Apr 12, 2018

How to find the Right Sketckbook Friend? Painting & Drawing Tips


A Friend: : a person who you like and enjoy being with. (Merriam-Webster)

In your daily life you feel the touch of friendship in many ways.  Golfing, Curling, Dog Walking, Fine Dining are activities I enjoy.  With each, I have special friends I spend time with.  Not all my golfing buddies like curling and dog walking in the rain will test many a Friendship.  However, they are all people I like and enjoy spending time with. 

Working on the little tray on the airplane - My Sketchbook Friend is first on my list when I pack for a trip. 
As an Artist your Sketchbook is your BBF.  Well, it can be if you find the right one!  

When I first started drawing I really didn't understand why I should have a sketchbook.  I had one and I used it, because all the books said I should but I didn't understand why.  Now, I have many sketchbooks and it is first on my list, no matter where I go.  Why the difference?

Why a Sketchbook?
I love to use my books for Practice, to journal my trips and to collect special treasures I find on the way.  

1. Practice: Skills only improve with practice and a sketchbook lets me practice anywhere. Airports, shopping centers, doctor's offices, playgrounds, hikes, . . .
2.  Encourager: Having a record of your progress and seeing your growth in skills is a great confidence builder to do more
3.  Try out new things: Trying out new ideas, materials, methods in the confines of your sketchbook is nonthreatening.  The fear of looking/feeling/doing something 'wrong' is not the same as working on a big canvas or sheet of paper
4.  Collector: Your journal becomes a collector of your thoughts, inspiration, little treasures, souvenirs, postcards, and more
5.  Captures the Moment: It becomes a kind of meditation as you sketch your subject you feel, see, hear, taste, smell the experience.  These things come alive each time you look at those pages in a way no photograph can.
Meet some of my Friends - large Canson 9 x 12 for Studio Work (dry medium), Bateman Book (Ink) camping, smaller books all for travel or grab and paint/draw ( Canson Mixed Media, Moleskin, Strathmore Visual Journal (Mixed Media) Stillman & Birn)

Which Sketchbook is Right for You?
This is the tricky part, just like your people Friends, your sketchbook has its own special talents.  My golfing friends love to walk but very few have any interest in bundling up to walk in the rain with Max and I.  Only a few of My Walking Buddies like the idea of standing on ice to curl late at night.  Your Sketchbooks are the same.  No one Sketchbook will do Everything.  Well maybe one or two are close but . . .
Once you accept their differences you will find that rather than just one BBF, you have several Sketchbooks to hang out with.  

How to choose your Sketchbook?
1. Purpose: Is your book only for writing your thoughts, gluing things in, drawing designs, painting or a mixture. A bound book will not expand as well with all those bits and pieces as a coil bound book.  Also thick books will become cumbersome with lots of inserts, thinner books are better.
Portability is Important: You can not pack loads of materials and a big sketchbook when you are on the trail. 

2. Portability:  Is it just for Studio use or do you wish to carry it around.  In the Studio large sketchbooks are wonderful for planning big, drawing gestures and more. You have time to develop big ideas. 9 x 12 inches and larger are great.   But if you are wanting to take your book out and have it easily available the 5.5 x 8 inch book is my favourite.  I know some artist use a purse size book 4.5 x 5.5 or smaller  but I find that too small for my hand to rest on and draw with.  

Using different Mediums require different types of paper
3. Mediums: This is where the real problem lies.  The weight and type of paper in the book effects the cost.  Cartridge papers are good for pencil, coloured pencils and pen, for writing and gluing things.  If you are careful you can even put a little bit of water to your watercolour pencils.  I try and pick paper that is smooth but substantial.  Thin paper means glued objects will sag and my writing shows through to the other side.  Watercolour books are expensive but if you want to use lots of water they are the way to go. Mixed Media books are good too, but feel the paper and make sure it is thick.  I find there is lots of variance there.  I don't like the pages wrinkling after being wet or my paint and ink work showing through to the next page.

4. Practical Points
.. Hard covers give you support whether working inside or out.  
.. Solid pages are better than perforated pages as they allow for drawing right  across the binding. Sometimes I work across the left and right face of the pages. 

A flat book with no perforation allows you to work across both pages.  

.. Book  opens flat.  There is nothing worse than a having pages flipping at you as you draw.  
.. White Paper is more versatile than coloured pages but coloured pages offers an opportunity to try something new
.. Landscape verses Portrait Orientation.  I have both, but the portrait format seems to be my most common one.  The long thin landscape books are fun though, it is nice to have a different format.  

Now that it is Spring, Art Stores have Sketchbooks on Sale so head out and snap a few up.  They will become your Best Friends in no time at all.

Have you found 'the One'?  The one sketchbook that works for you? I would love to know your secret. 

Once your have your book, Crack it Open and Get Started.  Next post - Drawing Tips to Get that Sketchbook Working for You.

Want to Beef up Your Drawing Skills in a Fun Way?
Learn the power of 'the line' and 'the Rehearsal' - feel the free flow of ink on paper.  Join me in a Spring Creative Card Class.  You will be using Butterflies and Flowers to create Whimsical Cards for any occasion.(See Samples in Last Post Here)  Just imagine the fun of giving such personalized cards to family and friends. Cost $35 supplies included. Contact Wendy to register.  Classes are small and fill up fast.

Saturday, April 21, 10-12pm, Art by Wendy's Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey

Wednesday, April 25, 1:30-3:30pm, Mandeville Gardens, S. Burnaby  2 Spots Left

Are you ready to try something new? You will be surprised how new skills and ideas can creep back into your work in so many ways.

My Etsy StoreWendyMouldsArt  is always open and new things added all the time.  

Spring Shows and Classes: 

 Artswest Spring Art Show & Sale  Sunday, April 22, 10-4pm.  Sullivan Hall, 6306 152 St. Sry.
Winter Rains means lots of New Works!! – Come see what Artswest Artists have been working on this winter. Artswsest is a group of Local Artists working in a variety of mediums, show features Original Art, Raffle, Refreshments, and More.

Paints'n Bloom Spring Show & Sale - Thur - Sat,  April 26-28, 10-4pm
Gardenworks at Mandeville, 4746 Marine Dr. Burnaby
Featuring Award Winning Artists Audrey Bakewell, AFCA & Wendy Mould, AFCA  

Pre-Event An Artfilled Day:  Wednesday, April 25
Gardenworks at Mandeville, 4746 Marine Dr. Burnaby

1.  Beginner Watercolour Class 10-12pm  Full
Learn the secrets of Watercolour, the Big Wash, Wet into Wet, then drop in those Sprinkles of Detail to bring it all alive.  Just in time for your summer fun. 

2.  Creative Card Making Class 1:30-3:30pm  2 Spots Left
Start your Spring season off with a fun afternoon of making Creative Cards for those special people in your life; Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthday, Friendship, Thank You's are more meaningful with personalized cards created by you.  Learn tricks and techniques to put your ideas into action.   

Workshops $35 each, all supplies included. Register Now with Wendy 
They have a wonderful little cafe there which I highly recommend for lunch. 

Drop-In & Draw Sessions: 
 Mondays: April 2, 16 & 30- 10-12pm or 1-3pm, Tuesday: May 22, 10-12 & 1-3pm
Expression Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge,
Choose a morning or afternoon session. Bring your sketchbook or project and come and work.  I will be happy to give you pointers.  $15 Pre-Registration Required.  Contact Wendy Here. 

How to Find Your Starting Point in a Drawing - here
3 Steps to Putting Magic into Your Art - here
Time to Crack Open that Travel Journal - here

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Have a great Artful Day,

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