View Full Version : Finally Jumping In - Sketchbook sharing

10-04-2014, 10:33 AM
I use to have time to visit the forums here (especially colored pencil) but life got so busy with more and more grandkids, several moves and although I'm on a little vacation up in Mill Valley watching some grandkids - i have some time and thought I would start posting my sketch journal I've been doing for awhile.

I have different journals - some for animals - some for the nature in my yard, a journal for my walks around the lake and town and the houses I see.

Anyway mostly all are done with pen and pencil and then painted in with Corel Paint program. I like doing journaling this way because sketching can be quick and painting on line even nicer than making a mess with paints and having to clean up. I do have some though I've used different mediums on.

I'll be looking forward now to have time to visit and open others' sketchbooks and enjoy the different styles.


10-04-2014, 01:19 PM
Zebby, welcome to Art Journals forum. Great journal entry, both text and drawing.

10-04-2014, 10:13 PM
Thanks Dr. Debby. I'm looking forward to browsing here and look at others' journals. ...which will take time.

10-05-2014, 05:38 AM
Lovely! More!! Please :)

10-05-2014, 05:54 AM
Cute. we feed the blue jays also. Plus the squirrels and chipmunks. Yes we go through a lot of peanuts. Its no secret we have the largest blue jays in town. Its impossible to feed one and not the other.

10-05-2014, 07:33 PM
thanks Vhere and Chewy - i agree - between the chipmunks, stellar jays and squirrels - we go through many big bags of peanuts from Costco.

10-05-2014, 07:36 PM
Another squirrel sketch after the stuffed his face.


10-06-2014, 04:58 PM
What a cutie with the stuffed cheeks. :)

10-07-2014, 03:53 PM
thanks Dr. Debby.

10-07-2014, 04:02 PM

The way I keep a journal when I do a sketch on paper in pen or pencil and then paint it in on line - is I keep a book with the pencil sketch and then a
photo of the finished sketch.

10-07-2014, 05:50 PM
Great bird sketch.

10-07-2014, 07:39 PM
thanks Dr. Debby.

10-08-2014, 05:28 AM
Nice one :)

I sometimes work that way with illustrations, colouring on the computer.

10-08-2014, 11:17 PM
thanks Vivien.

10-09-2014, 11:41 AM
Nice work!

10-09-2014, 12:54 PM
thank you "Wagtail".

10-09-2014, 12:56 PM

10-09-2014, 01:41 PM
Darling goldfinch.

10-09-2014, 03:02 PM
thanks! They are one of my favorite little birds. I looked at your fiber art - wow is it ever beautiful!

10-10-2014, 12:11 PM

10-10-2014, 02:19 PM
Thank you for the compliment. Your pelican is delightful.

10-12-2014, 01:28 AM
thanks Dr. Debby

10-12-2014, 12:19 PM

10-12-2014, 12:57 PM
Wonderful sketch of a wet bird. :)

10-12-2014, 01:02 PM
thanks! I love these types of birds - they come around often to bathe in the summer heat. In the winter they are also around (we live in mountains).

10-12-2014, 06:46 PM
Wow! These are great. I love your combination technique, coloring digitally is really working well for you. The ground squirrel's very cute and those little guys can be really smart, you're training him into the behaviors you want with those peanuts. Give him time and peanuts enough and he'll learn not to knock over your vases to get them.

Very cool idea setting out vases with the wildlife. Love your birds, especially the heron and flicker. They're all good and most are familiar to me, but the herons and egrets have always been particular favorites of mine. So happy you get to see them often locally! San Francisco has seagulls but I haven't seen any herons here. Probably because I haven't visited a creek or lake here either, the water birds need their water!

Seagulls come right into downtown though as they have discovered humans toss good food into the trash and sometimes throw it at gulls on purpose!

10-13-2014, 07:26 PM
hI Robert, thanks for your nice comments. By the way I was in Mill Valley last week and up around Corta Medera were several herons - then at Pier 39 down town SF I saw some. So, you definitely have them but just probably haven't seen them. When we were walking to Pier 39 from Rainforest where we took some grandkids for lunch - two gull swooped down on a guy eating a hot dog - and one actually hit it out of his hand, it landed on the ground and several seagulls began to fight over it.

10-13-2014, 10:00 PM
I have to include Gigi in my sketches as she's the sweetest dog around.


10-14-2014, 02:42 PM
Sweet pup.

