Start Your Art Summit Sketchbooks

In September, I participated in an online summit called Start Your Art, a summit full of art lectures, videos, demonstrations and inspirations to help restart an art practice. As promised, it provided lots of empowerment, inspiration, ways to overcome fear and connect with yourself.

I watched each of the sessions and did the creative exercise on the same day they were released because I knew if I got behind, I would have trouble catching up.

I adore sketchbook art so I completed almost all of the daily demos and challenges in two sketchbooks. Here’s what I got out of most of the sessions, with only a few incomplete (ideas still brewing).

So fun to have all of these ideas captured in my sketchbooks! I’m excited to finish some of the pages that are blank, and to flush out some of these characters and vignettes and scenes into something more. This summit definitely restarted my personal art practice!

From My Sketchbook – Nature-Inspired

I have a few new pages from my sketchbook to share with you today, inspired by the nature right outside my doors.

I’m always picking things up when we’re out and about, in the backyard or on the trails, things like pine cones, wildflowers, even weeds that look pretty and interesting to draw.

I rearranged the composition on my sketchbook page, just for the challenge. Man, I love how page turned out! It makes me want to do more compositions like this. I think it’s because I’m a nature lover, so I’m passionate about this subject matter. And it’s good drawing practice for me, which I’m always trying to find more time to do.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sketchbook Update

I haven’t posted anything new from my sketchbook in quite awhile. The truth is I haven’t spent a lot of time experimenting in my sketchbook until just recently.

I had some catching up to do with a calendar for May,

and a calendar for June.

My vision for June was berries since they are usually in season this month, so I sketched and painted a page with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in mind. When I was finished, I liked the page so much, I decided I couldn’t cover it up.

So I ended up doing another page, similar in style to cover up with my calendar pieces.

I’ve also been working on quite a few flower sketches lately too.

I really love working like this, starting out with a pencil sketch using a Verithin pencil, adding some color with acrylic or watercolor paints, and finishing off with some dimension by adding pen and colored pencil.

I have missed experimenting in my sketchbook, so I’m happy to have the time and energy and inspiration again. I have at least three more pages in progress, and lots of ideas to fill up many more pages. Feels great to be dreaming up and illustrating my own ideas again, outside of an assignment or a homework deadline.

Thanks for stopping by!

From My Idea File: Drawing Tool Kits

As many of my sewing readers know, sewing notions and tools are important to someone who is passionate about sewing. The right combination of pencils, erasers and marking tools are vital to an artist, especially a beginning artist like me. Having your notions and tools organized can be even more vital to your creativity and productivity!

Over the past few semesters of graphic design and illustration classes, I’ve put together the perfect art toolkit for drawing and illustration.

Artbin storage box. The perfect size for me is this 4-inch wide by 10-inch tall box. (they make a great selection of storage solutions for art and craft supplies)

-Mechanical Pencil

-Ballpoint pen

-Erasers: pink, white and kneaded

-Set of graphite pencils in 2B, HB, 6H hardness/softness

-Verithin pencil

-Charcoal pencils in black and white

-Razer blades (for sharpening the charcoal pencils)

-Colored pencils: red, blue, green purple, and white

-Pencil sharpener

-Exacto knife and extra blades

-Sharpie marker, fine tip on one end and regular tip on the other end

I have two more art bins for more specific projects. In a separate art bin, I keep my charcoal supplies because they can be very messy. It holds my charcoal sticks, charcoal pencils, an Exacto knife for sharpening, and various erasers (which used to be white).

My other art bin holds my pastel supplies for doing heightened drawings like this and this, pastel pencils, erasers and a sharpener.

I also have a great mesh pouch I use for my brushes. I like this mesh material on the front side because it helps the brushes breath and air dry after I’ve washed them.

The only things that don’t fit into these kits are a metal ruler, which I carry separately, and a scissors, but I have an Exacto knife, so I don’t really need a scissors.

I work in different areas of our house and backyard, and I’m back and forth to campus everyday, so it helps to keep things organized. I love being able to just grab a sketchbook and one of these little drawing kits, knowing they hold all the basic supplies I may need.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sketchbook Pages: Signs of Spring

One of the best parts about Spring is watching all the plants come back to life, since I live in a part of the world where vegetation goes dormant in the cold winter months.

