View Full Version : Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

09-12-2010, 10:59 AM
Back in 2005, I bought the Leonardo da Vinci Sketchbook. Published by Derwent, it's a beautiful big 9" x 12" sketchbook with over 100 pages of clean white paper in a hard binding with a reproduction of da Vinci's self portrait on the cover and a 16 page essay on da Vinci's sketches included. There's lots of reproductions in that short essay.

The author suggested that if you want to draw well, you should fill a sketchbook every month.

That challenge has teased at me for all these years, as I started sketching more and more often. Right now all my sketching is spread out among a half dozen or more different sketchbooks and threads. But what if I pick a month, say, October, pick just one sketchbook to work in ... and try to fill it completely during the month of October?

If anyone else wants to join me in this, feel free! Start date is October 1st, begin with a brand new completely empty sketchbook of your choice - size, type, paper is all up to you.

I'm thinking of taking it fairly easy this first time. Rather than a 100 page sketchbook, I'll use a 50 page Pentalic Nature Sketch. That'd let me use water media for some of my sketches, it's the most versatile paper in any of the ones I have. Also I have two unused ones that I stored when I ordered them - an 8 1/2" x 11" one and a 6" x 12" one.

I haven't decided which of them to use for the challenge, but I'm going to do it. For once, I'll see if I can sketch enough in all my mediums to fill a sketchbook in a month.

Join me if you dare. I dare ya!

09-12-2010, 08:05 PM
I'd like to join in.. I think this would be a fun challenge, and plus, I'll get to use one of my sketchbook journals.. since I have a few blank ones in my desk drawer.

09-12-2010, 08:53 PM
Now that sounds like a challenge if ever I heard one. I'm in. Any excuse to buy a new sketchbook.

Carole A
09-12-2010, 10:16 PM
Robert! A 50 page sketchbook equals more than 1 sketch a day. Of course you already knew that. Friday when I was at Michaels with a friend, I noticed that Daley-Rowner has a new combo sketchbook/journal/portfolio book with a hard cover and elastic band. I'm thinking of going back tomorrow or Tuesday (with my 50% off coupons) to buy one for my granddaughter and one for myself.

In the meantime I'll be posting here some pages from a customized sketchbook, "Back to Basics - all media sketchbook". I've decided that I need to get back to basics with practice in perspective, values and palette selection.

It's a comb type binding that can be opened and closed without a machine and I can add any papers to it that I can punch on our machine at my office.
I have punched 65 lb black scrapbook paper, kraft paper, watercolor paper and can use some of the Bristol or Vellum type paper that came with the cover. I'm stealing Jamie's idea of using a date stamper on each page as I complete them. Eventually, I'll remove completed pages and bind in a new cover, and then start a new group. The beauty of this system is the nearly indestructable hard plastic cover which I can keep safely closed with rubber bands, and carry it anywhere or pack it up in a gym bag, toss it in the backseat of my car, etc. I also recently bought colored Sharpie pens in both fine and extra fine and I'm going to keep my eye open for some metallic pens or pencils on sale that I can use on the black paper. A gym bag or canvas carpenter's bag is my preferred mode of packing around art supplies and cameras. I recently bought a Cotman field box for 35 cents at a yard sale; never used, but I popped out the cotman paints and refilled the little trays with W & N Artists from the tube. Have a couple of water brushes and a flask for water and ready to go!

I'm currently working on a lesson from Artists Magazine which I'll post soon; I have 2-3 steps to finish.

(I'm going to show that "friend" who told me I'd never be an artist!) And I'm thinking that I should dedicate 50 or so pages to your Sketchbook in a Month Challenge.

Carole A

09-13-2010, 12:17 AM
If anyone else wants to join me in this, feel free! Start date is October 1st, begin with a brand new completely empty sketchbook of your choice - size, type, paper is all up to you. ...Join me if you dare. I dare ya!

You're on, Robert! But what will we talk about on this thread between now and Oct.1? haha. Like we can't think of stuff to talk about all the time. So I have thought about this just a few minutes and changed my mind about once a minute as to what sketchbook to use... or buy new. That's half the fun! :clap:

09-13-2010, 01:31 AM
Count me in!! I have been meaning to do this for several years. I have accumulated a huge pile of sketchbooks, mostly empty, some with a few pages started.
Hm-m-m. Do I dare use my Moleskine?

09-13-2010, 01:39 AM
Candace, sure! What better discussion than exactly what sketchbook to use? Size, paper, texture, all of them are up to you but it's a serious decision.

Carole, you have just won the ultimate yard sale art supply bargain. 35 cents for a Cotman Field Box? That's good for a lifetime, and filling the pans with W&N Artists' just upgraded it to the $90 one that I have. That's just amazing. Congratulations! That field box became my favorite watercolor set of a lifetime, despite a current fascination with Daniel Smith watercolors I still come back to it as an old friend because it's just so handy. I hope it still had all its parts, the little water bottle, water cup that snaps on as a cap, and little brush. That's just... mind blowing actually. Go you!

I like your custom comb type sketchbook too. I used to have a spiral binding machine that I could've used to make things like that, but lost it in a move a decade ago. Very cool idea. You can put anything you want in it for papers, that's the best part.

Yep, with a 50 page sketchbook I'll be doing much more than one sketch a day. More like two pages a day for more than half of the days. I might try to get a bit ahead early on so that if I get sick days I don't get messed up, but I expect to have at least one sketch in even on bad days. I managed "daily sketching" last October in a LiveJournal challenge, so this is ramping it up to where it's really challenging.

Still, I think I can do it - I have been getting three and four large pages a day sometimes since this forum opened up.

Rachel - yay! Glad to see you join in. I think this will do a lot to help reduce the stack of unused sketchbooks for me too.

Jacqui - any excuse for a new sketchbook! And just think, you'll need another new one in November too.

09-13-2010, 03:00 AM
Ever thought about becoming a sketchbook salesman Robert?! :D

I like this idea too, I am not sure if I could fill one in a month but I guess I'll never know if I don't try, right? ;) Good reason to stick to one sketchbook too (as you all know I am starting to get a bit of a collection going on now! :lol: ). I started cointributing on this forum thinking I would finish one whole book before starting another - instead I have a number on the go, all completely different paper and sizes :eek:

09-13-2010, 04:55 AM
I began my current sketchbook on April 1st, and it is 64 pages, with 9 left. I think I should be able to complete it for Sept 30th, but a whole sketchbook in a month is a real challenge for me as I spent 6 months on this one. Also last year I completed a project which was painting 40 value studies in 50 days, and I ended up producing bad work in a hurry at the end, so I'm a bit suspicious with challenges. But it's tempting. LOL
I think I'm going to bind an extra thin sketchbook, like 32 pages, which seems perfectly manageable. So you can count me in.

09-13-2010, 09:52 AM
If anyone else wants to join me in this, feel free! Start date is October 1st, begin with a brand new completely empty sketchbook of your choice - size, type, paper is all up to you.
Excellent challenge and a perfect warm-up for this (http://www.arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject). I am sorely tempted! Love ya, Robert! :heart: :heart: :heart:


09-13-2010, 10:34 AM
Jackie, yeah, I did that too and thought that for once I'd have just one thread bobbing up and down for a month. There's so much cool variety among the books though, that's why I keep adding more threads. They affect what I do in them - but the most versatile is the Nature Sketch and fifty pages is manageable. 100 pages is what the sketchbook that suggested it had. I'm not ready for that, but maybe someday.

LOL sketchbook salesman - no really, I'm becoming an art supply reviewer. The more often I write product reviews, the more companies send me really good stuff for free to write about it. I knew book reviewers got giant libraries for free, it just didn't sink in for the longest time that goes for art supplies too.

Sizun, you have a great idea - bind in 32 pages and you'll be set. I was tempted to look for a watercolor book in that range but I think I can manage a Nature Sketch if I push myself.

Jan, yes! I'm still considering that myself - need to come up with the entry fee within the month and I should renew my website first, but it's very tempting. There's a lot of themes. I'm tempted to coffee and cigarettes because I smoke and drink coffee a lot and that's become more controversial over the years - no matter that those two things actually help my health in moderation. The times I've I cut them out, I regretted it long after any withdrawals were over, the health police are after me for it. Might add rum to the cover still life too, since I also drink lightly. Not daily or even weekly but I do still drink.

