View Full Version : My Gift to Myself Journal

09-01-2010, 04:17 AM
uh hummmm, I did it again - I bought ANOTHER journal!


I couldn't resist this one, it is a leather cover with silver inlaid pattern, only small again 13cm x 18 cm, with individually bound sections. I was visiting the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney for a few days as a birthday treat and decided to buy this as a gift to myself.


These two pages are drawn from life with a mechanical pencil, in the Australian Museum, Sydney. It is the first time ever I have drawn out in public, and they are all just quick sketches as I kept moving along. I didn't set out to finish them but rather get some ideas to research at a later date.


Bird on a Wire WIP - I plan to finish this as a complete piece in pen and ink. So far this is done with a Pigma micron pen 0.20mm. This is the start I made while recovering in hospital after sinus surgery, not bad considering.......:D

09-01-2010, 09:07 AM
Yay! A new journal! Ha, I know what you mean. I have two blank journals right now, still need to be used, but I can't keep my eyes off the shiny baubles (books) at the bookstore or art store. ;)

09-01-2010, 09:40 AM
Great sketches Jackie! You sure are brave, sketching in a museum, I don't think I could bring myself to do that.


09-01-2010, 04:07 PM
Great new journal, Jackie. You sure started it off well too with those museum sketches. Wish I could get to a good museum, it must have been so much fun finding cool things to draw. Beautiful pen drawing, I like the overall stippling and if you complete a background in that technique too it'll be magnificent. So time consuming and so effective!

09-01-2010, 04:53 PM
What a beautiful journal, Jackie! I like your museum sketches very much, and the bird on a wire is going to be awesome.

09-01-2010, 10:08 PM
Very cool cover. Your museum sketches are awesome. The bird on the wire is off to a great start.

09-01-2010, 10:49 PM
Hi Jackie!

Great work, and of course I totally love your choice of subject matter - :lol: . Excellent sketches from life, but at least in a museum the bird subjects aren't moving around, I would assume - :) .

I think us regulars in this forum are all sketchbook procurement addicts. I wish I could say I only have one unstarted journal...!

09-02-2010, 08:53 AM
Hey Jackie,:wave:

I've been looking at a your other sketchbook(Little Gems) and now this one... Its such a pleasure to see a continuous flow of sketches.. I had read some of your initial posts with regards to wanting to start a journal and now u are already one ur way to a second journal if I'm right.. Wish I could be this dedicated.. I've only been intending to keep a journal but never got around to doing it.. Watching you keep these journals I'm really inspired... I just love the fact that all the sketches are soooo neat and well planned... Keep sketching and keep sharing :D :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

09-02-2010, 08:21 PM
John, oh yes! I think this is the forum of sketchbook procurement addicts all right, and we've probably all got multiple unfinished ones. I sorted mine and only have one reserved for slow detailed accurate drawings now - that's because it's discontinued and I want to make it a treasure in its own right.

Jackie, I'm still stunned with that stippled drawing. That's so amazing, delicate, accurate and perfect that I love it. The balance of white space is beautiful around it too.

09-02-2010, 11:47 PM
:lol: I knew everyone on this forum would "get" the fascination with a new journal! :D

David and Robert, it wasn't as intimidating as I thought sketching in the museum, although it was quiet and I did keep moving along so I didn't actually draw attention to myself! I will definitely try it again in the museum here in my home town, photographs and the internet are a start but it was much more interesting seeing the real thing.

Michelle, Debbie, Rachel and crazyboutart, I fell in love with the cover (sad, I know, but I just had to have it!). The more beautiful the journal I figure it will become my own little "heirloom" to look back on my art journey.

John, I don't profess to know anything about birds, but loved the ref picture and thought I would have a go. I am aiming for whimsical rather than a scientific rendering :crossfingers:

Now Robert, I hope I don't disappoint you here, but the goal with Bird on a Wire was to complete a whole piece with pen and ink using my coloured pens (Stabilo - never have got the hang of using them properly!) so it is no longer just micron pen stippled with lots of white space.......

This reference came from Animal and Wildlife Forum, by Sue Thomson (I think she named it Male House Finch).

I apologise for the wonky scan but figured it is still WIP, not finished so I will try harder to get the final scan straight :evil:

I love stippling but get a bit impatient and sometimes ruin the finish by rushing it, and I have yet to master colour with this technique. I am reasonably pleased with how this is coming along but get a little frustrated with the blending of the colours - is there a knack to it I wonder?:confused:

Here is my set of Stabilo that I bought for the bargain price of $20, it had a few extra slots that I have added some Staedtler triplus fineliners in. It is a neat roll-up wallet with a velco strap to secure it closed and has a little zip pocket for your pencil and eraser etc also. I like the colours but find the nibs too large - I prefer to start with a really small nib and I think that is what is throwing me with this - I don't like the larger dots if I don't concentrate fully! (The drawing also has some Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens in the grey range thrown in too) :wink2:


09-02-2010, 11:48 PM
PS sorry Nisha, I used your screen name and not your christian name - won't do it again :)

09-03-2010, 12:01 AM
Wow, I like the colors you've used on the bird and the background.