10-14-2014, 07:56 PM
Awww Gigi is cute, and she looks like the kind of little dog my cat likes. He really enjoys meeting the little dogs in the city. He was scared of big dogs but when they're smaller than he is, he turns into a gentle giant and gets friendly and playful. She's fluffy too, another great point of cuteness.

10-16-2014, 01:17 PM
thanks Robert. That's cool your cat likes little dogs -I'm so amazed anymore when I see youtubes of animals getting along - ones you wouldn't expect would.

10-16-2014, 02:44 PM
i love to draw goldfinches and have many poses to sketch. This was kind of a combination of colored pencil and then painting a top layer in photoshop.

We have many that come to our feeders by the windows and then a few feet away is a tree off the deck they sit on when taking a break from eating.


10-17-2014, 09:31 AM
Sweet. I only get sparrows mostly!

10-17-2014, 01:37 PM
Brilliantly colored goldfinch.

10-18-2014, 01:22 AM
Beautiful goldfinch! I remember seeing those at the bird feeder when I was a kid, they were very bright and common!

10-19-2014, 11:43 AM
thanks Vivian, Dr. Debby and Robert.

10-19-2014, 12:02 PM
another squirrel - who I am becoming very fond of because he poses so cute.


10-19-2014, 02:19 PM
Cute squirrel. :)

10-20-2014, 02:10 PM
thanks Dr. Debby

01-17-2015, 05:38 PM
(combination of pen, pencil, colored pencil digital painting etc.) I haven't posted since October . Life got so busy and then the holidays, a few weekend trips away and now the middle of January. I still have been sketching but not taking the time to post. I haven't been drawing every day but at least a few times a week. Hope you are all enjoying the new year so far.


01-18-2015, 09:46 AM
such a lovely colourful range of birds you have :)

Joan T
01-18-2015, 11:21 AM
I'm so glad you posted again and this popped back up to the top.:clap: I missed so many of your wonderful pages when I was away in the fall. It is great to see them. Your bird pages are so great! I hope you get back into the habit of posting more often!:)

01-18-2015, 12:58 PM
thanks Joan and Vivien. Definitely going to keep posting and now that I have more time - will be going through others' sketchbooks - I enjoyed it when I was here before but there was always a "pull" to get off the computer.

01-18-2015, 01:04 PM
Another in the Nature Series I'm doing.


01-18-2015, 02:55 PM
Wonderful bird sketches.

01-23-2015, 12:10 PM
thanks Dr. Debby.

Joan T
01-23-2015, 04:47 PM
Love the coot and his/her big blue feet!

Shannon Expat
01-23-2015, 08:24 PM
I love your method of combining ink with the digital paint. Really nice..

01-25-2015, 12:56 PM
Thanks Joan and Shannon.

Another idea for a sketchbook that i will be starting alongside my nature
journal is "The Dogs of Lake Gregory". When I walk either at the lake or in town I pass more people with dogs than people without. I have taken so many photos and hope to sketch each one I've photographed. I have developed a fondness for messy sketching - this is one of them. It's definitely a messy sketch.


01-25-2015, 03:28 PM
Mountain Quail - had time this morning to sketch out quickly a mountain quail I have been wanting to do. I had taken the photo one day when she jumped on the fence in the backyard and I had it marked in my favorites folder for a sketch. Sketched in pen - painted digitally. I'm becoming spoiled with painting on line - I like not having art supplies to clean up. I'm pretty messy when I paint.


01-25-2015, 04:04 PM
Great sketches. Looking forward to your dog series.

Zebby, you and my husband. :lol: He tells me when I'm fussing with pencils and erasing, or paints and cursing, that I need a "delete" key. He much prefers the amazing amount of options when doing art digitally.

01-25-2015, 04:37 PM
Hi... I haven't progressed yet with a brush on line - i just use my mouse and i've gotten to where i can almost draw a straight line, lol. I don't know anything about layering or all that stuff (never taken a course)...but I do just love to use the paint option because that alone allows you to do a lot. I think your husband is right - digital is the way for me but I have bins full of watercolors, acrylics, colored pencils ( use to be a real fan of CP - learned so much at the WC colored pencil forum. I do sketch it out first, take a photo and then take it in to paint. A lot of people don't look at digital as a valid art medium (or so I've heard). I tried to paint a house I sketched the other day, in watercolor and i wasn't happy with it at all. thanks for the comment Dr. Debby.