09-13-2010, 04:48 PM
This is tempting Robert, but I'll have to think about it. If you have a hard time filling up 50 pages then the chances I'd make it are slim to none! :lol: I could use a challenge like this to motivate me to sketch more regularly though.


09-13-2010, 05:06 PM
Doggone you, Robert! I already have way too many sketchbooks and projects going, but how can I possibly resist this one!? So yeah, what the heck, I'll throw in here too. :lol:

Of course, you know what my primary subject matter will be - things that have feathers and fly (usually) - but I think I'll expand it to include other things in nature related to birds.

Now I'll have to figure out what sketchbook to use - as others have mentioned, I have multiple unused sketchbooks at home, and more than I care to admit that have been started on various themes and then set aside (these are mostly ones I started early on in my art 'career'). I just ordered a couple more Moleskine watercolor sketchbooks (2 of the large size, and 2 of the larger folio size) so maybe it will be one of them. Or...??

I may have missed it earlier in this thread, but are you going to have everyone post images here, or each start their own thread or some other format?

09-13-2010, 05:15 PM
I might use a cheap sketchbook for this project, and use that one with my graphite pencils/charcoal stuff that I have, and I need a purpose to use them up. :)

09-13-2010, 06:03 PM
Well, you never cease to amaze me Robert lol! I'm still stuck in my "one sketch a month" routine and do not believe that will change anytime soon lol! I will however enjoy following your new October sketchbook! I've lost track of how many you actually have on the go now?

09-13-2010, 10:13 PM
David, give it a go! I'm loading it to be sure I can win, though I think I might actually with a lot of concentration fill a thin-paper 100 page sketchbook, I'm better off with 50 all-media pages. Maybe try a watercolor book or something with 30 pages so you've got a page a day thing going? Heck, a 15 page watercolor pad would still count, that's doing a page every other day. How big of one is up to you and how much you want to challenge yourself.

John, that's awesome! Things with feathers that maybe fly... you could put in a few feathered theropods just to give it some variety?

I think it would probably be an overwhelming thread if every day people are posting 2-4 pages... so maybe this thread ought to be discussion but the October Challenge sketchbooks could get labeled that in the subject line of their threads? It's either create the elephantine slow loading thread or grab the top of the forum with all the Sketchbook in a Month threads clustering at the top. I think the latter would work fine, if people aren't doing it they'll update their regular threads and those will bob up too.

Rachel, that's a great idea to use up one of the cheap ones you have laying around and stick to charcoal and graphite. This would definitely fill one in one of the best possible ways!

Rachel Whisperwood, thank you! Readers and commenters gratefully appreciated! You could always do it with a page of watercolor paper, call that your one-page sketchbook. Fold it in half and staple a card stock cover on it?

There is one other thing I want to do at the top of November - during October we can continue discussing it in this thread and talk about progress, setbacks, trouble, different mediums etc. ... but at the end of the month I'm going to be seriously looking back at my September art to compare it. If this does what I think it will, I'll get another skill leap out of doing that much sketching in one month. I think others might too - so that's the first question:

Do you think you'll improve a lot by filling a sketchbook in a month?

And afterward of course, I'll ask whether you did.

Sometimes it's hard to see progress, but something this intensive always teaches something and almost force-grows progress.

09-13-2010, 10:47 PM
I am looking forward to this. I got a new splint on my hand yesterday, have to wear it for 6 weeks to start with and then gradually reduce time wearing it each day so it will be a challenge drawing with this thing at all. Though I'm sure I'll get used to it, just like I did the old one.

I think I have decided to get a cheap watercolour sketchbook of 30 pages. I am confident I can do one per day. And who knows I might even fill it up early... then what would I do. Hmmmm. It has fairly thick paper and can use it for watercolour, pencil or pen. Good to play with.

In answer to your question Robert I know that my drawing has improved greatly over the last year from doing the hunts, etc so I am hoping to see an improvement over the month. Even a small one. I am wanting to get that sketching habit more firmly established too.

Great to see so many willing to jump in and give it a go. The more the merrier.

09-14-2010, 06:01 AM
Hi Robert, I think I will have to have a go at this. I have just got back after my car broke down almost 2 weeks ago. i actually did take advantage of the time and did lots of sketches/drawings, and lots of playing with the watercolours trying mainly to improve my greens, and browns and get them to look more natural.
anyway, long story short, I will take up your offer. I think I have to get over my nerves to join in here and just take a big leap, and jump right in.....been thinking about it for so long. pity there arent some prizes for procrastination.
thanks for suggestion.

09-14-2010, 10:31 AM
Janine great to see another aussie on the site. You got the right idea, just jump right in. Its a great bunch of people here, as you have probably already noticed. Now to get down to the important stuff, what sketchbook are you going to use? Oh this is fun :)

09-14-2010, 11:04 AM
hi jacqui
anyone would think i am far more advanced if they saw how many sketchbooks i have unused.
i recently used a canson 110 gm which was very nice to use. it didnt cost much, and took a light wash as well, so i will probably get another of those, i only have a few pages left in the one i am currently using.
i also have a moleskine sketch pocket book, which i only recently started using, and i must say i was a bit disappointed with it...i actually prefer a jasart one which was considerably cheaper, but again it takes a light wash.
i have a picadilly one i got from borders which i want to use, but i am determined to use up the ones i have started.
i have a canson classic, which i got cheap on ebay, i hope to start it off for new year. plus there are a couple of arttec ones from riot art which apparently they no longer stock. they are very nice to use and not expensive.
so i am well equipped, especially for someone who thinks about drawing/painting more than actually doing it.

09-14-2010, 09:11 PM
:wave: Hi Janine! Another Aussie here ;)

hehehhe, having a chuckle (for the second time this morning reading through the threads)at your comment so i am well equipped, especially for someone who thinks about drawing/painting more than actually doing it

I can soooooo relate to that! Sometimes reading about and thinking about art is as pleasurable as actually doing it :thumbsup: Since joining this forum I have become a sketchbook addict and have a number on the go now. I have always used the cheaper end of the market for taking to classes and trying out some ideas but never very seriously, but now I love buying myself the slightly better quality and preferably those with nice covers with the view to producing some mementoes to hang on to and look back at for reference in the years to come. In the past I have discovered that price is not always a good indicator of quality - sometimes bargain buys turn out to be pretty good paper.

Sketchbooks, art materials, art books....... just a few of the many addictions :evil:

09-14-2010, 09:17 PM
hi jackie,
sketchbooks, art materials, art books.....mmmmmmm

09-14-2010, 09:34 PM
Hi everyone,

I definitely think that a number of the folks on the site here have ASAS - Art Supplies Acquisition Syndrome. I know I have suffered from this difficult malady since I started doing art two years ago. :)

If I sat down and inventoried all the supplies I have and calculated how long it would take to use everything up if that was my goal, I think the answer would definitely be more than a year. The Daniel Smith company is headquartered here in my area, with their manufacturing facility and two retail stores. I have a strong suspicion they've got a portrait of me hanging on their wall of 'key accounts' at the headquarters. :o

So it's probably a good thing I'll have four threads going in this forum once Robert's October 'Sketchbook in a Month' challenge kicks off...I certainly have plenty of journals to choose from.

Carole A
09-14-2010, 10:11 PM
Robert, I am ready! I went out and bought the Daler-Rowney sketchbook/journal/portfolio book. It has 100 lb paper and there are lined journal pages facing each sketch page, 70 sheets, a total of 70 journal sides and 70 sketch sides. I'm going to attempt to complete 22 or 23 pages of it in October, then the same in November and December. If successful, I will attempt one book per quarter for as long as... whatever. I will be facing eye surgery in the not too far off future, so that may be a factor in how much I can complete. I have always wanted to find something like this for my granddaughter, so I'm going to get her one for her birthday. She spends most of her summer vacation each year with her other Grandma on a bay in NW Washington State, and she collects shells, feathers, walks her little dog on the beach and checks every day on the eagle's nest nearby. I think that sketching her much loved experiences and writing about them will be fantastic.

John, I have sent you a PM with pics of the Dant area after the fire.

Like you and others, I suffer from ASAS Disorder and that coupled with OC Disorder triggers my CHEOS (Can't Have Enough Organizational Stuff) disorder. You do know it's impossible to create unless everything's in its place, don't you?


09-14-2010, 10:15 PM
Carole - YEP!

Now I can put a name to it all - ASAS, and CHEOS just about sums me up! :lol:

09-14-2010, 10:16 PM
PS John, Daniel Smith has got you in it's sights and Blick has Robert's name up in lights!

