You have filled how many sketchbooks?

2014 has drawn to a close.  I started to sketch on a daily basis  Christmas 2013.  So I am well into my second year.  I believe I have filled about 18 sketchbooks.  However, it is not about how many sketchbooks you fill.  It is about the process and for me…progress.  It is in my nature to want to move forward, improve.

It appears I have 7 sketchbooks  in progress at the moment. A daily or play-around sketchbook.  This is normally a 7 x 10 Canson XL mixed media sketchbook.  I will fill one of these up in two months.  A folding Selfie sketchbook which I made myself.  I will fill one of these up in 2 months.  There is a Moleskine sketchbook.  I am struggling to fill it up as I feel everything has to be perfect. A Stillman & Birn, 6 x 9 Alpha sketchbook.  I started this for my online course, SketchingNow Foundations.  It appears to be too small for the exercises so I have been filling up the very first sketchbook I started  which is a 9 x 12 Strathmore Visual Journal mixed media.  I also have an 8 x 11 Canson hard cover sketchbook. I am using for people and I have started a 4 x 6 Pentalic sketchbook which I will keep in my handbag.  So I am off to a good start in 2015.

Some discoveries from 2014.   My favorite pen and ink is the Platinium Carbon Desk Pen with carbon ink.  I keep coming back to this pen. The ink drys instantly and is waterproof.  My favorite sketchbook is  the Stillman & Birn 6 x 9 Alpha sketchbook.  It looks nice, the paper is great to work on and it is not as intimating at the Moleskine watercolor sketchbook.  My favorite watercolor paints are Daniel Smith and Schmincke watercolor pans.  I am still not sold on water-soluble colored pencils.  I like water-soluble graphite.  My favorite gel pens are Uni-ball Vision and Uni-ball Signo Um-15. I enjoy working with ink washes in a selection of waterbrushes.  Watercolor brushes are still a mystery!

Although it has been the Christmas week, it has been a quiet week.   So plenty of time to experiment.

My car keys in Uni-ball Vision gel pen.


I needed inspiration during the week.  So turned to Chapter 6 – Prompts,  from France Belleville-Van Stone’s book “Sketch” and found bananas.  The first was completed with a setup drawing. The second is in straight pen.

BanananosetupBananasetup copy

And finally a page of hands and fingers.   I like this page because I have embraced a mistake and went with it!   I have six fingers in the main drawing.



Going Digital!

I have been reading ‘Sketch’ by France Belleville-Van Stone.  It is good book which encourages you to sketch for the pure joy of it.  I feel I am already there however the book is a good read and the sketches inspiring.  There is one chapter in the book on “Going Digital”.  It covered some of the same apps I have on my Ipad which I haven’t used in quite some time.

I thought it would be interesting to revisit sketching on my Ipad after sketching on a daily basis for the past year.  I have Paper 53, Procreate and Art Rage. Paper 53 is my favorite as you save your work in sketchbooks or journals.  There has been a slight learning curve which has been shortened by reading the manual.  I would really like to be able to sketch on my Ipad when in a coffee shop.  So first up, of course, is a ‘Selfie”


The  second sketch is my money purse.  I decided to draw the purse in pen and ink with a watercolor wash and then in Paper 53.  I was really pleased with the results.  I have learned that you will get a nice color wash in Paper 53 by relaxing and assuming you are working in watercolor.  The first sketch is in pen and ink with watercolor and the second digital.  It is definitely worth exploring more.  I don’t see it replacing my paper sketchbooks but it does give me another option for sketching.


Saturday’s Sketch!

There is no doubt Oregon’s wet weather can really put a damper on things to sketch.  I could of course sit in the car.  Something I plan to do in the coming week.  However, on Saturday there was no escaping the rain.   So I picked up a pen and started to sketch what was in front of me – my Eddie Bauer coffee cup.


The fingers on my left hand were added.  It still needed more so I sketched my right hand as it sketched …it’s self.   As the day progressed I added the sketchbook.  Sometimes a sketch will just take off!

This week!

Not sure if posting once a week will work.   One forgets what happened yesterday.  However, the week started out drawing the rear end of cars.  The mini was found in the parking lot of the marina in Portland.  The Fit is my car.  Not as exciting as a Mini but it gets you from A to B.  You can actually fit a lot into the Fit!


Next I started drawing a pear I picked up at the supermarket and working in water-soluble graphite pencil.  The pencils are Derwent Graphitone in 2B and 6B.  Something I should explore more.  Fun to combine ordinary graphite with water-soluble graphite.


I also did two self portraits in water-soluble graphite. I really need to learn when to finish a sketch.  More is not always better than less!


Venturing Out!

This weekend I ventured out to do some sketching.  On Saturday our local sketching group met in the Food Court of the Salem Center Mall.  There I captured a cell phone kiosk and a gentleman having a quiet read.




On Sunday I took up residence in a Starbucks set inside the Target store at the Jantzen Beach Mall in Portland.  It was really busy.  So busy people stayed in one spot for more than 30 seconds.