01-25-2015, 09:38 PM
Wow! You're getting sophisticated with your digital painting, Zebby. It's a real medium, a beautiful one. I like your easy to read text too, added in your digital coloring. That rocks. The scene with the dog has a great perspective, bird's eye view is stunning and you have a lot of depth in the scene. Love the autumn trees and loose evocative lines.

Your mountain quail is especially beautiful. That doesn't even look like digital painting so much as a gouache painting.

I bought a brush but I'm still learning to use it and don't have a touch screen on my computer for Gimp, the only software I know well enough to use well. I've got Sketchbook Mobile on my phone and Kindle but not enough practice with it to really get it down well. The commands are all icons and I have trouble recognizing them, even navigating it enough to get a fresh page is tough. So I'm in the reverse.

After years of being frustrated with watercolor, the markers made it easy and I'm used to pan watercolors enough that I can finally use the travel sets I collected over decades. Also the cool journals I collected and dragged around with only a few pages used. But digital has me stumped! I think a lot of it is that I can't find a help function with verbal descriptions of the tools, can't scroll over it to get a word that says what an icon does so it's trial and error fumbling through a half dozen wrong commands to do anything. Maybe what I need is a book on using Sketchbook Mobile with an index to all those icons and then use it with the book till I'm used to it.

I'll probably enjoy the Sensu brush once I get that, but I'm still trying to find the pressure sensitive mark making tools.

01-26-2015, 01:54 AM
Robert, thanks so much for your comments.

I enjoyed reading you and what you have tried. I've promised myself to some day sit down and really learn what all Corel Paint Pro offers (I just use the basic stuff).. I work on a laptop and I can't sit at a desk or table anymore because when I do I feel such a resistance from having worked at a desk for over 30 years doing medical transcription. The reason I got into digital painting is because I can sit on my bed and paint without making a mess. I either sit in a comfortable chair or sit on my bed because I'm much more motivated to keep going than if I sat at a table.

I have tried different sketchbook apps etc., on my Samsung tab but I'm to use to a mouse that it just doesn't work for me.

I like your work a lot and whatever you are using - it really works for you. I hope the Sensu brush works for you if you try it.

01-26-2015, 02:53 AM

I bought one of these and love it. Is easier to judge where the tip of it is when you want a mark more accurately placed.

01-26-2015, 09:08 AM
I like not having art supplies to clean up. I'm pretty messy when I paint.


Oh, I am sooo with you. Love painting, hate the mess. Your digital paintings are interesting and I am enjoying following your progress with them.

01-26-2015, 02:11 PM
Thanks "Blooming" for your comment.

This next one was mostly done with pen and watercolor. I tweaked a few things in Corel Paint Pro, the digital program I use.


01-26-2015, 04:04 PM
Sounds like the local wildlife gives you quite a show and they are so interesting to sketch. Lovely squirrel.

01-26-2015, 04:23 PM

01-27-2015, 03:34 PM
This was mostly colored pencil and black pen again w/a little tweaking in Corel.


01-27-2015, 04:55 PM
Marvelous bear.

01-27-2015, 08:48 PM
Wonderful work! I'm so behind - there are so many lovely pieces to gaze at here :)

Joan T
01-28-2015, 05:58 PM
Great recent additions. Love reading your writing on the pages too.

01-28-2015, 10:04 PM
thank you for the comments.

Last winter (winter of 2013) we had an early snow when fall colors were still on the trees - except for this one tree which we would either drive by or walk by every day. We had only been here a few months and was so surprised when the leaves fell off this one tree we passed all the time - to my surprise - it was a female tree- so feminine looking - she grew and resided over this curve in the road and every time I see it -I feel she is protecting all who pass by.


01-28-2015, 10:29 PM
From snow sketch to desert sunset - In both mountain homes we have lived in...at lower elevations coming down from the mountain is the high desert with some of the most gorgeous sunsets I've seen besides at the coast. I was excited to paint one that I wanted to include in my nature journal.


01-29-2015, 05:06 AM
I don't like it when winter starts early but it's beautiful when you have snow and colour on the trees isn't it. We had snow in November a couple of years back (not normal here) and the trees just glowed against it. So lovely.

Nice additions :)

01-29-2015, 03:09 PM
Marvelous job on these.

01-30-2015, 01:10 PM
thanks Dr. Debby.

It's been rainy and cold - so have been doing a lot of sketching. I hope to do the quail babies later today, at least one pose.