Carole A
09-14-2010, 10:18 PM
PS John, Daniel Smith has got you in it's sights and Blick has Robert's name up in lights!

And You are a Poet, Jackie. :lol:


09-14-2010, 11:26 PM
Interesting challenge. However, I barely kept up with my fake journal last April when it wasn't the busy season. October is the beginning of the busiest time of the year for my business. I will regretfully have to decline the challenge. However, I will be watching and cheering for y'all.

09-14-2010, 11:58 PM
LOL Jackie, too true! I love Blick though. They know me personally. It's so cool though, because they act like one of those little independent stores that know you personally.

ASAS... yep. Definitely. I do think I've got at least a year's supplies in hand if not more, but the happy thing is how fast I've been going through them lately. I remind myself that if I use up something, that means I can replace it or try a new one.

CHEOS is the natural result of ASAS and I definitely have that too. There comes a point where there isn't enough wall space for yet another bookcase, absolute limits do set in. I'm starting to consider hanging trays that can go up and down on a pulley from the ceiling.

I'm leaning toward the 6" x 12" Nature Sketch, just because of its odd format. A lot of pages would just get two or three sketches on them, but I might actually manage some panoramic ones. The other one has more space, but the panoramic format is more challenging in a way.

JMB, the Moleskine watercolor ones are good for washes and watercolor. The Moleskine Sketch ones with heavy cream paper, I get annoyed at how washes behave on them and stick to pen drawing on it, or various pencils.

09-15-2010, 12:16 AM
"so i am well equipped, especially for someone who thinks about drawing/painting more than actually doing it
I can soooooo relate to that! Sometimes reading about and thinking about art is as pleasurable as actually doing it paper."

--Yes indeed. Robert didn't you muse about that under "Creativity" in your OP website? Called it ruminating or something bold like that. Made me feel better about all the thinkin' & not enough creating!

09-15-2010, 02:34 AM
CHEOS, sounds like something I should have....unfortunately, i have the opposite, have all the lovely art supplies all over the place, that way i lose track of what i have, then occassionally i bundle everything together to make room, and then I have no idea where anything is....only one thing to do....go get another sketchbook/pencil/.....gotta get something....

09-15-2010, 09:55 AM
mmm I might give this a go

09-15-2010, 03:41 PM
Well, proving that I am the (or at least a) poster child for buying a large variety and quantity of sketchbooks - I added two new ones to the collection today. As I was pondering which of the sketchbooks I already have to use for this, I re-read and thread and was intrigued by Carole A.'s new Daler-Rowney journal/sketchbook. I had never seen one, but then I went into the nearby Michael's to pick up a couple Pigma Micron pens (which I've been using heavily for my bird sketching) and there on the shelf in the paper aisle were several new Daler-Rowney sketchbooks. After examining all of them, I came home with two - one is the one Carole described (called a Cachet Fusion as the 'model') - 10x7", 70 sheets of 100 lb. (150 gsm), when fully open the left hand side is a lined journal format, and the right hand side is sketch paper. It is double-wire bound. They indicate only dry media for it, but I may experiment with a bit of light washes just to see how it does.

The second one is 12x9", 80 sheets of 70 lb. (110 gsm), double wire bound, with both sides of each page being normal blank sketch paper. It is also shown as usable for dry media, doesn't advertise wet. This second one is light enough I'll definitely only use it for dry media. Their model name for this one is Cachet Studio.

Now...which one to use for the October challenge?

09-15-2010, 06:34 PM
Decisions, decisions! Both of those sound interesting, John.

Vivien, so glad you're doing this!

JMB, that's the first step to having CHEOS - you notice it, then have to run out for a new sketchbook, then some rolling cart or pencil folder or brush case starts looking good and before you know it, CHEOS comes into your life. But it's a big step the first time you put off something to draw on/in/with to get something to store all of it in. After that it's self reinforcing because it's easier to use your supplies.

No one I've ever known who owns books ever has enough bookshelves.

Bookcases and bookshelves never turn up at yard sales, boot sales, garage sales or flea markets. The closest you ever find are end tables that may have a shelf inside or a TV stand that has one puny shelf under it. I suppose if I was handier with DIY, I could've converted some of those "entertainment units" by adding more shelving across the big TV space.

Candace, yes! Thinking about drawing is the next best thing to doing it. That actually improves your skills. The more you daydream about painting, the better you'll be the next time you pick up a brush. It's part of how all the cool things you read and see online or in books start to make sense, the mental practice helps you become more conscious of techniques.

I know when I started to draw people from photos I was imagining everyone I met as a detailed, accurate pencil drawing, it got trippy sometimes. But that helped me to draw better and to see better when studying my references.

Rumination - just daydreaming and thinking about it without physically doing anything - is an essential part of all creative activity. This is what gives people who aren't artists or writers or musicians the impression that artists are lazy - it's when they walk in on you during your working time and saw you just staring out the window when you were doing that an hour ago.

09-15-2010, 07:50 PM
ah Robert, we've never met but you are describing me so well :lol: Over the past week or so I have been on a "spring clean" of my "studio". Our spare room is set up with my desk, a recliner chair, TWO bookcases (full!) and a built in wardrobe. We call it my studio! After the exhibition I held in May/June I had frames and stuff all over the place, open tins of pencils and ref photos all over the desk and I decided enough was enough and had a big clean up. Although generally an organised, tidy person, while getting ready for the exhibition it had been quite frantic and busy and I just couldn't be bothered tidying up after myself. I am ashamed to admit I found lots of supplies I had forgotten I had and spent lots of time leafing through old sketchbooks from when I was doing art classes - stuff I had forgotten about. Now it is all tidy again I am feeling much more enthused about getting back to working more seriously :)

Carole A
09-15-2010, 11:16 PM
Robert, we are soul mates when it comes to supplies and CHEOS! I don't do yard; garage sales, flea markets often, but never find bookshelves or storage units when I do go.

John, I'm anxious to see how you like the Daler-Rowney Fusion book. I'm going to try a light wash on one page. It seem that 100 lb paper could hold up. I've done that on other un-sized papers and find that any buckle of the paper is reversed with a little time: 24 hours or so. If it does buckle, once dry, it can be weighted down. At least that's what I'm counting on. :)

A former watercolor teacher used Robert Bateman 110 lb sketch books for plein aire/reference studies. She never bothered to weight them down, but I thought the wrinkled paper was part of their charm. I loved looking through them when I went to her studio.

I don't think I'll have any trouble with subject matter for a month long sketchbook, it's just the time to execute it that will be a factor; that and my constant self-criticism and need for perfectionism. That will be a HUGE factor.


09-15-2010, 11:39 PM
Hi all. Carole and others have mentioned the daunting task of getting around their perfectionism and self critique and similar things, as well as the time factor in filling any sketchbook in a month. I have tried this challenge once and believe the time factor helped me to break the other worries and habits. Remember it is "sketchbook" not fine drawing paper, and you have to work quick to get several sketches a day. So it will be impressions, gestures, contour sketches, anything on your desk in front of you, half hour before bed, do it, right brain takes over, scribble, grab the dog, sketch her up, WHEW! For me, it worked! I would look back at my page the next day and be surprized at how cool some were, or some not so much. Some pages I just sampled all the colors in a new set of OP's or pencils. Samples turn into blending tests, turn into fantasy landscapes. None of it is van Gogh, but it sure loosened up my brain and sketching hand. Taught me how to sit down and try and just... flat... love to draw. So there's my speech. Hope you all have as much fun in the coming October Challenge!

Carole A
09-16-2010, 12:09 AM
Thanks for your input, Candace. I'm definitely going to give it a try. A creative time (tho not resulting in perfectly executed art ) before bed will probably be a better choice than reruns of crime dramas or the 11:00 news, and probably lead to a better night's sleep. :)

Oh, and about the dog - by 8:00 p.m., he's passed out on the foot of my bed; guess I'll have to go there to sketch him.