I also love watching the birds come back to our neighborhood. Over the winter months, we still see cardinals and chickadees, but not many more varieties. It’s an exciting day when you spot your first robin of the season since it’s an indication spring is near. The mourning doves and grackles have returned early too. Great inspiration for a page in my sketchbook!

I’ve mentioned before how much I love daisies. They are such a cheerful flower, so I’ve been collecting a variety of daisy seed packets and plant tags for sketchbook inspiration. I know they aren’t a spring flower, but I had fun illustrating a little doodle anyway.

I have been doing a lot of painting for my color media class this semester, so I haven’t spent much time playing in my sketchbook. It felt great to mess up a page full of Easter-colored graffiti in preparation for my April calendar.

I ended up covering up some of the graffiti with the squares for the days of the week but I love the layered look. Note to self: definitely want to try more graffiti art in my sketchbook!

I had forgotten how much I like to experiment and play in my sketchbook. It was awesome to create without any pressure or deadlines. Thanks for stopping by!

Sketchbook Pages – Calendar and Close-ups

I spent another Friday afternoon playing in my sketchbook, beginning with a calendar page for March. It was fun to layer this page with watercolor, brush strokes, ink splatters, and doodles using the color we are all craving this time of year, Green.

The Sketchbook Challenge provides themes each month for participants to use as inspiration. Sometimes, it’s hard to narrow down ideas, so this prompt can be helpful to get focused.

The theme for February was Close-ups. For some reason, I’ve been wanting to drawing a set of silverware lately, so I used that idea for a mixed-media close-up illustration.

The theme for March is flowers. We have a garden full of flowers in spring and summer, so I have a ton of pictures to use for reference.

When I was trying to think of something to write on this page, I pulled a couple gardening books from our bookshelf. I didn’t realize there were so many varieties of flowers in the daisy family. I’ve decided that we are going to need more daisies this year. I think they will be good subject matter for my sketchbook for awhile, a good way to tie me over until gardening season begins. Thanks for stopping by!

Sketchbook Pages

I haven’t had a lot of time to mess around in my sketchbok due to homework projects, but it seems like the past couple Fridays have worked out well to fit in some experimenting.

Lately, I have been looking for different recipes to try, which are becoming fun muse to illustrate.

I’ve always loved that feeling of freedom you get on Friday afternoons, anticipating the start of the weekend, especially when our weather is sunny and mild.

It takes some getting used to working in a sketchbook because these pages are so much bigger than the art cards I got used to working on in 2011. I’m having fun playing with mixed media on these pages, using a Verithin pencil to lay down my touch sketch, markers for outlining and journaling, and different watercolors (field box, Inktense pencils, and watercolor crayons). Every page feels like an experiment, which I really enjoy.

Sketchbook Journal – February Calendar

I kept up with my January calendar by filling something in for each day. It’s kinda like a diary, which is nice to look back on. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday, so this will be a great reference to have.

For my February calendar page, I painted the background with a pink watercolor paint. While I was in the waiting room at the hospital during Dave’s eye surgery, I finished it by just doodling freely all over the page.

February is one of my least favorite months of the year, so I’m hoping we can cruise through this month quickly and uneventfully. We’ve had a very mild winter, so I’m hoping we can continue that way until Spring is ready to reveal itself. It’s been wonderful to have dry roads lately and see the snow melt on our lawn, even though the grass is all matted and brown. I love that time of year around here when the natural world comes back to life.

Art Journal-Week 2

So far, I am managing to keep up in my art journal with some cool pages.

I enjoyed a girls’ day out with my mom, which was great fun, so that was on my mind for this first illustration. I did a rough sketch of a skyline, painted a darkening sky in the background with a full moon rising, and journaled all the fun things we did in the outer border.

We got our first snow storm of the 2012 winter season later in the week, so I illustrated this page page with that on my mind. We got five inches of snow, so it was quite a lovely scene.

In addition to my semester of four graphic design classes, I am taking this fabulous online sketchbook class that I’m really excited for, so I’m hoping to learn a lot more and continue to practice my drawing and illustration techniques.