Apr 19, 2018

Is Your Sketchbook Ready for YOU? Painting & Drawing Tips

Inside my New Leather Journal - My Title Page (Don't forget to put your information on your book, in case it gets lost)

Sun is shining, temperatures are climbing. 
 It feels like time to Start Something New.  

That is how I feel this time of year. One of my "New Things" is a shiny new sketchbook.  For Christmas this year my sister gave me a lovely leather bound book which she picked up for me on our trip to Scotland last year.

Isn't that a cool, clasp for the Journal?  And I love the stitching.  

This book is just so special.  When I handle it, I think of all the great times we had in Scotland, the sense of history and life of Edinburgh and the wide open hills of Isle of Sky.  Its like being there again.
The leather binding of the book is soft and supple to touch. The clasp is quite old fashion and quite unique to me.  And the paper, is just awesome.  It seems to take water, ink and pencil beautifully.  And there is lots of it.

But there is the Pressure. . .

You know what it is like, that new book.  Those bare, clean white pages.  The desire to have everything perfect.  I know the feeling.  I have books that were never used because of that pressure.  I was determined that wasn't going to happen with this book.

Want to know my secrets?

Get your sketchbook READY for YOU.

1. Decorate some of the pages: stickers, symbols, shapes.  Keep them on the sides so there is room for a picture or writing.  Whichever you like to do with your book.  I like to do both.
You just knew that I would have some of my Doodle Art in my Sketchbooks - It makes great page decorations
2. Paint/Colour some of the pages: I take 2 colours and paint the pages to make an interesting back drop.  I like to leave some white spaces and generally have a darker area in one of the 4 sweet spots on the page.  I always do both sides. Keep my colours muted enough so my drawing/writing over top will show but dark enough to have life as well.
I love the colours on this page.  My drawing of the plane taking off at Blansford Lake WIP, mixes well with the colour shapes.  The unfinished part on the left gives you idea of how it was when I started.  Don't worry about 'finding something in the colours', just draw.  Notice how interesting the water and trees are on the left.  They just blend to meet my drawing. 

3.  Leave the first page blank: The title page often claims Sooooooo much importance, defuse it by leaving it blank.

4.  Don't fuss about the Cover: I personalize my sketchbook covers, more on that later.  It really turns them into a special treasure for ME. Just pick a book with a hardcover and get it open.

You might think This is just Fussing and NOT being a REAL Artist, however,

Prepping Your Book is very Important. WHY? you ask:

1. Decorating the Pages: Helps get your creative juices flowing.  Some days you are just not up to doing "big" things, but you want to 'do' something.  Little pictures on the side of a page, adding a stamp or two, colour a bit - Lifts your spirits and gets you on the Creative Path again.

This is from my Scotland Travel Journal.  I prepped the page with symbols of Scotland and then used it for pictures and notes when I got there.  It really finishes the page nicely without me feeling I have 'to fill it' all in one sitting. 

Another Before and After page from my Scotish Journal - Opening up to that page really makes you feel Happy and Excited to add a few notes and small sketches.  
2. Paint/Colour some of the pages: Just adding colour to the pages with your favourite mediums helps you learn about your book.  Does is grab the paint? Will it take a lot of water? Will the pages wrinkle and warp? Can I work on both sides of the page or will it 'show' through?  Answering these questions will help you understand what you can and can't do with your book.  It sets you up for success.  (See example above)

3.  Leave the first page blank: Once I get into my books, that first page loses its 'preciousness" and I have no trouble filling it. See my title page at the top.  I like how the colours of my wood reflect the colours of my book.

4.  Don't fuss about the Cover: I personalize my sketchbook covers after I get into them.  It depends on their purpose.  If it is a special travel book, I want a cover to reflect that. I want it to be a special treasure for ME.  If it is more of a catch all practice book, I will leave it plain. (More on that in a later post)

Your sketchbook is your Best Friend, enjoy it.  Don't let that Pressure wreck it for you.

I will be busy with my shows for the next two weeks but my favourite Urban Sketcher, Liz Steel, an Australian, has alerted me to a Sketcbbook Revival Free On-Line Workshop.  It sounds like it will give you some Great Ideas for your Sketchbook.  It runs April 23 - May 4 but available til May 18.  I plan on picking up on some of the workshops after my show. 

See you in two weeks but in the meantime:

There is still time 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  4 Spots Left

Wednesday, April 25, 1:30-3:30pm, Mandeville Gardens, S. Burnaby  1 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 -
- 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  1 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: 
 Monday: April 30, 10-12pm or 1-3pm, Tuesday: May 22, 10-12 & 1-3pm  Monday, June 4 & 18, 10-12pm & 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 Sketchbook Friend - here
How to Find Your Starting Point in a Drawing - here
3 Steps to Putting Magic into Your Art - here

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Have a great Artful Day,

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