09-16-2010, 01:03 AM
I think I'm terminally afflicted with both ASAS and CHEOS. One of the best investments I ever made to satisfy my CHEOS urge was this;


Of course where appropriate the drawers have organizers in them. I also have a paper rack I made by taking a small bookshelf type thingy and nailing in shelving material so instead of just one shelf the thing has 6 slots for storing paper, (and sketchbooks). My main table is a 30" X 60" Ikea table with adjustable height legs. Well I couldn't bear having all that space under it empty, so I adapted a drawer meant for a closet organizer to it, and of course there's a drawer organizer in that. :D

Speaking of hitting yard sales looking for a cheap CHEOS fix I did get lucky last Saturday. Not for art stuff but I got a pretty nice 6' X 26" curio cabinet for just $40 delivered, (it wouldn't fit in my car). Most yard sales are full of mostly junk that I can't imagine anybody would want but every now and then you run into a yard sale where the seller is desperate for money and so is selling good stuff.

Oh, to get this back on topic.....I haven't found any sketchbooks at yard sales. :D

I'm still on the fence as to wether to participate in this. I do have an idea I just have strong doubts I'd follow through on the commitment, especially in the last decent weather month of the year, gotta spend time outdoors while I still can!

BTW, I finished sketchbook #1 today but haven't got around to scanning the last entries yet.


09-16-2010, 01:14 AM
hey David, We haven't got enough temptation with Blick so you drag out IKEA!? O man there is a real organizer's dream store!! I hear they opened one about an hour away from me but I have not let myself go look. I admire from online (ApartmentTherapy.com's big favorite place). Very cool storage piece, thanks for posting it.

09-16-2010, 01:24 AM

I'm with you on being outside before the weather changes - so I plan to do a lot of my sketching outside...!

09-16-2010, 09:13 AM
Oh, I'll sketch outside, (I did yesterday.) but I also like to be active, walk, hike. bike so that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for sketching. I like going on little road trips as well while the weather is good and that eats up a lot of time.


09-16-2010, 10:28 AM
David, why not do the challenge with a pocket sketchbook, something you can take with you and sketch outdoors? It doesn't have to be a great big full page one. It could be literally anything. It could be a 15 page watercolor pad for some people - or a little Moleskine Sketch (those don't have as many pages as the Notebook with the thin paper).

Carole, Candace is right. Timed gesture sketches are a good way to get past both perfectionism and a time crunch - there's always time to squeeze in a five minute gesture drawing. Yet they start to improve so much so fast from doing that many that it's mind boggling.

Part of the problem with perfectionism is that it's easy to make big, obvious proportion or composition errors but not see them till the end because you got all the details perfect in the mismatched areas. Going loose to tight took me a complete change of habits, but resulted in much more accurate drawing. I'm less afraid to correct a bad line now when it's at the blocking in stage.

David, that's a great rolling taboret and drawer unit. I love it. I'm tempted, even though I haven't ever even looked at ikea. Unfortunately I don't have room for another one in this room. I'd have to eliminate another storage item in order to make room for it. I suppose it could go at the foot of the bed where the rolling cart is now, but there's no place for the rolling cart to go if I did put it there. Hmm. Now you have me thinking... is there a way to tighten up this arrangement and get even more drawer space?

That would also be such a perfect place to stack the larger pastels boxes on top, the Unisons and the big Richeson wood box.

Terrible temptation. Well, hopefully ikea will still have it in a few months.

09-16-2010, 11:03 AM
Doggone you, Robert! I already have way too many sketchbooks and projects going, but how can I possibly resist this one!? So yeah, what the heck, I'll throw in here too. :lol: ....

I may have missed it earlier in this thread, but are you going to have everyone post images here, or each start their own thread or some other format?
Me too!

09-16-2010, 11:36 AM
why not do the challenge with a pocket sketchbook, something you can take with you and sketch outdoors? It doesn't have to be a great big full page one. It could be literally anything

If I do it I definately won't be going full size, but I don't want to do the pocket size either. Sketchbook #1 is pocket size and while it's convenient it's kinda limiting. Heck, it took me a year to finish that one! :lol: I'll see if can find a 5x7 or 6x9 book that doesn't have 500 pages. I'll call it my farewell to Summer 2010 sketchbook. :lol: What if I just finish sketchbook #2 for this challenge. I think I've used less than 20 pages of it and I think it's an 80 pager. Though I'm not sure I like hardbound books anymore after using spiral, so I'll probably switch anyway.


09-16-2010, 06:50 PM
I just took my little moleskin on a hiking trip with me, only did one sketch but it was convenient! That and a pitt pen and a handful of watercolor pencils :-)

Love Ikea too! Dangerous place! Can never have enough book shelves! :D

09-16-2010, 07:40 PM
I wouldn't say I love Ikea, in fact I really hate going there it's really more of a last resort for me. They have some items that I like that nobody else seems to carry, but I usually exhaust all other options before I give up and go there.

Okay, you win Robert. I stopped by Michael's after work today and picked up a Strathmore 10 x 7 Field Watercolor sketchbook and it only has 15 pages so I think I can manage that. I'm not sure this is the way I'll go since I plan on visiting Hobby Lobby tomorrow, I might see something I like better there but I will be doing the October challenge either way. Mine will probably be a Fall "plein aire" theme.


09-17-2010, 01:16 AM
Oh HECK Robert, why do you do this to us??????? NOW I have to figure out what sketchbook, what mediums, etc.

So basically I am joining in, not just because it will do me the world to good, but I have been meaning to do this for a LONG time.

What do you think of the Jasart Visual Diary (A4 size, 120 pages, 110gsm cartridge paper that's acid free)???????

I have used this "cheap" visual diaries, ranging from canson, winson and newton to Jasart and no-name brands. ALL have held up well to washes, not HEAVY but light washes, espcially the waterbrushes, VERY effective!!!!!

They all buckle a little, but once you paint on the opposite side, it seems to straighten out a bit.

Okay, I just realised I said 120 pages..... in one month!!!!!!! YIKES!!!!!! ....... that's....... four pages a day, and maybe more as 3 days a week, hubby has dialysis and I really can't sketch there..... unless everyone wants to see multiple views of heamodialysis machines?????

Okay I'm in!!!!!!!!
(Shot me NOW, PLEASE!!!!!!!!)

09-17-2010, 01:51 AM
Rachel, that is so cool. Pitt pens and watercolor pencils are great for outdoor sketching.

David, that's great! I'm looking forward to it, really looking forward to seeing this one. Especially with the theme you chose.

Stacey, that sounds like a very cool journal. That's an enormous challenge - A4 size, 120 pages, heavy acid free paper - that'd be awesome if you use that one. Isn't A4 the one that's 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"?

Of course the up side to that one is that you'd be encouraged to draw and paint loose and large in it. Which is a point in favor of my using the 8 1/2" x 11" Pentalic rather than the 6" x 12" Pentalic. The other side of my personal debate is that it'd be fun to try a different format with the panoramic one.

Yep, that's four pages a day. I wouldn't mind seeing hemodialysis sketches, but you could also bring small still life objects in your bag or pocket. Marbles, pebbles, beads, acorns, rhinestones - any small thing can get drawn larger than life. There's also printing out RIL references the night before and bringing those along too.

You're right about light washes - they will work on most paper. Especially when they don't cover large areas but it's just a damp brush over watercolor pencils. Those are a speedy, powerful medium.

But that's why I'm doing the Pentalic Nature Sketch in whichever size I decide on, because that paper seems to take anything I want to throw at it. I'm going to try acrylics in it in the next few days, I'll bet it works well on that paper since watercolor does.

09-17-2010, 09:09 AM
>>I'm going to try acrylics in it in the next few days, I'll bet it works well on that paper since watercolor does.<<

I'm interested to know how that works for ya Robert. I have the large Pentalic sketchbook that I bought a few months ago and haven't done anything with it yet. I was thinking of using it to learn watercolor and acrylic.


Carole A
09-17-2010, 10:04 PM
I've been working on an internet lesson in forms and color and last night, digging around in my CPs realized I didn't have a yellow, not one. So today after a continuing ed business class, I went to the nearest art supply store to pick up a yellow and maybe a few others. I ended up with a tin of 24 Lyra CPs, a canvas pencil case and a 9H graphite pencil that I needed for another lesson.

I looked at the Graphitints and decided that those are next on my list, but spent my allotment on art supplies for this month, today. I met a woman at the checkout who goes to a twice-weekly watercolor class in that area and said they recently went on a field trip to the Audobon Society. Sounds like so much fun.

Let's see now, am I really ready for the Challenge? Sketchbook? Check. Pencils? Check. Paints? Check. Ideas? Check. Yes, I'm ready!


09-17-2010, 10:13 PM
David, I've seen others use acrylic in sketchbooks with heavy paper with great results. I've just never tried it yet. I have two new sets of acrylics to fool with too, so this is going to be a lot of fun. I'm looking into using a wide variety of mediums, just keeping them all in the same book.

