Illustrated Sketchbooks Sketch by Frida Kahlo
Regular sketchbooks • Sketchbooks are an important part of an artist’s practice and exploration, however for most students, they are not always very interesting to look at and the work often gets ignored almost as soon as the images are drawn. • Students often discard their sketchbooks just as soon as a course is over. • There may only be a few drawings on a page. Often there is just a single drawing, and the backgrounds are usually ignored. The drawings just float on the page.
Your goal • Your goal is to create a sketchbook that is exciting, dynamic and interesting. • Think of your sketchbook as an incubator for your creativity, a storage space for your ideas, a place to explore, a place to make connections and a place for you, the emerging artist, to find your voice. By Artist Andrea Joseph Samantha Jean Dixon
You will create an illustrated journal • You might think of this as a notebook or scrapbook for creative brainstorming; a place for your dreams, and personal thoughts. Mattias Adolfsson
How does this differ from a sketchbook? Sketchbooks Illustrated sketchbooks • Often single sketch on a page • Usually just a practice place for techniques • Often not dated • Usually no colour • Often without a theme • Often not used again • Usually the pages look like a work of art • The date is usually part of the overall work • Colour helps to connect the ideas and builds an emphasis in the work • There are often connections to other artists’ work • There are usually notes, reflections, artist’s thoughts included • Often become the seed idea for larger works
Each page is a work of art: • Each page should be a work of art. • You can make it fun and playful, or serious and thought provoking. Allen Sutton
So what’s in it for you? • The process of illustrating your work, of adding notes and research will allow you the opportunity to reflect, to slow down, to notice the sights, smells, sounds and feelings that you experience in the process.
Making connections • Your journal will be a place to make connections, to research what other artists are doing, to develop and expand your ideas, and to prepare the background for future art works. You’ll learn to express your ideas effectively. It allows you the joy of making unexpected connections, of encountering “happy accidents”.
Looking back • When you collect your ideas in a journal, it will let you look back and revisit the experiences you’ve had again and again. It’ll help make your memories vivid and fresh. Student artist: Jack Broad
A safe place to go • Your journal will be a place to experiment. You will feel safe and free from the pressures of completing a “finished” piece of art. Your work can be open, playful, honest, and direct. It can be a place “to rest your sorrows, expose your pain, celebrate your joys and face your fears. ”
Like an illustrated diary Jill Bruhn • Creating an illustrated sketchbook has strong similarities to an illustrated diary or journal where you recorded your day-to-day existence with illustrations accompanying the text. • A diary records the daily events of your life; the who, what and when and where parts of your life. It captures the events of your life.
Diaries – Artist: Jill Bruhn
World War Two Diary
Biology fieldbooks • Biologists often create illustrated field notebooks as a important part of their research. • Their drawings and notes help them analyze what they see around them. • They learn more about the natural world through their art and through inquiry and documenting their observations.
Similar to a scrapbook • An illustrated sketchbook has some similarities to a scrapbook. It is important that the pages look good. • How the pages look is often as important as what is on the page. It matters what it looks like, what marks are made, and what things are manipulated and added to the pages.
Not necessarily chronological • You will look at new ideas and new perspectives in your illustrated sketchbook. • You can explore emotions, philosophies, politics, and your view of the world and your life. It may not reflect what you do each day, rather you can record the way you think and see. It may not be something that is chronological.
So how do you turn your sketchbook into an illustrated journal? • You will start each page in class with a challenge or task or theme that you will have 15 minutes to address and you will draw a response to this assignment. • This time will be a silent time to allow you to be totally in the moment, to be present and mindful, without the intervention of other information, music, voices, or distractions. • At first this will likely be difficult.
Your head will become a busy, noisy creative place • The reason for this will only become apparent when your own head becomes a noisy place with all the thoughts and questions and revisions that are truly a part of the creative process. Student artist: Sally Al Nasser
Daily sketches • On a daily basis you will create not only a sketch, but each page will become a mini -piece of art. • Each drawing will reflect your thoughts and your exploration beyond theme you have been given for the day. • You will be making art on a daily basis. You will practice your art on a regular basis. • You will need to take your sketchbook home to expand upon the idea we have started in class
Each page is a mini-art piece • You do NOT have to have fully complete the drawings that you started in class, but the page itself needs to be a finished piece of art. Judy Wise
So how do you improve your sketchbook? • The drawings on the left have just begun to develop. It is starting to tell a story but the images are still very separate. One of the images needs to become the most important and stand out. The drawings need to fill the page. The background should be addressed. Overlapping images will help to connect the drawings. On right: Bleach drawing by Eternal. Peace 123
Let your drawings grow • When your drawing begins to expand grow and fills the page or creeps into the adjacent page your sketches become more interesting.
