The second week of my summer break was a little less busy. I still had a few sketching outings but I had a few quiet days at home and did some work. But the big change was starting an 11×14 spiral bound Stillman and Birn Alpha.
This is a big book – even larger than the square Clairfontane Goldline I used for My LGA Staycation last September. In some regards, the Alpha paper is a little thin for this size but I’m absolutely loving the extra space for my sketches and text. It is a significantly heavy book though! This photo shows its size in relation to my usual 8×10 Softcover Alpha – it’s almost twice as large.
Using a spiral bound is also a big change from normal although I have used them on numerous occasions over the years (see here). The spiral binding is definitely making me more aware of when and why I cross a gutter… and as you’ll see in this article I don’t mind sketching (drawing and painting) under the spiral.
In fact, I love the effect and on a number of pages, I intentionally extended my sketch to do so!
It might appear in the following photos that the spiral visually detracts from the sketch, but in real life, as I flip through the pages it’s much less noticeable. It seems that it’s important for me to work across the spiral as a way of tying the two pages together so that the spread reads as a whole.
The ability to turn the pages back when I’m out on location makes this book very manageable. So I start most of my sketches with the book like this and then open it out towards the end if I decide to extend a sketch to the next page. Alternatively I look for tables to sketch from!
Ok… time to start sharing the pages.
Note: Due to the size of this book (and the fact that I’m busy today getting ready for the Group Run-through of Foundations which starts this week), I’m resorting to taking photos!
A quick visit to Milsons Point, a teacup and a little collage from my morning coffee in the sun and great catchup with my friend Ohn Mar. Hmm, there are more options for collage with a larger page!
A few more Faber Castell Watercolour Marker tests (see this article for more), a tree ID sketch and a little Palladio. Just for the record, this is the only spread in my book so far where I didn’t work across the spiral.
After a quick morning sketch (left) I went to Parramatta with my brother and family (4 children under 10) and the uncles (3 brothers of my SIL). It was a great outing but a little hard to do much sketching!!!
This page (on the right) was all I managed to do at the time at St John’s Cemetery.
One more sketch at St Johns (colour added at home) and the foundations of one of the earliest verandahed buildings in Sydney. This is part of the Philip Ruddock Heritage Centre which we were given access to.
Quick sketch (finished on location) of Old Government House in Parramatta Park that I managed to do while the kids were in a play area.
I finished the day with a textured sketch at Lane Cove National Park and a little schedule documenting some SketchingNow work that I had to do for the beginning of a new year.
Hmm, the first day of 2022 turned out to be very representative of my current trends in sketching. 🙂
I’m absolutely loving using this 11×14 Spiral Alpha! Can you tell?
Please let me know in the comment section below if you have any questions about this book. Have you ever used a book this big (or even larger)?
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