Carole, that sounds like a wonderful haul. I love the Lyra colored pencils, they're soft and beautiful - and they don't get the wax bloom that some of the other premium brands like Prismacolor do because they're oil based. So happy you're going to participate!

09-18-2010, 06:38 AM
ASAS Carole! Well done, it feels great to buy new supplies :) Any non-art person reading this thread would think we are all crazy and have lost the plot :eek: !!

09-18-2010, 07:09 AM
ASAS Carole! Well done, it feels great to buy new supplies :) Any non-art person reading this thread would think we are all crazy and have lost the plot :eek: !!

Honey we ARE NUTS!!!!!!!!!! We are all agreeing to do this challenge.... that's proof enough in itself, let alone the obsession with supplies!!!!!:eek:

09-18-2010, 09:31 AM
We're definitely nuts - and loving it! I have so many cool mediums lined up to throw at that Pentalic that I'm going to have a good time all October!

Carole A
09-18-2010, 12:58 PM
Robert - Glad you approved of the Lyras. I don't know that much about CPs and I'm happy to learn they don't produce wax bloom. I'll check around to see if I can find other colors in open stock.

Oh and on my checklist for the Challenge, there's one element I overlooked: Time. I'm going to have to get very organized for this. We're having out of towners here Oct 1-3, but there will be lots of photo ops so I will have reference materials at hand. In fact, I'm gathering ideas and reference images already. Hope that's not cheating.


09-18-2010, 01:03 PM
I so need this challenge.

like so many of you, I have a plethora of empty sketchbooks, or ones I have started, but never filled...in fact, the one I'm working on now I am very close to filling, and it's only because I made a promise to myself to do so, and even wrote that fact on the very first page.

I've used pencil and pen, watercolors and acrylics, collaged, glued, and taped in it. drew from life, sketched ideas of things I wanted to sew, and even wrote down a couple recipes in it.

what I have not done is work consistently in it. so this challenge will be good for me and I look forward to improving my drawing/painting skills :)
I, like others, have spent alot of time thinking about creating than actually creating...it's time in my life for that to change.

I am lucky enough to have a Blick's twenty minutes from my house :clap: ...and around the corner from it is Hobby Lobby, the next block over is Michael's, and the next block from it is JoAnn's...so needless to say, when I get my itching for some art supplies, I have great options ...which leads to my ASAS and CHEOS :wink2:

I will say, Blick's is my fav...I love being able to go in, wonder around, touch everything, dream about what I'd like to get someday, pick up what I went in for, and then grab a few more things I really really like.

now I just need to decide on the right sketchbook....small enough, as I will being traveling in October, and heavy enough paper, as I like to use watercolors and Inktense pencils...hmmm...a trip to Blick's is in order! :D

09-19-2010, 07:19 PM
Epoh lives in Art Heaven!! Great location for shopping or window shopping. I cruise Blick's on the internet to learn & drool. The other 3 stores I have nearby- and I work for one of them. So it's Dueling Coupons every week, haha!

09-19-2010, 08:50 PM
Epoh does live in Art Heaven. I'd probably have trouble paying my rent if I lived next door to a Blick art store. Or at least I'd be in there all the time wish listing and drooling and watching for what drops into the Clearance bin. I do that online all the time.

I sometimes do that on months when I know I'm going to shop somewhere else or do something completely different, just set up for my next Blick order two months ahead instead of one month ahead. I love their customer service. They recently changed the website to make it easier with a "Save for later" button when I throw stuff out of the cart and dither - the "saved" list is easier to surf than the whole site.

Epoh, small ones are easier to fill in one month too, that's a good idea. Actually the one I'm using, the Pentalic Nature Sketch, comes in 5" x 7" and might be a good choice since it'll stand up to mixed media including watercolors, acrylics and oil pastels as well as Inktense or watercolor pencils with wash. About half my pages have some sort of water media on them.

I'm not going to chicken out and buy another 5" x 7" one though, mine's got to be either the 6" x 12" one or the 8 1/2" x 11" one, either is going to be more of a challenge for me! I can get another small one later, when I've filled one of the big ones.

09-20-2010, 02:31 AM
often large drawings don't take any longer but simply give you more room to work better and more freely I find

I prefer to work on a fairly large scale and only very very occasionally bring out the little sketchbooks. I find the 'large' moleskine a bit small - I prefer at least double that size, preferably 4 times as big

09-20-2010, 04:13 AM
We're all different that way. I find anything larger than the large moleskines I tend to not work large or not work loose enough to do it as quickly. Unless I do charcoal I'm not likely to be working both fast and large - and letter size is huge by my usual scale. I'm more likely to just fill it with four or five separate small drawings.

09-20-2010, 08:39 AM
Hello, I think we're all having great fun to discuss this project, to gather reference pictures if necessary and new materials as an extra treat...
I've just bound the sketchbook for this project and the cover alone took ages to paint ! (The process I used didn't work so I had to improvise) But it's done and I can hardly wait till the first of october... and only 4.5 pages left in my current sketchbook, so I should be ready on time.
I don't know if it's OK to post the picture here (discussion only ?) May be more suitable to post it on its own thread when the time comes... ??

09-20-2010, 08:49 AM
Art Heaven...yes! absolutely! :D
...and I do have to restrain myself from going there every day, or I'd end up living in a van down by the river...which really doesn't sound like a bad time, but I don't think I could give up my little spare room used as a studio and all of the lovely supplies and containers held within :wink2:

as for a good journal size, I know what you are saying vhere about working larger scale in a larger book...but for two reasons I do not want to start this Sketchbook in a Month challenge with a large book...
1. I'm not used to it, I'd be intimidated, and like robert, I'd probably just end up putting a few smaller drawings on one page...using a larger size book would be a good thing to challenge myself with at some point, but not in combination with this challenge--I'd be overwhelmed
2. ...and more importantly...I'll be travelling next month, to Disney World in fact, and want to be comfortably portable while walking in the parks. not to mention, when I'm out and about in such a public place like that, I like to stay small enough that not too many people will notice--I'm afraid they'd want to come over and see what I'm doing, and that makes me nervous.

....I think I'd like to try a Hand Book watercolor journal. 5 x 8, 30 pages, 95 lbs (they have one on Blick's website you can purchase as a travel kit, comes with a travel brush!---but I'll be checking the local store first...but I'd really like to have that travel brush! :cool:)

now I just have to figure out what to take with me!...I have trouble scaling down supplies...:wink2:

09-20-2010, 09:27 AM
agreed it's not a good time to combine it with this project if it isn't in your comfort zone - but honestly it's worth doing with one where you work at your own pace

It's so freeing :)

I would think each book once underway should be in its own thread? Robert? to keep track of each individuals work?

09-20-2010, 11:35 AM
I don't know if it's OK to post the picture here (discussion only ?) May be more suitable to post it on its own thread when the time comes... ??

Hey Robert: Do we post our sketchbook entries into individual threads titled, for example, "Oct 2010 Sketchbook Challenge - UserName", or into one large community group thread?


09-20-2010, 12:03 PM
It's probably better if we each do threads and mention October 2010 Sketchbook Challenge in the title. Those threads will all bob up to the top again and again, probably with at least daily postings, but that'd still work better than a mega-thread. Each person will probably be doing at least a page per day (okay, maybe two days if it's a 15 page watercolor journal) so that'd turn unmanageably long real fast.

But this thread can stay open as a project discussion thread too, it's stayed lively ever since I started it.

Mention in the top post what sketchbook you're using and any other information you think is cool.

09-20-2010, 01:18 PM
We're all different that way. I find anything larger than the large moleskines I tend to not work large or not work loose enough to do it as quickly. Unless I do charcoal I'm not likely to be working both fast and large - and letter size is huge by my usual scale. I'm more likely to just fill it with four or five separate small drawings.

I noticed that about you Robert. I'm just the opposite, I tend to work just about as large as the page allows, just one image per page.


09-20-2010, 07:34 PM
I'm so glad I decided to visit WC today! This is a new sub forum I think?

I've been more active here in the past with a different name and email address, and never fully got integrated here again, when I got my new computer.

I'm going to go for the largest notebook that I don't mind lugging around. Something cheap, and I'll be using mostly pencils, pens and crayons. I want to concentrate on drawing skills and particularly figure drawing.

