Tuesday, April 25, 2017

December – April Sketchbook

December through April sketches.
Over the past winter, I spent a lot more time than in previous years making still life studies at home, which I do in Stillman & Birn hardbound books (I’m trying to fill the ones in my stash before moving on to my preferred softcover editions). I’ve also been working on weekly homework assignments for my colored pencil class on loose sheets of Bristol board. In addition, I used the gray winter months to explore graphite, which I did mostly in a Baron Fig notebook.

In all those cases, I didn’t use my everyday-carry sketchbook signatures, which are generally for urban sketching. As a result, I think I broke a new record: the longest period covered in a six-signature sketchbook – nearly five months. (Typically, I fill six signatures in about two months.) On the front cover is a sketch from the first Sunday USk Seattle outing of 2017 for Lunar New Year. On the back cover are a sketch from the Women’s March in January and a late-blossoming cherry tree in April. It was a particularly long, wet winter.

A page of toned paper tipped in while binding.
It bothers me a bit that the graphite sketches are in a different sketchbook (though I do like that they are at least bound and not on loose sheets), but I made that sacrifice because I didn’t enjoy using graphite on the cold-press Canson watercolor paper in my handmade signatures. However, I am happy that for the two sketches I made on toned paper during that period, I was able to easily tip them into the Coptic binding in chronological sequence.

Here’s food for thought: Maybe I should find loose paper I enjoy using with graphite and simply tip those pages in when I bind the rest of my sketchbook instead of using a separate sketchbook for graphite sketches. I’ll think about that for next winter (as much as I enjoy sketching with graphite, once spring and summer outdoor sketching begins, I’m loathe to sketch without color).


  1. It might be a good idea to include the various types of paper signatures when you bind the journals. Good idea.


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