On My Table: Beginning of March 2024.

February had an extra day this year but it did not help with the feeling that the time is moving too fast! A big illustration project supposedly got installed - but I am yet to see it in real life to share. I had some wonderful chances to see friends (Uma had an exhibit) and paint with them this month. I got some exciting gifts to play with too - see the new watercolors below! (Marie-Hélène stopped by San Francisco on her tour through the USA - and we had a chance to finally meet each other in person!)  

It's been quite windy outside and all my tables are covered in tea mugs and treasures that I find on my walks between rains. 

After reading some lovely books I got a slight obsession with snails - one of the resulting drawings ended up on the cover of my current sketchbook number 155.

There is a lot of printmaking happening and you can see some new tools and detritus of some stencils there too. And Magnolia season is here! I have yet to get out for a full magnolia-centered painting session but I've prepared some colors! 

My search for a perfect black pencil continues :) 

And stickers are works of Heather Ihn Martin (who now does ceramics too!!) and Matthew Forsythe



  1. I would like to help you find the perfect black pencil! :-) I've tried a lot myself! Are you looking for pigment (colored pencil)? Graphite? Water-soluble? Charcoal...?

    1. thank you! This is such a great subject - several people already reached out with some recommendations! :) I would very much value getting your input! I am looking for a really dark black that has enough strength to go over gouache and watercolor. Since this would be the topmost layer it can be water soluble but not charcoal as smudging and the way I treat my sketchbooks do not go well together. So far my best contenders are Faber Castell Oil Pitt Extra Soft, Lyra black - both in a thin color pencil format and in the big woody pencil :) and dermatograph peel-off pencil. Any suggestions are very welcome!

    2. Hmmm... I agree that the Pitt Oil pencil is very dark and might be the best for your use. The only other one I can think of is Derwent Drawing Pencil in black. It's a colored pencil, but very, very soft, and the core is much thicker than any other colored pencil I have used. Does not smudge. Worth trying... in case you don't have enough pencils! ;-)

    3. lol - there is (almost) no such thing as enough pencils! And I will definitely try this one as I never did. What do you think about potential of luminance black?

    4. I'd say Derwent Drawing Pencil is comparable to Luminance in softness (maybe even a bit softer). But the big difference is the size of the core -- Derwent is much thicker, so you can lay it on its side and really make expressive lines and marks! I'm sure you're not interested in that. ;-)

    5. After this description I am off to place an order! Thank you :)