I want to make October prolific even if messy and juvenile. "Just do it!" I'm very excited about this.

09-20-2010, 07:49 PM
I want to make October prolific even if messy and juvenile. "Just do it!" I'm very excited about this.

I like your attitude Bootz!

I think I shall be inspired by you and do just the same :)

09-20-2010, 08:03 PM
Hi Bootz,

Not to worry - I'll be right there with you in the 'messy and juvenile' arena, I strongly suspect! :wink2: I've found one nice thing about being a new, but 'mature' (read old fart) artist is that I've been pretty much completely non-self-conscious about posting work. In my younger days, I never would have posted some of my learning curve stuff, but now...what the heck?! Besides, folks here are an extremely supportive bunch, always able to find something nice to say about people's work.

On the 'there's always something good to say' theme, I play music and was in a number of band contests in my earlier band days. Some good friends of mine put a band together, and though they eventually became pretty good (and quite popular), when they first started they were, well, pretty rough musically. But they dove in and took every opportunity to get in front of a crowd, including band contests. I was at their first band contest and their enthusiasm was infectious, but the music was...well...

They told me that they got their written band critique after the contest, and the first comment in bold at the top was "This is a very good-looking band...!" Which was true... :) .

09-20-2010, 08:08 PM
Bootz, welcome to the challenge! Messy and juvenile is fine, that's where to have a good time with it. That's also what leads to learning as fast as a little kid. I say play with it and enjoy it!

I know I will. I'm not too concerned about lightfastness inside a sketchbook, so I may be using some of the student materials and kid stuff along with my good supplies. Just whatever strikes my fancy.

09-20-2010, 09:13 PM
I find it interesting to hear everyone's ideas on size of drawing paper, some preferring small, some large. And this gang really does have personal preferences for sizes! Until this summer my on the go sketchbook was always a Strathmoor 400 in the 5x8 size. Then I got used to using a 9x12 or larger in my portrait group, so it became a sketch size for me. With a larger page you can start any size you want but the picture can grow - if- you have the urge. Like increasing the view in a landscape, or going from just a face to a full figure drawing with background. If you don't use up every inch of the page, so what? it's only a piece of paper But it is your option with each new sketch. But my small purse size faux moleskine is always there & easy to carry so no excuse not to sketch whenever the opportunity arises!

09-20-2010, 11:56 PM
Hi Bootz - nice to meet you! LOVE your username!!! I wear those boots a LOT when hiking!!! :thumbsup: look forward to seeing some of your work :-)

09-21-2010, 08:30 AM
I'm going to go notebook shopping today. I got a Borders coupon in my email this morning. I'm going to start early, as soon as I get it. I don't feel like it is cheating to start early the first month, especially if using a larger notebook.

I'm thinking of downloading the "The Structure of Man" videos. I have an old, out of print copy of the "The Drawing Textbook". Of course I will be doing a lot of drawing what I see too, but want to have handy all sorts of doodle inspiration too. When I get my next check I might splurge on a new Celtic knot book. I have a zentangle book I haven't used much, and also a children's flower drawing book. I will sit in the children's part of the library and use kiddie picture books as inspiration, especially Dr Suess. I will use tarot cards as inspiration. And try to draw something inspired by the short story survey class I'm doing. And Halloween is coming. I need to track down Ed Emberley's Orange Book.

I want to start some type of music appreciation course, and draw while listening...but fear that I'll get distracted from my short story survey and art, so am putting that off.

I miss those boots :-( I tried to get another exact pair, but the quality went down so much, that every pair I tried on had a defect. I wore that last pair out so badly that they were literally falling apart off my feet. They lasted a bit over a year though, and for me that was good. I walk a LOT. No car and I get nervous on public transportation, due to some post trauma stuff. I've worn out a pair of sneakers in just a couple months and know I need to go boot shopping...but am dreading it. I was having an awful time finding a good pair in the early summer and gave up till the fall line came in. I guess it's time :-(

I'm not leery at all about letting people see how untalented I am, but as I gain talent, I struggle with how much people don't like my style, though :-( They want me to be realistic, and I love playing with line. When figure drawing, line fascinates me and I have little use for shadow. One life model asked to see my work after a class and was quite upset with what she saw :-0 Too bad!

I recently bought a DVD by Jeffrey Robert who uses Crayola Crayons. I'll be practicing some of his techniques in my notebook. And I have a kid's book called "Using Color in Your Art" that is very, very good. It's meant for paint, but is adaptable for crayons. I like Prang. They blend better because they are part soy and the pallet is excellent. I love that there are dark, medium and light for all the major colors as well as all the tertiary colors.

Mostly I just like to sketch lightly in pencil and then erase it after I use a pen. As I said, line fascinated me.

Thank you all for the welcome! This is such a friendly sub forum :-) I had bookmarked the figure drawing forum as my entry point, but I'm going to change it to this one :-)

09-21-2010, 09:27 AM
Oh its horrible when you have to replace an old, well worn, comfy pair of hiking boots! I don't drive either and either walk or cycle if I need to go places!
And as for your art... its YOUR ART! You can draw in whatever way you like! :-)

09-21-2010, 07:46 PM
hi Bootz, I second Rachel's thoughts- it's our art and we do what we want. The 9 to 5 job we may still have is where someone else calls the shots... not here. I love "line art" as well! Experimenting with differet things is fun. I tried the one-month challege once before and also fudged by starting the 24th (my birthday, some excuse) and going to the end of the following month. I was pleased enough with that! Robert did not stalk me and tear out my pages... hahaha!

09-21-2010, 07:57 PM
I bought my notebook today. I chose a 3 pack of Moleskine cahiers with natural color covers, which cry out to be decorated.

Tomorrow is the Autumn equinox or Mabon. I might start my journals on the 8 pagan solar holidays, which divide the year up into 6 week divisions. Either way November 1st is the cut off, so I'll decide then. I think it might be nice, though, to have a seasonal theme to each notebook.

09-21-2010, 08:21 PM
Yes Robert the sketchbook is 8.5" by 11.25", so large and fun.

Oh I wanted to mention to everyone, that if you paint in oil paints on the raw paper (thus don't size it and gesso it), the painting dries in a few hours. I have used this technique with ATCs and it is fun and quick.

YES I know it's not archival, but this is a sketchbook, and nothing in this world is permanent, regardless of how much we hope it to be.

I just put in an order from Blick for there hardbound sketchbook (8.5"x11") and the pentalic nature sketch (7"x5"), just because after READING and watching what ROBERT can do with them, I had to try. Although, as I live in Australia, it is going to be a little more expensive than what most others would pay, it is still going to work out cheaper..... and I get the sketchbooks I am REALLY after!!!!! Journals here range in price from A$6.00 up to A$45.00 and I am NOT willing to spend A$45.00 on a sketchbook just yet!!!!!

I LOVE the A$6.00 journals, as they are the same as the one I am using for the challenge - 120gsm, acid free, and 60 sheets (120 pages). So for that price they are worth every cent. And I have drawn, scribbled, used coloured pencils, sharpies, painted in watercolour, acrylics and oils, I have used pen and ink, collaged, oil pastel, well just about anything I could think of, I have thrown at these books.

BUT, after seeing what ROBERT has done with the other sketchbooks...... well I just couldn't help myself!!!!!

So right now ROBERT, hubby is a little pissed with me, BUT he will get over it! hehehehehe!!!!!!!!

09-21-2010, 09:37 PM
:wave: Welcome Bootz! You don't need to justify your style to us! It's a shame you need to justify it to anyone but unfortunately art is subjective and people can be so critical! Even when a style is something I am not particularly keen on, I always try to find some positive in it. I remember visiting an exhibition of Picasso drawings once - I used to detest Picasso but our art teacher at the time wanted us to view the work. I still don't "like" his work but I came away with a much better understanding of what it was he was trying to achieve and made an effort to borrow some books on artists I perceived that I didn't like. It taught me to look beyond the initial reaction and wonder "what the hell were they thinking" :)

I hope you enjoy your time in your sketchbook and this forum, and look forward to seeing your work ;)

PS had a chuckle at the thought of Robert "stalking" someone for their sketches :lol: and I conveniently forget to tell my hubby about new art supplies or what they cost!

09-21-2010, 10:35 PM
Well, Robert's experiments and posts with his wide variety of media cost my wallet some more buckaroos today...! :lol:

I went to the local Michael's to pick up just one minor item, and came out with the 'Classic' color set of Pitt Big Brushes, the basic color set of regular size Pitt Brushes, and a 12-color tin of Derwent Graphitints, which look intriguing as well.


