Friday, June 8, 2012

I made a new sketch kit!

Ever since I readthe Artist's Journal Workshop I've really wanted to go out and sketch everything everywhere I went. So I got myself a cheap sketchbook from Wal*Mart, made a pretty cover for it, and then it just sat there.

Eventually I started taking each page and separating it into eight boxes: one for each day and a header box. Then each day I do a little drawing about something that happened that day, and journal a bit. It really helped me get more comfortable sketching and using watercolors, but it wasn't really what I was aiming for. I did a few recipe sketches (here and here) but not much else. I'm a member of the Artist's Journal Workshop group on Facebook, and seeing all the wonderful sketches people made was really inspiring, but I just wasn't sketching. Then it occurred to me.

This was my old sketch kit:

sketch kit old
vs new old

The book is 8 1/2 x 11.

Yeah, every time I went everywhere I would shove all that stuff into my bag and shlepp it around, and then not use it! The book was big and unwieldy. I never knew what art materials to use, and if I did pull it out, I was faced by this huge expanse of empty paper and I felt like whatever I sketched had to fill the whole page and be 'worthy' of a big sketch; very intimidating.

So I got to thinking: I knew I needed to stick to just one medium-- so I picked watercolor-- and that I needed a much smaller palette. And then I thought, my daily journal drawings were small, and maybe I would feel more comfortable sketching on a smaller format.

I started researching bookbinding (and you've seen my beginnings here; I’ve made several more, and will probably post more about them later), and finally made my own custom sketchbook:

little flower
coptic sketchbook 1 little flower
coptic sketchbook 2

It's 4 1/2 x 6, with 64 pages of nice sketching paper, Coptic bound with some cardboard I scavenged from an old tissue box for the covers.

Then I grabbed an old gum box I'd been saving and hot glued sections into it, and filled it with some tube watercolors I had. And now I have this:

sketch kit old
vs new new

Much better, a few paper towels for my water brush (in the pink and black bag along with my pencil, eraser and pens) and I'm good to go!

Here is the front of the book, contact info if I ever loose it and then my palette (a great idea I got from the Artist's Journal Workshop):

sketch kit old
vs new new inside

And my first sketch in it:

little book
sketch 1

The local park has these really neat sprinklers for kids to play under in the summer. There are benches positioned around the concrete splash pad for parents to sit at and watch the kids.

It's not very good, but I'll get better as I sketch more while out and about and get used to the new size and palette. It was freeing to only have a small space to draw; I didn't feel obligated to find something "worthy" of a big sketch, and it was easy to hold on to and draw in and to hide it back in my bag whenever the Llama came over while he was playing. (He gets very upset if I draw where he can get to, and is always trying to take my book away from me or grab my pencil, I think partially because he wants to draw too but hasn't figured out to let other people draw on their own paper and he on his.)

I'll still use my big sketchbook and different supplies for my daily journals, but for going places, this is definitely a keeper.

here's a better drawing I did last night before bed:


1 comment:

  1. I started keeping a journal 5 years ago in a 5 inch square journal.. I've graduated to a 5x8 now that I carry everywhere... I keep looking at everyone's hand made journals, but still haven't taken the plunge yet myself. Did buy a couple of hand made journal on Etsy.. and enjoyed drawing and painting in them.
    Your sketches are delightful... stick with it, you will enjoy looking back thru these journals some day. One hint... date your pages... and number the journals.


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