This simple idea made the week much more interesting as instead of worrying about what I was sketching (or not!) I was thinking about the layout of my pages. Designing the composition of the whole spread is one of the most important aspects of keeping a sketchbook (for me), and I spend a lot of time each week thinking about different layout options and ways of finishing my pages to create an interesting spread.
So it was really fun to have a self-imposed rule and to draw borders all week, even when I didn’t think the page needed it. There is no doubt that adding a border or frame around random images on a page helps to tie the overall composition together!
Here are my pages from last week… and at the end I’ll share some of the discoveries I made this week about borders and my new project idea!
I’m used to putting down some loose shapes initially which works great for buildings but when it comes to sketching people I feel that I need to ‘tighten’ these and make them more accurate. The other thing to consider is that the subject is moving and might notice me – I have to make sure I’m calm, relaxed and deliberate.
It’s a nice challenge to make a fun page out of boring objects. And it’s curious that these type of trivial pages are the most interesting down the track. Note: This page has a coloured block (something I used a lot in the old days such as in Sketchbook No. 15) rather than a true border.
These are quick sketches from a self-filmed demo for the Buildings Group run-through. When I do a fairly static layout like this – two full page sketches – I often add a frame to just one page to create some interest.
Trying to be a good student and doing my own exercises for the Buildings Group run-through– well some of them!
The sketches on these pages were done somewhat randomly and the borders added later.
You see my teacups all the time, but what about my teapot? I haven’t sketched it much lately… so here it is.
I’ve had this Beehouse (Zero) teapot for many many years and use it multiple times a day. I have two of these as one lived in the office (in the old days when I worked as an architect).
I nearly always use loose leaf tea – I did this at work as well. This a perfect pot for me as I can get two teacups out of it and the second cup is the same infusion as the first. It’s also a fantastic pourer.
And I just realised (looking up my blog archives) that my tea cosy is nearly 10 years old. I’m not a knitter as such, but back around 2010 I did make a few tea cosies as I was inspired by the Wild Cosies by Loani Prior. You have to keep the pot warm!
Some days I am just too busy to fit in a quiet moment to sketch, but if I have to drive somewhere (such as to an appointment or meeting) I plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early so I can do a sketch from my parked car. So this is what I did on Saturday… just a simple little sketch of a typical Mosman cottage. Fun to do!
And…it just so happens to be a good lead in to the exercises coming up in Week 3 of the Buildings courses – volumes, edges, thickness and depths with a theme of houses.
Another spread done for Buildings – this time sketches accompanying a bonus video all about the important of Ground Edges. (See this article here for more about this topic.) I didn’t add any borders to this, but if I did, what would I have done?
Here are a few comments about my ‘border’ explorations:
– All the borders in these pages were added after the sketches were completed, and in many cases I was simply sketching and not thinking about page layout before I started. Maybe next week, I should draw some borders first (although this is something I don’t normally like doing as I feel constrained by a frame)
– I really love the way borders add order to a scattered page – but on the other hand, I love randomly composed pages with lots of notes and I don’t think these type of pages need borders. So I think the true power of borders is seen when they are used to tie together the elements don’t really relate to each other.
– I seem to be into drawing borders around my headings too.
– Drawing borders is a good way to practice straight lines (teaser here for a bonus video I added into the Buildings course recently – if you are enrolled in the course I added it into Lesson 1 bonus material)
– Drawing borders is a good way to slow down – hard to get straight lines if you rush
– All my borders last week were done with a medium weight black pen… what other options are there? (Note. I have lots of ideas!)
Hmm, I’m excited about giving myself a sketchbook layout theme for a week (the start of a new project?) and want to continue with borders for this week as well.
Do you want to join me?
Are borders something you use in your own sketchbook?