This is a California Quail - but the Mountain Quail has visited often and I have photo of her babies from last summer - she had three that would follow her around but then it went down to two, so I think something snatched her. Raccoon or ...hawk..not sure.

done in pen and painted digitally.


01-30-2015, 01:14 PM
HI Vivien - we have lived in the mountains for about three years give or take a few months - We lived in one mountain town - there wasn't enough nature around so we moved to another one about 40 minutes away - there is so much nature here it's inspiring - but at our elevation we don't get the snow like they do a few thousand feet up from us -

I can't believe how gorgeous it is though when it snows. I do love warmer temps though and I feel like a slug if I don't get out and walk the lake every day which I haven't been doing as much when it's cold. What part of the country do you live in?

I'm originally from Kansas City. I just started a sketchbook series the other by using google maps and doing scenes from my old neighbhood. I was 10 when we moved to California. I love looking at the Virtual Paintout site.

01-30-2015, 02:18 PM
The quail is just darling. There are definitely good points to living in a rural mountain town. :D What elevation are you at?

01-30-2015, 02:52 PM
We are at 5000 ft - but moved from the other mountain where we were at 6500, and once owned a cabin at 7200 (way too much snow) and never made it up there much so sold it in early 2000's. But we lived full time before we sold house - at 2000 - so a lot different flora and fauna in the mountains than down below - i love it. I hate to miss a day out playing in the woods:-)

02-10-2015, 07:52 PM
i love house sparrows but don't get them here in the yard. I also love European starlings but rarely see them either. A lot of people find they are a nuisance but I love their iridescent colors. Anyway, been checking up on a few journals since I have a few minutes before starting dinner. I always enjoy what I see and all the different styles.

Here's one i did awhile ago. Colored pencil and digital lightening and then painted in background digitally.


02-10-2015, 07:53 PM
I never NOT have a camera with me - so i usually take photos and then draw them later.

02-11-2015, 05:23 AM
I'm in the very middle of England Zebby . Sadly in a city but I can be in countryside in just a few minutes. It's mixed farmland, some crops, some sheep, cows and even alpacas at one farm to the south :). Gently hilly, ancient woodland on the northern side. Pleasant without being dramatic.

My city garden has a flock of sparrows.

I love the coast as i grew up by it in Gibraltar, Cornwall, Scotland and Malta but sadly it's a long drive :(. I get there when I can. I love wild places.

02-11-2015, 05:23 AM
I'm in the very middle of England Zebby . Sadly in a city but I can be in countryside in just a few minutes. It's mixed farmland, some crops, some sheep, cows and even alpacas at one farm to the south :). Gently hilly, ancient woodland on the northern side. Pleasant without being dramatic.

My city garden has a flock of sparrows.

I love the coast as i grew up by it in Gibraltar, Cornwall, Scotland and Malta but sadly it's a long drive :(. I get there when I can. I love wild places.

02-11-2015, 02:04 PM
You are at a higher elevation than I am, at only 3100ft. :)

Darling little sparrow. We have sparrows, starlings and robins in the back yard when they are here and not south. I think it's the old apple tree. We don't clear the windfall apples but leave them for the birds and squirrels.

02-13-2015, 01:40 PM
Hi Debby - I've seen starlings go crazy on apples on the ground. They probably love it. Have a great Valentine's day.

02-13-2015, 01:42 PM
Hi Vivien,

I have a feeling it is beautiful where you live - just from photos I've seen anytime someone posts something from England on FB. I would love to visit the places you mentioned some day. Grandfather was from Ireland.

Joan T
02-13-2015, 08:51 PM
Lovely sketches of the birds, especially the quail!

02-14-2015, 08:56 AM
my husband was Irish :) from Donegal

we are between 150-277 metres above sea level so rather lower than you! guestimating that's about 500/600 feet

England varies so much - wild moorland, gentle farmland, flat, steep hills, dunes. rugged cliffs, lakes, wide slow rivers, rushing streams, salt marshes, woodland - add in Scotland and Wales and there is so much variety within relatively short distances :)

02-25-2015, 12:45 AM
Love your journal and I really enjoyed reading your notes!

03-03-2015, 03:23 PM
Thanks you Jenny.

Hi Vivien, the variety within short distances sounds so appealing. I think of our Central Coast here in California - so many microclimates.

Thanks Joan.

