Two More Great Sketchbook Facsimiles: Wil Freeborn and Nina Johansson

February 17, 2014

I love sketchbook and journal facsimiles. (You can see a list of my favorite journal and sketchbook fascimiles or compilations here.)

This winter two more arrived in the mail. I'd ordered one recently (Wil Freeborn's) and so I was not surprised when it arrived, but the other had been back ordered and it was quite a surprise to see it—I'd forgotten I'd ordered it. With books of this sort I believe that if you like the artist's work you need to order the book when you see it because you don't know when it might be available again.

I highly recommend both of these journal fascimiles. 

A Sketchbbook, Wil Freeborn

In the summer of 2010 I was able to buy a copy of Freeborn's "See You Around."  Sadly that book no longer seems to be available.

When I saw mention of this new facsimile I couldn't wait to order it.

I love his sketching style, which is realistic pen and ink (with watercolor) sketches.He makes great use of negative space as a compositional device in his journal.

In sketches that burst the boundaries of his pages he creates a richness that draws you in, yet remains focused.

There is an intimacy in his drawings, an intelligence. I feel when I look at them I have actually just shared a conversation with the artist about something he just pointed out, "Hey, look at that." This is a tremendous gift which elevates his sketches from random observations to revelations of the artist's thought process to his audience. This is difficult to do. Lots of people try it. He succeeds. 

I hope he publishes many more sketchbook facsimiles. You can see Freeborn's work on his blog.

Drawing Around Sagrada Familia, Nina Johansson

I've been a huge fan of Nina Johansson's work since first seeing her posts to the Everyday Matters List. You can see her work on Nina Johansson

Johansson is an art and design teacher and I find each of her drawings a delightful bit of education. She will experiment with media and approach, though most often she works with pen and ink (and watercolor washes).

Like Freeborn her eye tells her hand where to put the focus whether she is sketching a city park scene, a cityscape, or a country view. The sense of experimentation with a steady hand and eye makes her sketches inviting and playful. I've always thought her expression clear and excellent and now I have a book filled with her sketches that I can hold in my hand and savor. I feel I've just been on a wonderful tour of Barcelona with an observant friend who pointed out all the important bits.

Is it enough—no. But I hope she too will publish many more sketchbook facsimilies. 

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