Carole A
09-22-2010, 12:10 AM
I'm beginning to think Robert's getting a kickback on everything we are buying. Did you have to use his name as a reference? :lol:


09-22-2010, 12:16 AM
Bootz, that's so cool you're doing crayon art. I used to have a big 96 color set of Crayolas, but a couple of years ago I had a moment of sentimentality and gave it to my granddaughter. That can have some gorgeous possibilities. Don't worry about your style. Just do what you enjoy, it's your art - and it's possible to get eloquent with line alone.

I was always into shading but that's because I got into pen drawing as a little kid and started off by learning to do technical drawings of fossils. So I shaded with crosshatching and thought that the artists who did postage stamps drew them that size.

I don't ever stalk anyone to rip pages out of their sketchbooks. If I did, I'd be flush and I'd be waving money at them for the page.

Yay for the Moleskine Cahier notebooks! I'm thinking of signing up for that sketchbook project, pay the entry fee and fill one of those on "coffee and cigarettes" or some other such theme.

Filling seasonal journals on the 8 pagan holidays is a wonderful idea. Happy Mabon!

John, cool sketching supplies! All of those are so great for sketching fast and powerful, that'll be fantastic.

Firehorse - wow! I didn't realize that about oils in sketchbooks. I might dare to try it next month, since I'm using such heavy paper anyway and noticed the acrylics dried so fast. I'd have to leave it open to dry overnight and maybe stash it in the bathroom for that, but it would be interesting if I could get it to dry overnight. It's a thought. Maybe if I used alkyds?

Yay for your Blick order. I'm not surprised it's cheaper even with the shipping, so many things are hard to get in Australia. On the up side, you're actually in springtime right now with flowers blooming all around you while I'm headed toward winter. I'd love a Star Trek transporter.

You'll really enjoy the Pentalic one, that paper is wonderful. I'm just wondering if the oils dry so fast that I could do one and actually be able to turn that page and work on the next the day after I did it.

09-22-2010, 01:44 AM

Actually, they asked me if anyone referred me and when I said Robert Sloan, they gave me a discount...:lol: !

09-22-2010, 03:11 AM
As long as you don't work impasto you don't even need to leave it open to dry Robert (using oils in sketchbook) The oil stops the pages from sticking together. I often do this when painting plein air and can't prop all the pages open to dry - they are absolutely fine.

If you are going to want to work on facing pages, just slip a cheap piece of newsprint or typing paper in between pages to protect the facing page.

Sometimes the slight imprint on the facing page is interesting to work into

09-22-2010, 11:24 AM
John - LOL!

09-22-2010, 03:19 PM
Oh wow.. found this thread backward through Ghislaine's blog. Hi Robert! *waves*, Hi everyone! I didn't even realize WC had an art journals forum, bad me!

This is perfect timing... my current sketchbook is almost full, I just finished a rushed commission, I feel like I deserve an art 'treat'. I'm going to go get a new sketchbook right now!!

~ Pam Boots ~

09-22-2010, 07:56 PM
Welcome Pam! Glad you found us - and look forward to seeing your work. As you can probably tell from this thread, we've all become addicts of purchasing sketchbooks...... and we understand the "treat" of purchasing any art supplies!

09-22-2010, 09:30 PM
Pam, welcome to the forum and the thread! I hope you'll join us for the October Sketchbook in a Month Challenge. I've never done this before, but I think I'm starting to sketch heavily enough that I can do it. Love that cat in a box avatar, that's so great.

Jackie, sketchbooks are a major treat! Getting into a heavy sketching habit has been wonderful. This October is opening the door to my treating myself to them every month - if I can do it, if I can fill a sketchbook in a month, I won't worry about rotating multiple ones because on average I'll do that many pages a month and they'll get used as fast as I buy them.

Vivien, thank you! That's going to be so great then. I've been using acrylics in the Pentalic with great success and I think the oils will be good that way too - and no, I don't work impasto with them. I never really have, I like to smooth out my strokes and have a very thin paint film. I have some glassine too, that idea of putting a glassine or tracing paper sheet as a cover at the end of the day is a good one. But even if I can just leave it open and turn the page the day after, I'm good - I can always leave it open on a bathroom shelf that's too crowded for my cat to climb onto.

I do not want to repeat the "Wash oil paints off cat feet" experiment with a 15lb cat when I can only really carry 10lb without straining my back. I'd do it, because I love him, but wrestling him to wash his feet would probably result in bloodshed. We have this agreement, Ari and I. I don't try to bathe him and he thoughtfully places his hairballs where I can clean them easily. He is a self cleaning long hair.

09-22-2010, 09:39 PM
Sorry, double post, edited out.

Carole A
09-22-2010, 10:13 PM

Actually, they asked me if anyone referred me and when I said Robert Sloan, they gave me a discount...:lol: !
I'm going to remember that one for sure. :lol:


09-22-2010, 10:48 PM
If I plan to fill a sketchbook a month, ongoing, I have a great excuse to try a new size or type every month! Maybe the tiny 3x5 or trading card type, then the 11x14 for big charcoal sketches one month. (I can't fit charcoal on a tiny page, can you?) And if some of the books have leftover pages- well then you have a supply of a variety of papers for later use! Welcome Pam! Love your cat pics by your signature!

09-22-2010, 10:57 PM
Firehorse - wow! I didn't realize that about oils in sketchbooks. I might dare to try it next month, since I'm using such heavy paper anyway and noticed the acrylics dried so fast. I'd have to leave it open to dry overnight and maybe stash it in the bathroom for that, but it would be interesting if I could get it to dry overnight. It's a thought. Maybe if I used alkyds?

Yay for your Blick order. I'm not surprised it's cheaper even with the shipping, so many things are hard to get in Australia. On the up side, you're actually in springtime right now with flowers blooming all around you while I'm headed toward winter. I'd love a Star Trek transporter.

You'll really enjoy the Pentalic one, that paper is wonderful. I'm just wondering if the oils dry so fast that I could do one and actually be able to turn that page and work on the next the day after I did it.

:crying: :crying: :crying: :crying: :crying: :crying:
I can't get the order!!!!!!!!!!:( :( :( :( :(

Basically it will cost me A$40.00 for postage of a A$15.00 order, so it is just NOT worth it.

I am sooooooo upset, I was really (and I mean REALLY) looking forward at trying these two journals out.

OH WELL, back to Jasart!!!!!:(

09-23-2010, 04:50 AM
stacey, you might like to try Eckersley, they have some decent art journals, moleskine alternatives, they have derwent and pen & ink, both have good write ups you can check out on the web. i actually have both of these and will start one of them soon.
also, riot art is worth checking out, they have a nice one i have used which is 225gm paper, nice tooth, takes pencil, pen, light wash nicely. they have a hard bound book, but their spiral bound one is the one i have used and has the better grade paper, i think at least.
also it is worth trying Borders bookstore....they have the piccadilly brand sketchbooks which again is about the size of a moleskine, but a fair bit cheaper, and from what i have read, takes a light wash rather well. another i want to try out.
so, while i agree we are somewhat disadvantaged here in what we can get, we certainly do not have the choices unfortunately. but there are some good ones available. i have had luck on ebay, but there is no guarantee you can get what you want when you want, so you may have to be patient there. i was lucky and got a fabriano classic journal which i plan to start in Jan 2011, that is the plan at least. Before then i want to jump into the october challenge, with the aim of sketching regularly, and filling one sketchbook up. i think i will check out if i have one of those from riot art for the oct challenge. and after that either the derwent or the picadilly.
i am using up a jasart (moleskine look a like) from Eckersley, got it because it was on sale at the time, but i really like it and it takes a light wash as well. so i want to finish that one off as well.
anyway, hope some of these suggestions are helpful. good to share what resourses are available with other aussies....

09-23-2010, 04:51 AM
pretty sure the name of the sketchbook at riot art is 'holcraft'
just thought of it....

09-23-2010, 07:24 AM
THANKYOU Janine for the information.
Went online at boarders and could not find the sketchbook you mentioned though????
Anyway, I have my eye on Eck's, already got the journals I want, just have to wait until I get paid to get them!!!!!!!

09-23-2010, 03:25 PM
Sounds like fun! I'm enjoying the discussion of what's available in Australia and New Zealand, have so many friends there that it's good to know what the stores are and who's got the bargains.

