March 21st, 2020

Hudson Valley Sketches: Nova Trio Sketchbook Review

ARTIST: Jamie Williams Grossman, United States

The following are excerpts from Jamie’s review of the Nova Trio square sketchbook.

If you love working on different colored toned papers, this sketchbook is for you! I usually carry around a selection of paper colors if I’m working out on location in gouache. Stillman and Birn came out with this Nova Trio sketchbook not too long ago. It contains gray, tan, and black papers within the same book. It doesn’t get more convenient than this in a sketchbook with heavy weight paper! If gouache is your thing, these books are hard to beat.

Last Friday, I had an immature Bald Eagle pay me a visit during lunchtime! Fortunately, my trusty Nikon P900 was nearby, so I snapped a bunch of photos of him from the kitchen window, and did the sketch above from my reference images in gouache on gray paper.

At the Wadsworth Antheneum, there was a wonderful exhibit of Italian Master Drawings. I was especially intrigued by one that was sketched with red chalk, then finished with pen and ink. I wanted to play with that idea on toned paper. I bought a bouquet of flowers, and turned to the tan section of the book. Starting with a Sanguine Conte Pastel Pencil, I sketched some of the flowers, then worked with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, which I’d filled with Caran d’Ache Grand Canyon ink.

Of course I had to try the black paper too! The flowers from my bouquet were still alive, so I took advantage of that, painting with a little gouache travel set I’ve made up with a limited palette — just red, magenta, yellow, blue, white, and neutral grays.

To read the full review, visit and follow Jamie on Instagram at @jamiewilliamsgrossman!

MEDIA: Gouache, Watercolor, Conte, Ink
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Gray, Beige, Black – Medium Grain Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Jamie Williams Grossman is a Signature Member and former Chairman of New York Plein Air Painters (NYPAP), and current Leader of their Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of over 425 artists. Jamie has taught painting workshops at Frederic Church’s Olana Historic Site, as well as for Scenic Hudson and Putnam Arts Council. Her paintings have been featured in USA Weekend, The Journal News, Plein Air Magazine, Putnam County News and Recorder, the Catskill Region Guide, Poughkeepsie Journal, Hudson Valley Parent Magazine, Bedford Record Review and more. She maintains two studios in the Hudson Valley, but prefers the “outdoor” studio! She shares her sketches, sketchbooks, and tips for artists on her other website, Hudson Valley Sketches.


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