Monday, April 23, 2012

Sketchbook stuff

When I carry around a sketchbook it is usually this landscape format watercolor book that measures 15x21 cm (approx. 6x8 inches). It's a bit like a watercolor moleskine book, but a lot cheaper. I started this book last year at Easter and now have about six pages to go before it's fully filled.

I feel this book is filling very slowly and that's mostly because sketching and watercolor and the like are not things that I do all the time. Every now and then I will get totally into it and then I will leave the book lying again for weeks or even months on end. Today I want to give you a peek at some stuff you haven't seen yet.

The first one is a sketch I did last August while on a walk. It's a simple line drawing of the beach.

I don't often sketch on my walks. I prefer to take photographs. The simple reason being that taking a photograph takes so much less time with a much clearer result. But of course nothing beats the charm of an actual sketch. I wish I had more patience for this.

The next one is a bit of nonsense that I did to try out some cheap watercolor crayons. I have the expensive caran d'ache neocolor II, a huge box of 84 colors and I love them to death, but a big box like that is not easy to take with you when traveling, so I bought a compact cheaper brand box which still had a nice color selection (Reeves I think).

Of course the quality does not even compare, but for on the go they will do just fine anyway and I'm not sorry I got them. They are still nice to play with. I wouldn't recomment them as a viable substitute for the real thing though.

The next one is a quick watercolor sketch that I did on another walk last Easter. I felt I just had to do something in this book on Easter because of how this book got started last year.

While I was wrapping up this sketch some tourists came by (I was sitting on a bench in the sun) and this woman asked if she could see it. I said okay and she started talking about this painting class she had taken. I could tell she wasn't very impressed by my skills (she didn't say anything straight out, it was more implied). This made me smile, because it never is my intention to do photography with paint as some people seem to want to do. I just like doing little impressions and let those speak for themselves. Not everybody gets that though. ;-)

Last week I had to do a lot of back and forth travel on the ferry and since the trip to the main land lasts about an hour and a half it's a good time to play in the sketchbook and that's what I did. The first one is a little flowerlike mandala and some writing about where I was going (a meeting for work).

If I didn't need to write so much (and you can see in my journal how much writing I need) I would love to do my journals like this, but a page like this can take up to an hour to fill and there's hardly any room for writing at all. It is just to frustrating for me to have so little space to write on. But for once it was fun to do. It would be nice to do a technique like this with quotes or poems though.

The other two I did while on the ferry are just some patterns in watercolor.

I love to do these. They are easy and relaxing and don't really require any thinking on my part. I just play with shapes and lines and colors and let the picture happen. They would make nice collage papers I think.

The last two pages I want to show you I did last Saturday which, as some of you may know, was another international sketchcrawl day. I was originally supposed to go to Gouda again to join my friends Monk and Loes for some serious sketching, but I decided to cancel. Not so much because of the sketchcrawl itself, but because I had been having a very full weekend and week before that and this week and coming weekend are no different. To go to a thing like this when you live where I live costs me three whole days and I just knew it was a little too much for me. If I don't have some serious private time on a regular basis I just become exhausted and cranky. Still, I wanted to draw at least a little that day....

So I filled these two pages while sitting on my couch. The flowers are fake flowers. I have lived with cats too long to have any living plants in the house and I have to admit I like the kitchiness of fake flowers. The above picture is the whole thing in the pot and below is a close up of one flower done twice, once in pen and watercolor and once in colored pencil.

Colored pencil is so incredibly difficult! Watercolor is a way more forgiving medium and of course I have such a limited experience in colored pencil and it shows. But it was fun to do. I'm thinking maybe I could try the same flower again sometime in watercolor pencil to see how that looks.

All in all this sketchbook is slowly filling up. I'm not too crazy about the paper in it, it has a little too much texture for my taste, but I do want to fill it completely before I move to another one (that's already lying in my studio stash for later use). I do hope you enjoyed looking at my sketchy endeavors. ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!