Category Archives: Sketchbooks

Sea Shell Sketches

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Seashell sketches ~ drawn with a HB pencil and painted with watercolours. I drew rough pencil outlines and filled in with watercolours.

These are the very first sketches I’ve done since I was in Secondary School, which was the better part of 40 years ago – I’m VERY out of practice! For my first attempts, I’m reasonably pleased with them.

My goal this year is to draw and sketch more and paint them with watercolours. At school I used to be reasonably good at drawing – but sadly the teaching and motivation I got from the art (and needlework) teacher was virtually nonexistent…!

I was inspired to do these by Anna Warren – her sketches in her blog posts Sketching in Tasmania and Freycinet – from the sketchbook are just lovely. Do have a look…

(NB – week 2 of the Surface Treatment Workshop will be next Wednesday instead of today – life got in the way…. as it does… !)

Indigo Circles

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A second selection of stamping samples for week 1 of the Surface Treatment Workshop…

This time I used a stencil as a stamp, which was suggested in the book. I used indigo paint with a touch of white mixed in with it…

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The prints are very simple, but I like the contrast between the indigo paint and the white paper underneath…

How the prints appear in my sketchbook:

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This will be all for week 1 now and for week 2 the focus is on stencils…

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 1

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This is week 1 of the Surface Treatment Workshop! Week 1 starts off very basically with stamping. For the sample above I covered a 6″ x 6″ piece of paper with collage and then simply stamped circles over the top in different sizes and colours. I rummaged round the house and found lots of things I could use for stamping circles – above I used a cardboard tube, a jam jar, a little bit of bubble wrap and… the best bit… an empty Belgian Bun packet! The larger dark blue circles were from the bottom of a plastic Belgian Bun packet – this has just got to be the best excuse ever for buying Belgian Buns!

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For the above sample I started with a 6″ x 6″ piece of paper and covered it with white gesso. Then I stamped a gold and turquoise pattern on the base of the sample using acrylic paints. To create the square pattern I used some of that rubbery stuff you put under mats and rugs to stop them slipping… ! For the small dark circles I used bubble wrap and then simply stamped the fish on. Very simple!

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Both samples have been stuck into a dedicated 8″ x 8″ sketchbook set aside especially for the project. I’m trying not to be overly fussy or fiddly with the samples for this project, after all, it is meant to be an experimental learning curve. I think I’m reasonably happy with how week 1 has turned out – now looking forward to week 2… !

The Blues

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Watercolour samples which have now been stuck into one of my growing number of sketchbooks. Lovely blue shades – Prussian Blue, Indigo, Cerulean Blue, along with Phthalo Turquoise, Lemon Yellow, Sap Green, Paynes Grey and Burnt Umber.

You will recognize this image as one of the images in my current blog header…

Shades Of Blue

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This is another one of a series of colour charts I have done in a dedicated sketchbook. These are watercolours in shades of blue and turquoise mixed with Chinese White. I absolutely adore these colours and shades.

These charts are purely for my own reference – I find it useful to have a visual guide of how colours mix together. Sometimes the results are quite unexpected. Plus seeing lots of beautiful colours and shades on one page inspires me. And it’s a really fun thing to do… !

Vintage Print Sketchbook

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At the same time that I bought the sketchbook in my previous post I also bought this one too! What am I like? I can’t help myself!

As you can see it has a lovely off white linen cover with a vintage print. But inside….

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…. it is filled with the most beautiful thick cream coloured paper. It’s slightly crinkly textured paper with a handmade feel to it. It just lovely! It’s paper that’s crying out for some paint, ink and colour…

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On the left is the sketchbook from my previous post. I don’t know exactly what I will fill these books with yet but I will know the right thing when it comes along!

I buy these books when I see them for one very good reason, even though I don’t know exactly what I will fill them with and that is because:

if I don’t buy them when I see them, they aren’t going to be there when I go back! It’s now or never! Sketchbooks like these are not run of the mill, mass produced, when they’re gone, they’re gone!

If there’s one important thing I’ve learnt in life it’s to seize opportunities when they come along – you may not get a second chance!

Decorated Sketchbook

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This sketchbook caught my eye in a shop in town, I couldn’t resist…

It’s beautifully covered with a neutral linen and lots of shiny beads in shades of cream, silver, gold, copper, bronze and amber…

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Sketchbook bokeh…

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The shiny beads catch the light and sparkle…

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I’m looking forward to filling this book with beautiful things…

Warming Up Winter With Red & Gold

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I’ve called this “A Winter Rose” – it’s mixed media on paper, 10 cm x 7.5 cm. I actually used real rose petals in this that I had dried quite a long time ago and saved. I stuck them on with acrylic gel and when dry I went over them with and acrylic glaze tinted with garnet coloured pearl mica. They are now perfectly preserved on my art work!

How my winter rose looks in my collaged sketchbook:

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The following two pieces of art I have collectively called “Harbour Lights” as the sequins remind me of the lights round Mousehole harbour (Cornwall, UK):

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The red and gold work well together on the vintage collage paper background. Both are mixed media on paper and they measure 10 cm x 15 cm and 11 cm x 15 cm respectively. They have both been stuck in my collaged sketchbook.

Aurora

 

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A 9 cm x 10 cm abstract mixed media sample for my collaged sketchbook, inspired by the Aurora Borealis. The colours at the base are Intense Blue (Phthalo Blue) and Lemon Yellow watercolours. The blue bled into the yellow to create a gorgeous shade of turquoise and to that I added a touch of Emerald and the tiniest bit of Yellow Ochre. When dry I added complimentary shades of Pearl Mica to add a starry sparkle to my Aurora

Simplicity

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This is a mixed media collage for my collaged sketchbook. It measures 10 cm x 12 cm including the white border and I used paper, acrylic paint and fabric.

I created my collaged sketchbook  using a vintage 1970’s recipe book that I bought from a charity shop for 50p ! I simply tore out the pages I didn’t want (the resulting sketchbook would be too bulky otherwise) and collaged the rest using pages from vintage/antique books. You can see a couple of photos of my empty sketchbook here on Flickr and here.

It has taken me ages to decide what to do with my collaged sketchbook and it’s been sitting  on a shelf in my studio for a couple of years! It’s only recently that I’ve decided to fill it with small samples of my own artwork. Hopefully these small samples of art will inspire me to create other works…