Sketchbook Project: Update 7

This is the second part of the very long final post I had written that I decided to split into two parts.

I’ll start with the cover.

As I worked in the book, I had numerous ideas for how to decorate the cover from collaging different lined and gridded paper, to making stencils and spray painting, to lettering, to pencil drawings. In the end, I took inspiration from one of the drawings on the inside of the book. I used a silver paint pen to draw the big spider web on the cover. I’m not sure how well it alludes to what will be inside, but I like that it’s a bold, recognizable image and a natural form of a line & grid pattern.

I find it somewhat amusing that although I had worked out the lettering for the title page before I even started sketching in the book, this was the last page the I finished. I kept thinking I’d come up with a better idea, but nothing else seemed to work out as well. I went with my first idea which turned out to be the best solution after all.

This is the drawing that inspired the cover. I feel a little funny admitting it, but the idea for this drawing came to me as I was waking up from a dream. I saw a similar image in my mind’s eye during that between waking and sleeping state, and it caught my attention so much that I woke right up and thought, “I gotta try drawing that!”

This drawing is actually one of my favorites. I know it’s on the simple side, but I love the rhythm of the pattern. It’s similar to some of the drawings I’ve made in the past (this watercolor comes to mind right off the bat), but I think it’s different enough, and I’m planning to make a series based on this style of drawing.

I recently remembered that the inspiration for this drawing came from butterfly wings, of all things. I had a half cooked notion that I’d try to replicate the pattern of the veins on a butterfly’s wing, but without any source material to look at, I was a little lost. Instead, I came up with a pattern of my own based on a grid. Each color line represents a different “rule”. Starting from the end of each branching line, I would count on the grid, “down two, over one” for the orange line; “down two over two” for the blue line, and “down two over three” for the yellow line. I worked across from left to right. I “messed up” the pattern a couple times, but I kind of love those kinds of mistakes as they often make a pattern more interesting and unexpected than if everything is technically perfect. Another thing I love is that the final shape of the drawing was a total surprise. I like to think about how it might have changed if I hadn’t made any errors, or if I’d made more of them, or if I’d determined different rules in the beginning. I might have to try out a few more versions of this drawing style.

The results of this drawing were also somewhat unexpected. I based the different lengths of the bars and their colors on the lengths of my colored pencils. The colored pencils I used in this sketchbook got gobbled up pretty quickly. At this point the ones I used the most are tiny stubs. The purple bar on the left represents the smallest of the stubby pencils. Some of the other pencils were similar in size, so their bars were drawn at the same height. I could have drawn a few more bars, but I stopped when the paper ran out. The arrangement of colors corresponds to where the pencil fell in the height lineup.

The first thing I have to say about this drawing is that it creeps me out in a weird way. I’m not even sure why since I kind of like the pattern and detail of the piece. Is it because the pattern looks like reptile skin? Is it the way the points meet in the center? I don’t know! I thought about coloring it in to try and change the way it feels to me, but couldn’t make up my mind about what to do. In the end I left it as is. It might be a little creepy, but I figure that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

This is the very last page in my sketchbook! Incidentally the second to last page is the creepy reptile drawing (above), so I wanted the last page to be a lot more cheerful and celebratory. I decided to draw brightly colored swooping shapes, like streamers that might hang at a party. This is probably the page that I drew the quickest (literally drawn just hours before sending off the book!), so it’s the most sketchy of the bunch, but I think it ends the book on a positive note.

So that’s it! Those are all the pages in my sketchbook.

Well, almost. Today while writing these entries I realized that I missed scanning in one of the pages, and I’m more than a little bummed about it. Luckily I took a video of the whole book, so you’ll be able to see the missing page!

There will be one more entry about the Sketchbook Project that’ll include the video and a few photos, coming soon!

4 Replies to “Sketchbook Project: Update 7”

  1. What a great cover! And I too really like the egg shaped one that is your favorite.
    The one that you call creepy looks a lot like the ends of snakes, the pattern is beautiful and I don’t find it creepy at all.

    I can’t wait to see your sketchbook in person.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like the cover, and it’s good to hear that the reptile page isn’t creepy to you. Have you seen the Art House Coop post about all the books that are pouring in? It’s pretty amazing to see! I’m really getting jazzed about going to the show!

    1. Thank you! It’s a pretty neat project with thousands of other participants. Should be a great show to check out. I definitely feel lucky that they added a show in DC!

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