Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Use your sketchbook for all it's worth!

Every once in a while I like to show random sketchbook pages from my Studio Book and my Out of the Studio Book (yes, one lives in the studio and one lives outside of it, go figure). These are my workhorses, my notebooks, my try out pages and the holdalls for leftover stuff and random things.

I think it's important to show these pages so people realize that not all spreads in a sketchbook should be masterpieces and that it's perfectly okay to have ugly pages with just scribbles or notes on them. A sketchbook is an instrument, a tool, it's not a pretty art book.

So here's another selection from my two big sketchbooks, some are nice, some are just rubbish. But all of them were useful to me at the time (and some still are).

What happens when you spray felt tip pens with water. / Questions I wanted to ponder about concerning my artsy endeavours.

The first ribbon drawing I tried. / Bad sketches from The Dark Knight on tv.

The notebook paper with the ribbon drawing idea on it. / Trying out some oil pastels and taking notes about them.

Planning the ROD Square cover and airing some frustration. / My Sketchbook Challenge contribution.

Pan Pastel information and trying some spray inks. / Notes on the Sketchbook Challenge.

Trying to save an abstract drawing gone wrong by planting a flower garden over it with paint markers.

Some quick notes and a girl in ballpoint pen. / My printer ran out of ink while printing, so I pasted the pictures in here.

Simple line drawings coloured in with gouache. The ultimate relaxation.

Now the last picture I'm just including because it made me laugh. While I was taking the photograph of the above spread my assistant felt the need to jump right on top of it. The funny part was that he did it at the exact moment I clicked so I didn't see him do it. Imagine my surprise when I looked up and there was a cat on top of my book! This shows that cats are faster than the eye!


I hope you liked this peek in my sketchbooks and that it inspires you to really use your own sketchbooks for other things than just trying to make pretty pages. Use them for practice, for notes, for scribbling, for everything. Use them for all they're worth!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy Wednesday!

24 comments:

  1. Yup, I have one of those-- a true sketch pad. I keep it at my feet by my chair and when I see or hear something that strikes me I snatch it up and put it in there. I have many a bad face drawing in mine! something to work on.
    I also have cats that jump on books and my knitting when I try to photograph them. What IS that about? hahaha
    Thanks for sharing all your inspiring thoughts!!
    ~Dawn

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    1. LOL! Cats just want to be the center of attention, it's their nature I'm afraid. I once had one of my former cat's jump right into a palet of paint and leaf a wonderful pattern all over my floor. ;-)

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  2. Thanks, Caatje! For a long time, I didn't use my sketchbooks because I thought, I'm not good enough for my sketchbooks. How mad... Now I use them like you, I write, paint, draw... whatever comes to my mind. It is paper, not a sacred book.
    Jorin

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    1. I know, I've been there too. A long time ago, but I remember it well. It's so sad when you think about it. I could have been filling books instead of procrastinating.

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  3. Although I am allergic, I like your assitant ;-)
    I like your style, especially the last pic inspires me.
    Thanks.

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    1. My assistant purrs in gratitude, but from a distance so you don't have to sneeze. Thank you for your kind words.

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  4. Thank you for this post and sharing your pages. It is so easy for me to get caught in the "everything I create must be perfect" trap.

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    1. It really is and so far the only remedy for me is to just keep creating no matter what and cherish the stuff that's not so great after all.

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  5. Love It!!!! it's true we always trying to do a art book... but it's just a sketchbook, a mix of ideas...
    Some times I start one, and I really don't like, and i take another... in the end I have a lot of not finished sketchbooks.
    Tks for your post, encourage me a lot to go ahead...

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    1. Thank you Tula, that's exactly why I want to post these things. It seems we mostly only see the best of the best, which is wonderful to look at, but can be so intimidating sometimes. Keep making stuff, that's all that matters!

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  6. Thank tou Caatje for showing us the imperfection! I am just a beginner in art journaling and i really want everything to be beautiful. I know its more about the process, but that is just my head saying. Sometimes i am just stuck by my own judgements.
    Bu he i am learning, and blogs like this are a big help (althoug i feel you imperfections are beautiful!)

    Groeten, Wanda

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    1. Take heart from your last sentence Wanda. If you think my imperfections are beautiful, yours are bound to be as well.

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  7. Loved seeing this, Caatje.

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  8. I always look forward to your posts! Especially when your assistant shows up. My craft room would not be the same without my kitty! I like the page that you added there flower garden to. I always keep going with pages I'm not crazy about and usually end being my most favorite.

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    1. Everyone needs an assistant, even if they are pretty useless, haha. I think Peer thinks I'm his assistant instead and...well... I probably am! ;-)

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  9. Geweldig leuk, zo'n inkijkje in je schetsboek!

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  10. I really liked sharing in your thought process and the garden from the saved painting is inspirational.

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    1. Thank you Mary! That one was a challenge, I was really grumpy when at first I couldn't get it to work. Flowers save the day! ;-)

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  11. About 10 years ago, my son and I decided to start keeping nature notebooks. I borrowed books from the library to get ideas and of course, published art notebooks are perfect! So right from the start I had the idea that mine had to be perfect too. My son went on to high school with its institutional art classes and abandoned the nature notebook. I abandoned mine too and haven't drawn much until recently. I bought my first Moleskine sketchbook two weeks ago and every day I fight the urge to keep it just for "good" drawings. The paper in it is so lovely and I don't want to mess it up! This post has been very inspiring. I am encouraged to just draw and learn from both the sketches I like and the ones I don't like. Thank you!

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    1. I think it's the trap everybody falls into, Jeanne. I'm glad you started it up again and are having fun with your sketchbook. And flattered to think I inspire you, thank you.

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