09-03-2010, 01:06 AM
That's great pen work Jackie! I have a similar set of Stabilo pens and haven't done anything nearly as nice with them. I thought they were kinda junk, obviously in the right hands they are premium tools.


09-03-2010, 09:40 AM
Jackie, that is magnificent! Gorgeous finale. I love the colored pen work that you added, all of it stippled. It's a beautiful style, so powerful. Still has a perfect composition. I think you have mastered mixing the colors optically, this is how it looks at its best. Stand back from it and look at how softly everything blends where you've mixed the colors, how smooth the shading is.

It's too easy to be overcritical of one misplaced dot when you're right up close on top of it trying to place the stippling. Step back and you can see the impact all that work has. You did it right!

I have a set of Staedtler pens, may have to try that. I like your Stabilo set but I think it'd work fine with Staedtler ones.

09-03-2010, 11:05 AM
Wow! Bird on a Wire looks great in color! How long did it take you to do all the stippling?

Carole A
09-03-2010, 09:20 PM
Jackie, you are creating some wonderful heirlooms for someone. I'm up for adoption!


09-03-2010, 09:28 PM
Great job on the bird on a wire, Jackie! The colors are beautiful, and definitely looks like a male House Finch. :)

09-04-2010, 10:56 PM
Thanks everyone, I thought I had done a new post on this one but it seems to have disappeared! I appreciate everyone taking the time to look and comment :thumbsup:

I am not sure whether to call this one done, I would appreciate any thoughts, tips or hints.

John, does the bird need more colour do you think, or will this do?!


I have probably spent about 8 hours on this in dribs and drabs, once the basic shapes were down, a lot of this was done while either on the phone or surfing WC so I kinda lose track of how much time I am dotting!

While I decide if this one is done I have started a new ink drawing for the pen and ink forum's monthly challenge - the ref is Orange Lily by Madmum. I am not sure if I will add colour or not - any thoughts :D

09-04-2010, 11:45 PM
Hi Jackie,

The color on your bird looks fine to me. There is quite a range of intensity of color (and some birds are even 'yellow phase' birds where instead of red on the head and chest, they have yellowish-orange) and your image falls well within the range. So...I would make the decision based on artistic considerations, as a bit more would also be fine if you preferred.

09-06-2010, 07:08 AM
Thanks John, I will "think" on that, it's safe in my sketchbook and not going anywhere so I can always go back to it if I make up my mind!

I've worked some more on the Orange Lily (xposted in pen and ink forum), I like it like this but may add colour at some stage :D

You can see the binding here, this journal is made up of a number of sections that are individually threaded as you can see here. I worked horizontally this time which is probably a first since I have been working in the sketchbooks :eek:

09-06-2010, 11:59 AM
Gorgeous work! Love all the stippling. And then coloured stippling ... and right after surgery - wowee!!! Keep it up :) :) :)

Carole A
09-06-2010, 07:58 PM
Thanks John, I will "think" on that, it's safe in my sketchbook and not going anywhere so I can always go back to it if I make up my mind!

I've worked some more on the Orange Lily (xposted in pen and ink forum), I like it like this but may add colour at some stage :D

You can see the binding here, this journal is made up of a number of sections that are individually threaded as you can see here. I worked horizontally this time which is probably a first since I have been working in the sketchbooks :eek:
Jackie, Until I saw your lily, I've never really cared much for pen and ink, but I think that if you add color washes to this, it's going to be absolutely stunning! I am in awe and may be a convert.


09-06-2010, 09:56 PM
The lily is already magnificent. Should you choose to add color, wow!

09-07-2010, 02:05 PM
Very nice! You have a lot of patience with stippling.

09-07-2010, 05:43 PM
the bird and the flower are beautiful :)

and the book is gorgeous - there's no way of resisting something like that!

09-09-2010, 10:48 PM
Oh wow! I love the orange lily exactly as it is. Why not print it out on watercolor paper, so you can have both the original and a watercolor version! It's magnificent!

09-10-2010, 03:58 PM
I agree with Robert ... magnificent!!!

Vivien Maloney
09-11-2010, 03:06 PM
Jackie - Wonderful "Bird on wire"! I do love your stippling tecnique and know how time consuming it is, after trying it myself. You do such beautiful work! Love the cover on this Journal. I would have bought it as well after seeing that cover.