For this interview, we have Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel from Germany to share with us the drawing tools she use on her journal pages. She writes and draws so every spread in her sketchbook is like a mini story. Her works have also appeared in the book An Illustrated Journey.
Qn: Can you give our readers an introduction of yourself?
I’m 48 years old and I live in Kiel, the provincial capital of Schleswig Holstein, the most northern federal state of Germany.
After school I did an apprenticeship as a photographer and after that I studied graphic design. Actually I’m working in a small business for machine engineering in the marketing department and it’s my job to design all brochures, flyers, trade-fair appearances and so on.
I began very early to keep a diary, but I used to fill them with writings about my thoughts and things which happened in my life. When I bought my first Moleskine pocket diary in 2001 I began to do some shy doodles and sketches additionally to the writings.
You have to know that I haven’t done any drawing after my diploma as a qualified designer in 1996, because my professor told me that it would be better if I won’t draw — she thought I wasn’t very talented. Perhaps she was right, but I always loved to draw and I love all this wonderful drawing stuff.
In my pocket diary I wasn’t very obstructed, because I kept it just for me. Who cares when I did some lousy drawings? In the course of time I recovered my fun in drawing and I drew more and more.
When I noticed one day that there are many people around the world who keep an illustrated diary I was so delighted — it gave me such a shot in my arm ;-) I began to follow several people with wonderful journals on Flickr, and in 2005 I began also to upload my drawings. I love the exchange with other people about journaling, drawing etc. That helped to stick to journaling.
Qn: What are your favourite tools for line work? And also the watercolour brush that you're using since it's in the picture above.
Qn: Can you tell us about the several watercolour box sets that you have? What's the difference between them and are they used for different kind of jobs or purposes?
I’m a drawing stuff victim, and I can’t stop getting watercolours and watercolour boxes. Especially when I see a little watercolour box for traveling I can’t resist.
Those big watercolour boxes (filled with Schmincke Horadam) are really very old (I began to use watercolours in my youth), but they’re too heavy to bring them along for traveling. So I have several small boxes and rearrange them from time to time. One little box is filled with Winsor and Newton, another box with Schmincke Horadam. The little plastic box from Winsor and Newton is my travel equipment. In series it’s filled with Cotman watercolours, but I changed them into Artists watercolours.
Qn: Of all the watercolour box sets, which is your favourite?
I love them all, and I also have virgin unused boxes.
But I think concerning the form and the materials my favourite is the metal box from Schmincke in the drawing from November 10. It has a nice size and provides enough space for MANY colors. ;-)
Qn: Why did you choose to go with getting half pans as compared to buying watercolour tubes can squeezing them into empty pans?
I choose half pans because I can squash more wonderful colours into a small box ;-)
I never bought tubes because I’m sure that I would waste the valuable colour with my gross sensory motor skills while squeezing them generously into the empty pans ;-)
Qn: What are these colouring pens that you have here? They look like markers. Are they easy to work with? What do you use them for?
These are Stabilo Point 88 and Stabilo Pen 68. They are very cheap felt tip pens. It’s easy to work with, but it’s not very easy to draw a consistent coloured area. Those pens are good for lines and sometimes to make the contrasts in watercolour drawings more vibrant.
Qn: Can you tell us about your set of Copic markers? There are a lot of colours I see. Wow, there are also the wide Copic markers, those are not easy to use.
Copics are great. Their smell is unique and can be addictive, because there are so many wonderful colours available. Yes, the bleed across to opposite pages. With a bit of luck you will be avoid spoiling the next 3 pages ;-)
Qn: What sketchbooks do you use? Most of them seems like daily planners or diaries. Do your drawing materials like watercolours or markers work well on them?
The paper is lousy and has a poor quality. Sorry that I have to say this. So the watercolours and markers don’t work really well on them.
Nevertheless I buy this Moleskine every year again. Perhaps it’s appealing for me to use high-quality colours on lousy paper. When the result is not as expected I can lay the blame on the paper ;-)
Qn: Do you use other drawing paper?
Nearly never. I suffer in stoppages when I’m sitting in front of a very fine paper. I think the drawing on it has to be a masterpiece, and at the same moment I remember that I’m not Rembrandt, so I’m really obstructed in drawing the first line onto expensive paper.
One day I will try it again. In my youth I’ve been better in drawing on high quality papers.
Qn: Who else do you think we should feature next?