Thursday, September 27, 2007

Drawing in a new sketchbook

Fish! Supper
11.5" x 17", pen and ink in Daler Rowney sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Last Friday I started a new 'big' sketchbook and this was the very first sketch - a double page spread drawn in pen and ink.

I have 'a thing' about the first sketch in a new sketchbook. I have to try and set the tone by making sure it is a good one and if possible I like it to be a challenge as well. So I usually have two sketchbooks on the go for a while - the new one comes out with me as I'm getting towards the end of the old one 'just in case' I see the right thing to start a new sketchbook. As it happens I only had a single page left in my old Daler Rowney A4 sketchbook after the Northern Rock sketches and it wouldn't have been big enough for this drawing of the interior of the steel and glass structure of the Fish! restaurant in the middle of Borough Market.

The other things I do when I start a sketchbook is (1) put my name and how to contact me on the inside front cover and then (2) put a sticky label on the top right hand corner of the front cover which dates it and summarises its contents as it begins to fill up. This makes it MUCH easier to find the sketchbook I want when looking back for a sketch to work up. The one I completed was "UK Sketches 2007 (March-September)" and it had all the 'big' sketches done in the Spring and Summer as the smaller ones tend to go in my Moleskine.

For details of about this sketch see yesterday's Fish! Supper in Borough Market on my travel sketchbook blog.

9 comments:

Jeanette said...

I'm glad that someone else uses a similar system of categorizing sketchbooks.

I also have my contact information in them and an inducement of a brand new sketchbook for the individual who finds and returns the original should it get lost.

I also am challenged to have that first sketch in a new book 'just so'. Perhaps its my hope that it will set the standard for me to keep up for the rest of the book!

Anna said...

How interesting! You are doing so well on your values! Today's drawing could almost be abstracted into a pattern just based on the values of the respective subjects.

Jess said...

I have a love hate relationship with new sketchbooks. I absolutely LOVE choosing and buying, taking time and care, then they siton a shelf in my studio for too long because I don't want to mess them up! So silly because there's nothing better than a lovely full tatty sketchbook! :)

Rose Welty said...

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one to have "a thing" about new sketchbooks...I even tend to leave the first few pages blank, just to take a little pressure off :-).

Casey Klahn said...

You nailed it with this first sketch. Before I read your entry, I concluded that it was a challenging scene, and it is remarkable the way that you "get it", and it creates interest for the viewer.

vivien said...

I write on the outside front cover and spine with a Tippex pen - the white on black shows up beautifully and I detail/date them like you.

I also add name address inside in case I lose one.

Nice start to your new book :)

How about an A3 book? they are really lovely to work in :)

Tina Mammoser said...

How funny, I have a similar habit! The first drawing in my sketchbooks is usually quite precise and figurative... before I continue with my typical value studies for everything else. :) Is this one of those nice black hardcover sketchbooks? They're lovely. I took one that size to Newfoundland with me and it was great as a combo sketchbook and scrapbook.

Katherine said...

Isn't that interesting - so many people with very similar habits. I don't find it unusual that we share the habits of contact details on the inside and the naming on the outside - but I never realised that I shared 'my thing' about the good sketch right at the beginning with quite so many people.

I have to confess that my habit of starting each sketchbook off with a 'good' sketch was because I once did an absolutely awful abysmal sketch at the very beginning of a sketchbook - and I couldn't abide picking it up after that! I eventually filled it - but the awful sketch jumps out at me every time I flick through it!

Vivien - I'd love an A3 sketchbook but have never found one I liked. The Royal Watercolour Society do one - but only with rough or NOT watercolour paper - which doesn't suit me. Plus it's enormously expensive!

Robyn said...

A fitting beginning indeed, Katherine. What a complicated subject and you've nailed it wonderfully. I'm off to your sketching blog now to see what you ate!

I currently have 9 sketchbooks going. None is labelled, but I do put my name and address in my Moleskines. On days of low confidence, I sketch on cheap paper pads rather than 'spoil' a sketchbook. For this reason some of my books have cheap paper sketches pasted in. Pathetic isn't it.



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