Add backgrounds and text • These sketches are from fengzhudesign
Tortoise and the geographical map
Collage • The pages in your sketchbook might have collaged materials: newspapers, magazine pictures, coloured and textured papers, ticket stubs, maps, printed drawings and sketches, photographs, and other interesting materials and very importantly other sketches and drawings you have done and added to the pages. Student artist: Lewis Trew
Ideas and words • You can add poems, lyrics from songs, quotes, inspirational notes, or lines from novels. You need to experiment with ways to add text to your pages, and think of the writing as art. Text has shape and line and the font itself has style and can set a mood or emotion or feeling to the page that effects the message or impact of the work. Student artist: Amiria Robinson
Connections to other artists • You will need to use many different techniques and media to add illustrations, text, details, embellishments and you will also add research notes, web sites, information and your thoughts and insights. • You need to begin to make connections between the tasks you are asked to do in class with work that is being done out in the “real” world. Student Lucy Luu who references artist Jonathan Yeo in her work
What to add • You need to add the date, an explanation of the task, your insights, and you’ll have to do some research to find out what other artists are doing that connects to the work you have done. • Write down web sites, facts, information and connections so you have a place to go back to for ideas and to inspire you as you develop your art. Anne Lindblom
Colour Student: Ruth Beeley • You might add colour with water colour, pastels, pencil crayons, ink, coloured tissue paper, water colour pencils, markers or tea-staining. • The colour helps to create harmony and adds visual interest and texture to the page.
Elements and Principles • • Artist Pat Perry It is important that you consider the elements and principles of design in your work. The pages should be well balanced visually. On each page there should be a focal point (something that draws your attention to the things that need to stand out) and the work needs to feel unified. There should be enough that keeps the work looking as if all the things go together, yet enough variety that it is interesting. The eye should travel around the page and come back to the main area of the drawing. This effect is created by using principles such as repetition and gradation.
Keeping it looking good • The work should look well cared for, the book should be in good shape. • It is a collection of artworks and the book itself can be considered art. • You may have to add a protective surface if you are using pastels or charcoal. A workable fixative is the best solution for this.
Embellishments • You can sew onto paper, do embroidery, or glue items on. You can use fusable adhesive to fasten fabrics to your pages. You can add embellishments such as buttons, stamps, tickets, metallic highlights, string, or beads. Anatomical notebook by Christopher Jobson Multi media journal page from Storm Marie White
Keeping things attached Student artist: Imogen Reeves • If you want to keep things attached securely materials such as super tacky glue, gel medium, mod podge or other such media will help. • Gel medium often becomes sticky if it is hot and humid so you have to be careful that your pages don’t stick together. • You may have to put pieces of wax paper between the pages to protect your work.
Gesso as a base coat • You can use gesso to prepare the surface to give a surface to the paper that will offer more support for your work. • Gesso is a primer, it looks a lot like paint. It stops the paint soaking into the paper. It makes the paper a little firmer. • It’ll help make the paper take paint more easily and allows the paint to stick better. It also covers up areas of text or parts of your drawing that you want to cover with a new idea or drawing or written text.
You need to do all the assigned sketches • You will be expected to include all assigned sketches even if you are absent from class. • You will need to take the initiative to find out what you have missed. • You will submit the journal approximately 5 times during the semester. • There is a rubric that will accompany this assignment so you can check to see if you have met all the requirements. Sketches by Graham Smith
Make sure that you don’t just draw just from ideas in your head. Look around you. • One artist in a blog called “Illustrated Journaling” suggests that spending lots of time at the art table might prevent you from getting out and drawing real life. It’s good to use your imagination, but don’t forget there’s a real world out there full of amazing things. Student artist: Sarah Loh
Artist’ Journal and Sketchbook Lynne Perella • Lynne Perella describes journals as “a rich and creative experience as well as a remarkable and revelatory exercise in self-expression, moment by moment, page by page” and • it “provides (another) way of committing the ideas to paper in a strong, visible, memorable way. ” Sketchbook by Matt Hendon
Getting into the artist’s head • The book “Illustrated Life” has journal entries from over 40 artists. The introduction to this book says: • “It's the closest one can get to being inside an artist's head, to feeling the raw creativity flow: a book bulging with drawings and scrawled captions, some pages experimental, some pages carefully observed. . . You see ideas unfold and deepen. You see risks, mistakes, regrets, thoughts, lessons, dreams, all set down in ink for posterity, for an audience of one. ” By Basquiat, J. M. – ‘Nero Pectoralis’
Lynne Perella on Pollack: • About Jackson Pollack she says “his sketch books were full of experimental and iconic markings that were the rumblings of his later signature abstract work. His sketchbook was a place of dreams, a repository for experimental and unguarded thoughts that would later redefine the world of art. ”
Lynne Perella on Keroauk • Perrella wrote of Kerouac that he “saw his notebooks as companions, as well as a place to record strongly felt and instantaneous observations”.
