solvent based. Dana's painting reminds me of a Zentangle pattern! :-)

    1. Thank you, Simone!

      I've never tried Aquamarkers. These are Koi watercolor brush pens. I haven't played around enough with them to really get the hang of them. I have colorless blenders that are supposed to help with washes and gradations of color. I think I'm going to need to get some heavier paper to experiment with, though, because my personal sketchbook's paper wasn't holding up very well when I played in there.

  2. I like both pages but especially the flowers. I am using "opaque" watercolors for a bit - my brother says they are similar to goache in that they are more opaque. I'm trying to be content with my art journals the way I make them and not wish they looked like other artists' pages. Sigh.

    1. Oh, it's so hard not to compare ourselves to others. There is, of course, a lot we can learn from other artists, but in the end, we can (and should) be ourselves... that's where the beauty of our art lies.

      I hope you are enjoying your opaque watercolors!

  3. Both pages are cheerful and modern - the colors are lovely together. The key is that it was fun and experimental; as you said, what sketchbooks are made for. Thank you for sharing your work!

    1. Thanks, Sharon. You're very right. The important thing, always, is that it's fun and challenges us to try new and different things!

  4. Dear Anne, I do like those pages and I do like your sketch book very much. Trying new medium is not always easy. It is a learning process. I have been painting in oils for last two years but just recently I started to feel comfortable using them. Sketchbooks are great for trying new things, for ideas and inspirations. I like colours on both of the pages!

    1. Thank you, Aga!

      You're right about the learning process. It took me a long time to be comfortable with watercolors. It's hard to be patient with the process sometimes, but that's the natural way of learning.


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