Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sketchbook Tuesday - Season's change

With the change of each new season I begin a new sketch journal. This pumpkin came home with us from the grocery last week so it marks the first sketch in my Autumn sketch journal.
Here is my now retired Summer journal and my newly begun Autumn sketch journal is the blue and white one on the top.  It makes the eighth journal that I have made myself for my sketching use. Since the very first one that I began in the winter or '09-'10, I have consistently made and started each new journal with the beginning of each season. At first it just worked out that way. Now it's something that I have to do. Every quarter turn of the year I am planning and constructing a new sketchbook. I have never run short of pages yet I don't always fill every page before the next Equinox or Solstice arrives. And sometimes I think I should just wait until I completely fill the current sketch journal before moving on to the next, but I don't. The urge to start again with the new season has become too great. It's my ritual now, I suppose.

In case you are wondering, my handmade sketchbooks wouldn't win any prizes in bookbinding, that's for sure. But they do work very well for me. The pages are 5.5 x 7.5 inches. With this size I don't have any paper waste when tearing down the paper for the signatures. It takes two full sheets (22 x 30") to make one sketch book. I also like working with this scale and proportion as a sketching format. I have seven signatures of Canson Edition paper, which is a sturdy, multi-media paper that I enjoy. I have used bright white, cream, antique white, vanilla, I like them all. I also have a signature in the front and in the back that have one sheet of Canson Edition on the outside and plain, old copy paper, about 10 sheets, inside each. So there are 9 signatures total in my sketchbooks. In the first signature (with the copy paper) I paste in calendar pages and use these as planning pages. In the last signature with the copy paper I keep a written journal, reflecting on what has happened during that season. I use fabric for the covers of these books, mining my stash left over from sewing days. I may actually have to break down and buy some more fabric soon though. I have used various papers for the end papers inside the cover, most often Mi-Teintes, again, because I happened to have that sitting around. A pocket inside the back cover and a ribbon bookmark makes it complete. And that's how I make my sketch journals. For now, anyway.

"All my journals are like strangers to me when I meet them 
and are my best friends by the time I have to say good-bye."

More information and inspiration on book making
Paper and Threads
Trumpetvine Travels
(I use her instructions for stitching my signatures)
Creating Books and Boxes by Benjamin D. Rinehart
(I follow the instructions in this book for making the covers)


Unknown said...

I've made one attempt at making my own sketchbook. So far it is staying put together. I used the back board of a pad of watercolor paper for the covers, and glued some fabric I had laying around. The sewing of the pages leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm still proud of it.

I love the pumpkin! I'm working on my own painting of a pumpkin patch. Orange is my favorite color- perfect excuse to draw a pumpkin

Alex said...

Beautifully drawn Ann. Love the texture and missing those days when I was at home and mom would buy fresh pumpkins and I'd just be wondering when and what's she's going to cook with it ^^
It's nice to be able to work from one season to another with different journals... I can only label my journal Moleskine 1...2...and so on I guess since it took me forever to finish the first one.

Autumn Leaves said...

Such a gorgeous pumpkin! Love your sketchbooks too!

Shirley said...

Loved seeing and reading about your watercolor sketchbooks. Isn't it addictive? Thanks for linking to my bookbinding efforts.

kazumiwannabe said...

Very cool drawing and great composition on the double page. Even the writing works very well!
I love autumn too, but where I leave it's still summer, hot weather, tourists, and no pumpkin in sight for a long time!

Mary Walker said...

I really like the dimension the different tones of orange lend to the pumpkin.

sasa said...

So interesting to hear about your processes! And great sketch too! Hope you get Autumn journal filled in :-)

nanke's stuff said...

I love this post! Besides the wonderfully bright pumpkin, reading about your seasonal journals was really fun. One of the many things I liked about it is seeing that you give yourself permission to move on to another journal without completing the previous one! Thanks so much for the links and pictures, as well as the description of your process. nancy

Ann said...

Thanks everyone. It is always interesting to me to hear how others go about keeping a sketch journal. I'm glad you all liked the post - and my ramblings :-)

Timaree said...

That's a good way to have a ritual. I've torn the paper down to that size and made a book with a paper cover but mostly I am doing spiral books right now. I think changing with the seasons is a good thing and I like your idea for the front and back too. It's a really practical way of doing a journal rather than like me, jumping from one book to another depending on media and mood.

Unknown said...

Last night a terrific thunderstorm swept through (we needed it badly!), bringing us our first hints of fall. I'm so excited...my favorite time of year! Love the pumpkin and your sketchbooks. I'm using a HUGE one right now and really can't wait to get back to the size you have; it really is more convenient and practical. Terrific pumpkin. I like how you've placed it on the page!

K said...

Luscious colors on that pumpkin, Ann! Nice journal covers too. I keep toying with making my own journals, but am resolved to use up what I have first.

(P.S.: in case you don't already know, I've been off the internet except for Facebook this summer, and haven't been great at keeping on other people's blog posts. I've also deleted my FB account and my smartphone so I could have more painting time. It was a bit of a withdrawal and I miss the chatter, but I have more free time now, hopefully for painting, blogging and keeping up with my blog friends!)

Made.by.Fay said...

I love your hand made journals. There is something about hand made books that just draws me in. Thanks for sharing.


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