Sketchbook Project — A Change of Plans

It’s hard to believe that my last blog post was 2 weeks ago! In that time I finished up a big web design project, celebrated Thanksgiving, and caught a cold. That last item was the least enjoyable. I haven’t been doing a ton of art stuff, but I did get started on Sketchbook Project sketches.

My Sketchbook Project sketchbook finally arrived a couple of weeks ago. I had big plans for re-binding the sketchbook with watercolor paper, since that’s been my medium of choice lately. I got some great advice from my friend, Mia, who gave me a lot of tips and pointed me toward some very helpful tutorials on how to bind a book. I gathered my tools together, cut up the paper, and folded it carefully. I then arranged the folded paper into signatures and set them under some heavy books to flatten.

I knew I had to wait a day while the papers flatten before I could actually rebind the original sketchbook. I flipped through the cahier notebook and contemplated tearing out the stitches and cutting the cover in half. The paper is so thin that it’s somewhat transparent. Markers bleed right through and watercolor would ripple the paper badly. In general the paper is really not suitable for wet media. As I was contemplating all this, another thought crossed my mind and I realized I could use the paper to my advantage.

Since my theme is Lines and Grids, I was planning to do a lot of measuring and drawing grids with a ruler, but I realized that I wouldn’t have to do that if I used the existing moleskine paper. Once I had this realization, I almost immediately abandoned my plans for re-binding. Instead I’ve decided to leave the sketchbook as it is, and work with colored pencils and other dry media.

Decision made, I whipped up a few grids in Adobe Illustrator, and printed them out. Now I have a variety of grids to choose from to suit whatever I’m drawing.



See how well you can see the grid through the paper? For what I want to do with my theme (Lines & Grids), the existing paper is perfect!

My first drawing was drawn on a grid in pencil only.


I might add some color to it, but I’m not sure at this point.

For the following drawings, I drew the shapes first, and added the grid around the shapes.



Halfway through both of these, I thought they were looking kind of ugly, but both drawings evolved in a really neat way, and I’m quite pleased with the result.

I’ve done a few other drawings besides these, but I didn’t want to overload this post, so I’ll probably write about the next set early next week. If you can’t wait to see them, I’ve uploaded them to my Facebook page, so you can see them there if you want.

I like the idea of having each drawing evolve from the next, so that when flipping though the sketchbook, there is almost a story line that develops, but I don’t think my brain is organized that way. Instead of starting with the first page and making my way through the book, so far I’ve been opening the sketchbook at random and drawing on whatever page opens. Maybe I can link up the pages in some manner as I fill in the gaps. You never know!

7 Replies to “Sketchbook Project — A Change of Plans”

  1. Interesting and makes me want to get out my sketchbook too. Love the idea of using the grids as a starting point. More please!

    1. you should get your sketchbook out! Drawing is the best. 🙂 Working with grids in mind has definitely been a fun way to draw. The Sketchbook Project has a bunch of other themes too that might inspire you too. It’s closed for participation at this point, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still use their themes!

  2. Your pages are beautiful. Love your take on lines and grids.
    I started mine with watercolor and it rippled the pages which I should have foreseen, ugh. I’ll be finishing with just pen and ink and colored paper for accents.

    1. Thank you so much! I’ve been really happy with the theme–i have so many ideas, and a lot of them are very different which is pretty cool.

      yeah, I also learned the hardway in a different sketchbook that watercolor and regular moleskine paper do not mix. but at least it’s “just” a sketchbook, so it’s ok if it’s wrinkled or rippled!

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