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More Commercially Made Sketchbooks


Above: More commercially manufactured sketchbook/journals, I've not discussed on the blog before (with one exception). In the text below I discuss them by "letter-label." Click on the image to view the enlargement.

On a recent trip to Wet Paint (where I’m happy to report they have all three sizes of the Fabriano Venezia hardcovered journal if you enjoy working in that book) I picked up a couple more sketchbooks to test out. (I can’t help myself. I am aware that at some point I will not be able to bind my own books any more and I want to be prepared with alternatives—at least that’s what I always tell myself.)


Where Do You Find Birds?


Above: One of my favorite sketches from my 2009 Fake Journal (see it all in a video clip, and in posted scans here). Schmincke pan watercolors over Ziller Glossy Black Acrylic ink (dip pen), on water resistant pages in an Alvin Field Book. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

The other day, after seeing my bird-filled 2009 fake journal online someone asked me where I found all those birds to draw. (The person was from Minnesota.) I wrote back telling her my some of my favorite places to go and look at birds in the Twin Cities—places where I can always count on a bird being present when I need a bird fix, which is actually at least once a day.

But her question made me think about the issue of "finding" stuff a bit more. My friend Linda once told me about a part of the brain (can't remember what it is called) where you can actually input things you want to look out for and it will hold "that thought" and see that item EVERYWHERE. So maybe you are looking for 66 Mustangs, or fire hydrants, or odd typographical signs, or, in my case BIRDS. Because you have set up your internal spotting engine to see those things you'll find an abundance of them. (You can actually do this in a general way too, by just suggesting that your brain look for visual journaling options and voilà—everywhere you look!)


It’s Full—I’m Finished

Above: my fake journal kept to celebrate International Fake Journal Month 2009, finished today, the book contains exactly 30 page spreads, one done each day in April. The journal is an Alvin Field book with water resistant pages. I worked with dip pen and Ziller Acrylic ink (glossy black) and Schmincke Pan Watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Well, it's over. For me anyway. Other folks have about 4 more hours until the end of IFJM. If you are new to this blog and wondering what the heck IFJM is you can click on the IFJM category in the category list, click on the appropriate page in the page list, or go to the Official International Fake Journal Month Blog and read more about it; as well as see postings of the images in my 2009 fake journal and the fake journals of some other folks too..

Great News About the Alvin Field Book

As I've mentioned on my blog, I'm using an Alvin Field Book for this year's IFJM journal. I found one at Wet Paint at the end of March and tested it and wrote about it here. I just wanted to publish an addenum to my review of this commercially made notebook. I have the soft-covered […]


First Page Spread in My International Fake Journal Month Journal


Above: The first page spread in my fake journal, started April 1, 2009 (my persona writes the date Year-Month-Date). Click on the image for an enlargement.

This week has been exhausting but interesting. I had to juggle a lot of things. One of those things was the start of IFJM, the other was jury duty. I'll be posting about the later sometime soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to post the opening  spread to my IFJM journal to give people an idea of the approach I'm taking.


Just in Time for International Fake Journal Month!

Left: Sketch of the yard bunny (that's the sweet name for him) on a water resistant paper from Alvin, using a Staedtler Pigment Liner and then painting with washes of Schmincke Gouache.
Click on the image to see an enlargement.

Last week my errands took me to Wet Paint and after I found the things I needed I did a quick run around the store—just 'cause.

This is how I find things when the staff moves them to new locations! I like to know where things are.

I've also been thinking about what I'll do when I stop binding books. That thought led me to search the shelves of commercially bound sketchbooks (and hence the report Sunday on Venezia sketchbooks from Fabriano).

During this search the upcoming International Fake Journal Month was also looming large in my life. This is always the perfect time for me to try out new commercial journals.

Imagine my glee when I found a 4-5/8 x 7-1/4 inch field notebook from Alvin. (Alvin Field Book NP430; $6.95.)

Judging from the curve formulæ, charts, and trigonometric formulæ crowding the inside front and back covers, this must be the type of book surveyors like to use. The bright yellow cover probably helps them locate the book when they drop it in the tall grass! And the two types of grids (a wide spaced one on the verso page and a narrow one on the recto, as shown in the bunny image) probably help them note down all the data they need to record.

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