Trip Prep- Sketchbook thinking

June 27, 2013 | 7 Comments

Ok… you all think I am a little nuts… but composition of my pages is a HUGE thing for me and my travel sketchbooks are the best opportunity to dedicate myself to sketching and layout…so tonight I did some serious reviewing and planning.

I have decided to use the A4 size moleskine again and in preparation bought 4 of them. Since I filled over 2 of them in 2 weeks visiting Singapore…I am thinking that this years 4 week trip plus some extra events beforehand that I want to record will need 4 sketchbooks. So I had to do my usual calculation (which is always light on!) to confirm that I need 4. Aagh! the weight!

I am also thinking about layout. I approach my sketchbooks like a graphic designer and the larger page size has more possibilities that I haven’t fully explored yet.  I spent this evening’s cuppa analysing my layouts for both the SG trip and the Melbourne trip (marking up in different coloured pens the areas of text vs image vs maps. I feel the Melbourne sketchbook’s layout was a little ho hum so trying to work out what pages I like from the SG book….and what the feel I want for this years books.

The long and short of it is that I am going to attempt to fill my sketchbooks according to a 3 column grid (well as a starting point)  This might prove to be a silly undertaking but I have always wanted to approach a sketchbook with a ‘book design’ type approach.


  • iHanna - June 27, 2013 reply

    Wow, that IS a great plan, but maybe not all pages will be three columns? Mix it up, if I might come with a suggestion. Love the sketch of the sketches! :-)

  • Liz Steel - June 27, 2013 reply

    thanks - no I don't intend to use the 3 column for each page but it is the underlying grid- see the sample pages...

  • RevKev - July 9, 2013 reply

    Hi Liz.

    Just bought my first (pocket-sized) Moleskine sketchbook, with the aim of using it with graphite, watercolour pencil and wash pen - but this raises the question of what the paper can cope with. I love your notebooks, and it seems as if you are using pens on them (and in my experience, Moleskines are not great with fountain-pen). Can you confirm what media you are using on your notebooks in order to get the best out of them?

    Many thanks! Regards, Kevin

  • billie the girl - July 19, 2013 reply

    I have the same question as Kevin. :)

  • James Carpenter - August 13, 2013 reply

    I think Liz is using the A4 watercolor notebook.

    James C

  • Liz Steel - August 19, 2013 reply

    yes that it is the one. the A4 size watercolour notebook! Really really love it!

  • Liz Steel - August 19, 2013 reply

    Sorry I never replied at the time. I don't have any problem at all with using my lamy fountain pen on the moleskine watercolour paper. THe moleskine sketchbooks (with the coated yellow paper) is completely different and hard to get good results with (some people do get amazing results but I don't like them)

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