04-28-2015, 03:46 PM
Life changes over the winter - Have a 13 year old grandson living with us now. I raised four boys through teenage years and I guess I get to do it again, lol - Hope I survive. Another trip coming up to Oregon to babysit some other grandkids but i hope to post again. I actually did several sketches over the winter but never seemed to take the time to get them up. The sunny days are giving me a bit more motivation and I found I'm definitely solar powered.

Hope to post and visit more soon.


04-29-2015, 03:29 PM
That is great you can identify this same crow. Seems like a cheeky bird. Great page.

Vivien Maloney
05-04-2015, 04:21 PM
Hi there Zebby - this is the other Vivien not Vhere - and hi to Vhere too, how are you.:wave:

I havent been on this Forum for ages, but I still draw/paint my sketch/book Journals - when I get time. So Ive just been having a quick look into this Forum and saw your Journals.
Love them! A bear near your backyard..how different is that from New Zealand!
As a animal person, Im also loving your dogs!

Can I ask a question, because Im intrigued with your comment on your first page about how you produce your beautiful work?
Do you sketch your subject on sketch paper then photograph it and load it into your photo-imaging programme, where you manipulate it to add txt and colors? Then do you print them out and add them to various Journal folders or do you leave them as digi images on your computer?
I hope you dont mind me asking this, as its something Ive never thought of and Im really fascinated by it? :thumbsup:

Joan T
05-08-2015, 08:53 PM
Great job on the crow! Glad the changes in your life didn't keep you from getting back here. You made me smile that your said you are solar powered. Keep going!

05-09-2015, 12:59 AM
Hi Vivien - I do a really quick rough sketch in pencil on paper , usually outline then in pen ...take a photo...once i have it on the computer I take it into Corel Paint Pro - and go from there - it always changes a lot from the original pencil sketch. I love doing art this way because I hate messes and having to clean up my paints. I use to do strictly colored pencil and once in awhile acrylic or watercolors. I came to Wet Canvas years ago and studied how people layered CP's. I still just use a mouse when I paint on line. I draw left handed but can only paint on line with the mouse with my right hand (I broke my wrist and elbow on the left side a year apart so started using my right non dominant hand to paint digitally.

I have printed them out but store them on line and eventually (when I get ink for my printer) will print them all out and assemble them in a physical journal. )

thanks Joan and Dr Debby also for your comments. We just got back from Bend the other day - was a good trip but glad to be home.

05-09-2015, 04:01 AM
Hi back Vivien :wave:

You could make them into books with someone like Blurb or Lulu Zebby. I've used Blurb and the quality is very good. You download their programme and its unite easy to put. Book together and upload for printing.

Vivien Maloney
05-11-2015, 01:42 PM
Zebby - Many thanks for that info on how you do your Journal pages, I must try that.
I have Photoshop Elements 13, but use it mainly for making Galleries of members paintings for the various Forums I Moderate on. Ive been promising myself to try some digi painting some day.

Vivien - thats a very good idea about making them into a book.
Ive just checked out blurb......great idea, like the look of it!

05-13-2015, 12:46 PM
Thanks Vivien - good idea using online Blurb or "lulu" ..i need to check Lulu out - never heard of it .... And Vivien M ....I think if you try it u might like it.

I'll be sketching probably today or tomorrow - we have another rain storm coming in and I can almost see California smiling!! We so need the rain.

Joan T
05-23-2015, 05:32 PM
Hope you got some needed rain!

You definitely should look into turning these into a book. I've used Shutterfly and they did a nice job.

05-23-2015, 05:47 PM
Oh coolness! We got rain this week in CA in San Francisco, which was really good.

Love the crow and the story. This is so cool.

06-21-2015, 10:18 AM
Cute squirrel. Looks like he is finding his 'inner chipmunk'! I love your lettering and page composition.

06-24-2015, 12:07 AM
thanks Bee, Robert and Joan for your latest comment. Robert, my son and his family who lived in Mill Valley up until today when the movers showed up are now on their way to a new house near Gig Harbor in Washington. I am so sad that we will have no reason to visit San Francisco again but excited to discover a new area.

I envy you living in SF. I love it there.

Joan - thanks...I really want to do this some day for my grandkids. Something maybe they can enjoy when they are older and a little more interested in what gramma does with her time when she isn't around them. (I just had a ninth grandkid born on May 17 - ...and we have three birthdays in June (I need to get a job, lol).