I’m really enjoying the Sketchbook Revival event as it’s making me think about what is special about creating art inside a sketchbook. There are many reasons… but an important one for me is the compositional fun that comes from designing a sketchbook page/double page spread. It’s not just the individual sketch, it’s the collection of a number of images, text, headings, maps, collage etc. For me this takes the pressure off creating a masterpiece with every sketch because I can nearly always create a pleasing composition on the page by adding these additional elements.
My session for Sketchbook Revival which went live on Day 2 included some ideas about designing sketchbook pages, and to continue this theme I went through some of my old sketchbooks.
So here are a few pages/spreads that I really like. They are in reverse order, with the newest ones first.
New Zealand 2017: A4 Moleskine Watercolour Book
I really like the two long horizontal sketches and how different they are to the other layouts in the sketchbook.
As a general rule I am finding that I do less of these types of pages (text, maps and smaller images) in recent years. Two reasons are:
- I am busier these days when I travel and have less time to work on my pages in the evening – because I am either teaching and/or maintaining my usual admin (I never have a full 100% break/vacation which I had in the early days when I worked as an architect and left the office totally behind.)
- I am working bigger and looser and so my sketches typically take up a full page or most of the double page spread.
So finally here is a collection of my early sketches (2010 – 2012) when I was using a A5 Daler and Rowny Ebony book (150gsm cartridge)
Not much of a sketch, but I love all the little moments that are recorded in this spread. (I love maps)
Another working page this time of St Paul’s in London. You can see the final sketch here.
One of my favourite sketchbook pages of all time with a full range of emotions mentioned in the text.
2010 Isle of Harris – Scotland
Most people would do a big landscape sketch and a smaller one of food… I do the reverse.
An earlier NYC page with food and map!
There are many more pages which I could share, but I hope that you enjoyed this collection.