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Thinking About Sketchbooks On-line

January 16, 2009

The last several weeks I have been looking about on the internet for sketchbooks. I like looking in people's sketchbooks and more and more people are putting their sketchbooks up on the internet. I wanted to share these links with you so that you have some eye-candy to inspire you over the weekend. Everyone approaches the sketchbook or visual journal differently and that should encourage you to experiment and find a visual voice that works for you as you record the world around you or simply work on your drawing skills.

As far as I can remember I think I read on one page Flaf is an architect. As is typical for me, I can never get back to the same page twice! At any rate Flaf draws the environment he finds himself in and his renderings look effortless. He has a wonderful eye for knowing which details to include and which to omit. He is a master at creating compositional focus.

Jason Das over at GasWaterNothing does some amazing things with a brush pen in his cityscapes. Scroll down to his 12/02/08 sketch of Canal and Bowery. Bold brushstrokes are balanced with bold colors. (You'll also see how he handles people with a brush pen.)

Another happy accidental find (all my internet browsing finds end up being happy accidents as I'm still a print person more than an internet user) was Susan Abbott. She's a painter who does lovely paintings with really vibrant use of color (which you can get to from her main page; do go to her blogs and see the bold colors she uses in her paintngs, a great contrast from the journals), but I am fascinated with her journals which are typically (at least the ones I've been able to look at so far), done almost entirely in black and sanguine ink. I love her mix of the two inks. There are also a lot of sketches of her feet in her journals and since I often end up resorting to my feet as models I immediately related. You'll also see how she deals with lists and commentary, and how she fills her pages with many fast moving subjects. Her eye, hand, and brain are working overtime.

And, one more to view is Pete Skully's sketchbooks.  You can also view his sketchblog (where on Jan. 12 I see he posted a delightful drawing of a sleeping dog—of course I loved that). He participated in the recent Sketchcrawl and has posts on that at his blog. (I came to his work from Urban Sketchers which I wrote about some time ago.) Skully, has a detailed pen and ink style which he colors with washes of watercolor. The resultant views and vistas are lovely, not labored. Scroll down his blog and see some of the monochromatic images he has created. Note how he frames his work and at other times dissolves the edges.

As I was saying, everyone's approach is different. If you find yourself stuck inside this weekend (because of the cold, perhaps, and boy is it cold up here in MN), take a moment to check out the work of these 4 artists. One of the beauties of the internet is that it can function as an on-line gallery. You can go and wander the halls without putting your coat on. You'll learn something by looking at each one of these artists.

    • Nita
    • January 16, 2009
    Reply

    Great new finds–following the people on Urban Sketchers is wonderfully inspiring.

    Do you know Stephen Gardner’s work? http://sketchoftheday.blogspot.com/

  1. Reply

    That was an amazing collection you gathered. Thank you – I got quite lost traveling around the different sites, particularly Susan Abbott’s – really loved her colors.

    Thank you also for the very informative post about the difference between the Pentel Pocket Pen and the Pentel Pocket Brush, both of which I now have and neither of which I have tried yet!

  2. Reply

    I’m addicted to looking at other people’s sketchbooks, too (in addition to posting my own pages on my blog). They always manage to inspire me when my own work seems kind of bleak. In fact, a while back I spent maybe three weeks going through all of your sketchbooks – you inspired me to start using gouache!

    Thanks for the links!
    Ariela

    • Roz
    • January 17, 2009
    Reply

    Nita, no, I didn’t know his work. Thank you for the link. His work is BEYOND WONDERFUL!!!
    Roz

    • Roz
    • January 17, 2009
    Reply

    Anna Maria, you get busy with those brushpens this weekend. There will be a quiz!

    Just kidding about the quiz, but do get busy with those pens. There is much fun to be had!

    • Roz
    • January 17, 2009
    Reply

    Ariela, I’m so glad I was helpful in getting you to try gouache!!! (It is my not so secret plan of course.)

    Looking at other people’s artwork, but I think especially their sketchbooks and visual journals, has real power to push us beyond our own comfort levels and make break throughs!
    Roz

    • Faye Day
    • January 17, 2009
    Reply

    Roz – Here’s one I find interesting: http://www.eveningtweed.com/sarah/sketchbook/

    Faye Day

    • Roz
    • January 17, 2009
    Reply

    Faye, thanks for the link! Sarah’s sketchbooks are really cool. I especially liked the Creatures page with all the animals, but I think the hand-drawn lettering is great too.

    I’ve got this marked on my list!

    Roz

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