About Da Vinci • About Leonardo Da Vinci she said that his notebooks were “a storehouse for his myriad interests, and discoveries and included his notations on subjects ranging from anatomy to zoology. . his notebooks allowed him not only to explore a subject in depth, but also to record his realizations and put those into a visual form on a page”
References • Biology Field Book: http: //nmnh. typepad. com/fieldbooks/botany/ • Scrapbook: http: //stampingandscrappin. typepad. com/susan_farrant/classes-ioffer/ • Jill Bruhn Diary: http: //www. jillbruhn. com/2011/01/22/thirtybefore-thirty-keep-an-illustrated-journalsketchbook/ • World War 2 diary: http: //www. bbc. co. uk/news/uk-11435015 • Tiffany Ford diary: http: //toffanyeveryday. tumblr. com/ http: //theclothes. blogspot. ca/2012_11_01_archive. html • Samantha Jean Dixon: http: //samanthajeandixon. blogspot. ca/p/sketchbook. html
References • Sketch by Jackson Pollack: http: //www. nga. gov/feature/pollock/artist 5. shtm • Jack Kerouac’s sketch of the cover of On The Road: http: //artsbeat. blogs. nytimes. com/2007/08/17/an-appealing-commercialcover/? _r=0 • Frida Kalho, Basquiat, J. M. – ‘Nero Pectoralis’, Jack Kerouac. This site also has many sketches by other well known artists which are well worth investigating: https: //sketchuniverse. wordpress. com/category/lettersdiaries-and-manuscripts/ • Sketchbook by Matt Hendon: http: //www. booooooom. com/2009/07/09/matt-hendon-sketchbook/ • Artist Pat Perry: https: //sketchesandjottings. wordpress. com/2011/12/08/sketchbookshenanigans-pat-perry/ • Graham Smith: http: //inkdrawing. blogspot. ca/2009/10/sketchbookjam. html
References • Owls: http: //bramptonpottery. blogspot. ca/2010/10/sketch-book-andgcses. html • Sketchbooks where drawings begin to expand to both pages: http: //www. crafthubs. com/sketchbook/14044 • Pens on sketchbook page: http: //design. tutsplus. com/articles/core-artskills-part-2 -the-sketchbook--vector-3763 • African Hunter Gods, Tortoise and Cars: http: //fengzhudesign. blogspot. ca/p/sketchbook. html • Artist Andrea Joseph: https: //ecusymposium. wordpress. com/2010/11/07/were-tryingsomething-new/ • Art supplies sketch: http: //paintupastorm. blogspot. ca/2010/11/sketchbook-pages-15 november-2010. html • Judy Wise: http: //judywise. blogspot. ca/2011/03/journal-pages. html
References • Leonard Da Vinci: http: //facweb. cs. depaul. edu/sgrais/images/Sketchbooks/leonardo _study_supper. jpg • Work by Roger De Muth, Michelangelo: http: //facweb. cs. depaul. edu/sgrais/sketchbooks. htm • Eye by Michelangelo: www. britishmuseum. org • Mattias Adolfsson and Allen Sutton: http: //designinstruct. com/visual-inspiration/sketchbook-secrets-50 -beautiful-sketchbook-scans/ • Ruth Beeley, Louis Trew, Lucy Luu, Sally Al Nasser, David Wasserman, Amiria Robinson, Sarah Loh, Jack Broad, Imogen Reeves (High school student journals): http: //www. studentartguide. com/articles/art-sketchbook-ideas • Christopher Jobson: http: //www. thisiscolossal. com/2014/09/handembroidered-notebooks/
References • Cover for journal photo by Nellie Wortman: https: //www. etsy. com/listing/98476383/gift? utm_source= Pinterest&utm_medium=Page. Tools&utm_campaign=Share • Bleach drawing by Eternal. Peace 123: www. deviantart. com • Gesso on journal page: http: //www. johwey. com/2010/05/memoirs-an-alteredbook-journal/ and • http: //blog. sizzix. com/imagine-art-journal-pages/ • Storm Marie White multi-media journal page: http: //boardwalkamblers. blogspot. ca/p/my-gallery-ofarts. html • Anne Lindblom: https: //www. flickr. com/photos/kajsawarg/