Monday, August 15, 2011

A big thank you and some sketchbook pages

Before I show you some pages from two of my sketchbooks I wanted to take the time to thank each and every one of you who took the time to respond to my last post, whether in the comment section, through yahoo groups or by other means. I was blown away by your honest and open replies and by the fact that my personal little (well, not so little) hang up was speaking to a lot of you. It made me feel I'm not alone out here.
Writing that post was very liberating for me and I feel now as if I have made things a lot clearer for myself as to how I want to proceed. I have been thinking some more about it this weekend and I think what is important to me is making stuff and sharing stuff, more than marketing stuff, selling stuff or making a big name for myself (or any name at all).

For now I have decided not to open an Etsy shop, because I simply don't want the hassle that comes with it. I have instead decided to use this blog as my main forum for showing my work and for sharing information (tutorials for instance) and even giving some of my work away (freebies you can print out or original pieces you can win). I have to think about it some more, but I am far more interested in spreading my work to those who like it than I am in selling it and this may be the way to go about it. We'll see how it goes. For now I have some freebies lined up for coming friday and I will spend a lot of time this week working on a tutorial on art journaling. I'll keep you posted. In any case I'm excited about my work again!

High time for some actual images!
I wanted to show you some pages from two sketchbooks, my outside-of-the-studio-book and my watercolor sketchbook that's usually in my backpack for when I'm away from home.

I love the size of my out-of-the-studio-book! It's 25x25 cm (I have a preference for square books for some reason). Unfortanetely that also means it won't fit on my scanner, so pictures from it are far from ideal. But you get the general idea, right?

In the above spread I was testing out some derwent graphitint pencils. They are beautifully colored graphite pencils that are also watersoluble. I bought a small set of six of them and wanted to see how they worked, so I filled two pages with them. I liked the colors a lot, but in all honesty, as for performance I'm not sure how they are different from regular watercolor pencils, so I don't think I'll invest in any more of them.

The next spread is me just playing around a little. These are the kinds of things that happen when I'm watching tv and want to do something creative at the same time.

On the left some doodling with a drawing pen on a random watercolor painted background and on the right a heart drawing in watercolor pencils that were wetted afterwards. Now I cannot do this kind of thing if I really want to concentrate on what I'm watching on tv, but it's perfect for reruns of Law & Order! ;-)

As you know I have also started zentangling, oh no, tangling (sigh). I made four zentangles on one page and drew them on different colored backgrounds.

I like the effect of the different colors. I am still very much in the learning stage of this as you can see, but it is a fun way to doodle. Now I have done these four I am working on a large one that will fill an entire sketchbook page. I will show you that when it's done.

On to the watercolor sketchbook. This one is a lot smaller. Pages measure about 21x15 cm, which is A5 size. It's a very portable book. I'm not all too happy with the paper. It's very workable for watercolor, but it has a little too much structure in it for my taste. Still, it's perfect for taking along on walks or if I travel to the main land and want to doodle on the road.

First an example of what I like to do when I don't know what to draw. I just draw shapes and color them in. It's abstract, but without any meaning or plan. Just playing with materials, in this case watercolor pencils.

I have these really cheap watercolor pencils that work quite well actually. I've had some more expensive ones that wouldn't react to water as well as these cheap ones. I don't know the brand, it's not on the pencils, and I threw away the box, but what I'm trying to say is that more expensive isn't necessarily always the better choice.

Of course no sketchbook is complete without some little houses in it. In this scan you can see how the paper effects the result and I'm not too happy about that. But oh well, it's only a sketchbook.

The sentiment here is that there's no place like home, ain't that the truth? Speaking of little houses, I have recently received one of those moleskine japanese books with the harmonica pages and I intend to fill it with little houses. That should be cool.

Finally a little pen and watercolor sketch I did last saturday on one of my walks. The island is at its most idyllic right now (also at it's most busy, tourists everywhere, can't wait for summer vacations to be over) and even on a rather gray day like saturday the heather brought an overload of purple to the view of a small valley and I just couldn't resist putting it on paper.

It's a very quick sketch, but I was going for impression, not perfection. The air was rather moist and it took forever for the page to dry. It was fun drawing on a walk again though, I really should do it more often.

Hope you liked this peek in my sketchbooks and hope you will have a nice and artsy week!


  1. I love these bright, pretty pages. Great sketchbook!

  2. Thank you for sharing your conclusions based on your last blog spot. I for one can't wait to see your upcoming art journaling tutorial! Love the varied media and subject matter you share on your pages today.

  3. Glad you feel clearer now :) think your tangles look fab and I love the 'No place like home' picture, so sweet - looking forward to seeing the houses you do for your moleskin! And, I too prefer square books, but they seem hard to find here so I've had to settle for good old oblongs again! Sigh!

  4. Love that you are sharing your journey. Love your studio space, Love your colorful zentangles...


  5. The colors look so happy! I especially like the colored zentangles! nancy

  6. Looks like finding clarity had a great effect on your creativity: so much to look at! I especially like the zentangles on the coloured backgrounds.

  7. Nog een paar weken en 1 megadruk weekend en dan heb je 'je' eiland weer voor jezelf hoor;))

    Ik had even gemist dat je ook aan het tanglen was: wat een duizendpoot ben je toch. Erg leuk met die gekleurde achtergrondjes.

  8. Lovely pages! I think the little houses all in a row would look wonderful as a greeting card.

  9. A lot of goodies here! Love seeing your journal pages, they look great (and I share your liking for the square format!). Your zentangles are beautiful, love the celtic feel of the fourth one, especially! The little houses are cute, making a full book of them sounds like fun!

  10. Love to see sketchbooks by other artists, it shows the real person I always think. I loved your sketch from your walk - I am an impressionist myself when it comes to painting.
    I also liked the zentangles you have used some very intricate tangles. I doodle sometimes but tend to fill in the patterns with very simple dots and dashes, etc. Too lazy to learn the zentangle stuff, I guess. Loved the effect of the colours

  11. Thank you all for your comments on my sketchbook pages. I love looking at other people's sketchbooks too. There's something so 'pure' about them.

  12. really like the zentangles, and nice touch with the japanese patterns in it.


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