Finishing off

treeHAVING GOT to the end of one sketchbook with a short burst of drawing on reserves and in the farm park, I thought now would be a good time to set about bringing my other current sketchbooks to a close so that I can make a fresh start in the new year.

In compiling my Wild Yorkshire nature diary articles for the Dalesman magazine, I’ve realised how useful it is to have a straightforward chronological run of sketchbooks if you ever want to retrieve a particular drawing for later publication.


cushionsIf you’re doing what I’ve been doing for the last year, keeping five sketchbooks in assorted sizes going at once, six if you include the large format sketchbook that I keep for book illustration in the studio, it gets very difficult to search for a drawing made on a particular date.

Perhaps I’ll rationalise this a bit in the new year and concentrate on a particular size.

Square versus Landscape

orchidHigh StreetThe A5 landscape Pink Pig spiral bound sketchbook that I’ve just completed seems a good compromise between portability and page size, but the 8 inch square of A5 format that I used at the weekend proved good for wildlife as there’s more space on a deeper page to add quick notes.

M62 bankingI find that anything that I write on location – about colour, incident or atmosphere, for example – is more precise than my later memories. But I’m reluctant to write when I’m out there because I love to spend as much time as I can drawing.

Wainwright Sketchbook

Wainwright sketchbookAll these sketches are from an A5 sketchbook that fits neatly in the little grey bag that goes with me on everyday errands. The spiral binding on a regular A5 sketchbook won’t quite squeeze in.

Great binding, shame about the paper; fountain pen ink goes straight through it, watercolour soaks in instantly but blotchily.

I might try crayons until I finish the book but it’s a shame that it’s not more sympathetic for fountain pen drawing because when I’m grabbing the odd moment to draw it flows better than any fibre tip.

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