09-23-2010, 09:47 PM
Hi Robert and everyone,

Being a sketchbook addict like more of the folks on this thread apparently - :o - I still haven't fully decided what sketchbook to use for this challenge. I had tentatively settled on either a Cachet Studio (Daler-Rowney brand, I believe) large (10 x 8"?) wirebound with 80 pages of 70 pound unsized paper, or a Cachet Fusion journal/sketchbook. Both of these books, however, are really pretty much dry media only (though light washes might work without too much difficulty, haven't tried yet). I picked them (and may still use them) to give me more graphite and pen practice then I normally do. But, having the capability to do watercolor as well as dry media is interesting as well.

Then I was going through threads and re-read Robert's Pentalic Nature Sketchbook thread from front to back again to really understand the various experiments he tried. I have one of the 9x12 Penatlics that I've used as a thumbnail sketch for larger pieces primarily, but I never had tried wet media with it. It's been drug around in my plein air bag so much that it's in pretty rough shape even though there are maybe half the pages still unused.

So I bought one (each) new 9x12 and 6x12 inch Pentalic Nature Sketchbooks. I tried watercolor on the first page tonight, and I liked how it worked - although as Robert indicated, it behaves differently than my normal Arches watercolor paper (and Moleskine watercolor paper, and Aquabee sketchbook paper - everything acts differently to some degree at least).

Decisions, decisions...:lol: .

09-23-2010, 10:45 PM
Yes! It takes everything I've thrown at it, but it took a little while to get used to how the watercolor worked on it. Buckles much less than most watercolor paper unless it's 140lb - I think that's just because the paper's that heavy. Wonderful sketchbooks. I can't wait to see what you do with yours! Practicing in your partially used one is a good idea, then by October you'll be used to its different qualities.

Carole A
09-24-2010, 01:12 AM
John - have you tried light washes in the Fusion book yet? Reading back on other threads, (Virgo I think) used graphitints in her sketches, and I'm wondering if that will work in the Fusion. I guess I'll try a page, maybe a title page, with some graphitint work in it prior to October 1.

I'm getting so excited for October, even tho Summer's my best season (goes back to a lot of childhood memories of the happiest times of my young life). I love the fall colors of the vine maples in higher elevations; I love going to the fruit orchards; I love the fall vegetables; and my grandkids have birthdays in late Sept and early Oct, not to mention my husband's Halloween birthday. Lots of subjects for an art journal.

On Sept 27, I'm starting a 100 day challenge, and goals will include new work habits, income goals, new health goals, and of course goals for art. In the next four days, I will be outlining my daily and weekly goals. If I can't maintain for 100 days, I guess there's just no hope for me, right? :lol: I'm planning to create a challenge notebook with pages for daily,weekly, monthly goals including graphs and introspective pages. Hopefully, after 100 days I will understand what I really consider important in my life and what I can chuck in the dumpster, and then make adjustments. Life's just too important to let it slip casually by.


09-24-2010, 01:31 AM
Carole - Yes, I have tried Graphitint with light washes in the Fusion, and it worked fine. They were only small swatches, not the whole page, but it looked like it would work just fine if you don't overdo it with the water.

Good luck on the personal challenge as well...!

Carole A
09-24-2010, 01:48 AM
Thanks, John. I'm excited to try the Graphitints. I only have a few, so I need to acquire a set or a small collection. Hmmm. I do have a commission check coming in a week or so; maybe a trip to the art supply store should be one of my 100 day challenge goals. Actually, it'll have to be a reward for completing some of my daily or weekly goals. :lol: Immediate gratification is not a part of my personal challenge.


WC Lee
09-24-2010, 04:08 AM
Well, proving that I am the (or at least a) poster child for buying a large variety and quantity of sketchbooks - I added two new ones to the collection today.
umm .. I think I should be the poster child for buying large quantities of varied sketchbooks. I have over 20 (maybe more than 30) unused sketchbooks of different sizes and brands in my possession already and just order 15 more :D And the funny thing is ... I don't like using sketchbooks and rather use loose sheets of paper which incidentally, I have a lot of too. Boy do I have a severe case of ASAS :D

Now the problem I have is which one to use for this challenge and I know for sure it won't be any of the ones that have more than a hundred pages (which most of them have). Most likely I will be using the large moleskine cahier as it has the least amount of pages and the pages aren't too big or too small. Hopefully I will stick to sketching in it and finish it by the end of Oct.

09-24-2010, 04:44 AM
umm .. I think I should be the poster child for buying large quantities of varied sketchbooks. .

I'm in that club too - except that they are mostly in use, lots at one time (or completed)

I like to have some that are for specific projects like one on local waterways (2 at once, A3 and a square 10 inch one), another on Cornwall, others on the North Norfolk coast .... then others that are for anything. But then there are the different sizes - hard back which I prefer, spiral bound, concertina, home made, different papers .........

sigh ..... an addict

and I love working in sketchbooks

09-25-2010, 02:23 AM
:lol: chuckling away to myself while reading everyone's contributions to this thread...... good job Robert for starting this one :thumbsup: We are all starting to "come out" and realise we are not the only ones with ASAS and sketch book addictions :D Maybe the forum should be re-named Sketchbooks Anonymous!

I visited an outlet shopping centre this week and they have a new art store selling some well known brands at reasonable prices but the range is limited. I picked up 3 hardback sketchbooks of varying sizes "for later" :lol: But I too, am still unsure what I will use for the challenge although I have lots of ideas that I wish to explore for the month!

09-25-2010, 01:48 PM
Why should the rest of you get to be the poster children for buying tooo many art supplies? I do that, too!
(whine, snort)

09-25-2010, 02:45 PM

09-25-2010, 08:24 PM
LOL Jackie, maybe you're right about Sketchbooks Anonymous. I have a bunch of them now that I haven't even started, but if I start filling one every month I'll go through them pretty fast. Jacqueline, welcome to the addicts group!

Carole, looking forward to seeing your Graphitints stuff. I've got a bunch of them and love them in sketchbooks. With or without wash, they are great sketching supplies. Good and soft, that hint of color, smudge like soft graphite, they rock.

WC Lee, welcome to the challenge! I'm so glad you're jumping in. Can't wait to see your thread, I've seen some incredible paintings from you and will be enjoying your sketches.

09-25-2010, 09:03 PM
I might try this out, I have a spiral hardback Daler sketchbook that I've never used, 8.5 x 11 65lb 80 pages. I mostly use printing paper for sketching and those usually end up in the trash with big X's on them, so this would be a challenge for me to not X my sketches and throw them away lol.

09-25-2010, 10:47 PM
Chuck, that sounds great. It's also a good thing not to X your sketches, just date them. Even if you don't like them, there's something satisfying about looking back once you've improved to see how much you improved. That's a cool sketchbook, I was tempted to get one.

WC Lee
09-26-2010, 03:21 AM
Jacqueline: :D

Robert: thanks :) hope I can stick with sketching in a sketchbook which is a challenge in itself for me personally.

Chuck: hello, I seen you over at conceptart.org, I go by Lee W over there. Its a good idea to keep all the sketches, studies, and finished stuff to gauge your progess as Robert has mentioned. I use a banker's box and toss in loose sheet of paper into it until it is full then I'll start a new box, but it takes a long time to fill considering I am not as prolific now.

09-26-2010, 08:28 AM
Ohhhh gosh, just found this thread and I think it sounds like a perfect challenge as I'm just starting to pick up art seriously!

Plus my old sketch book is nearly full (partly me, partly my little man filching paper!) which means it's a perfect excuse to go get a brand new shiney bunch of pristine white papery goodness! ^_^

09-26-2010, 09:48 AM
I've found an ideal sketchbook on my shelf to use - an A4 with 40 pages of nice heavy cartridge paper - so suitable for any medium I want to throw at it :)

09-26-2010, 10:18 AM
Robert this sounds like fun - I had just purchased a Moleskin w/c sm sketch book, and have only done a couple of pages. This would push me to work it through - I think I'll give it a try;-) I think I'm going to loose track of all the different threads in this WC forum. Is there a way of bookmarking?

09-26-2010, 11:08 AM
Hi Jeanne,

You could subscribe to a Thread (at the bottom of a page there's a section called Thread tools). You can then get email notification or no email. If you choose no email then when you return to WetCanvas you can click the link called My WC near the top left of most pages. There you'll see a list of the threads you subscribed to with the most recently updated threads listed. Hope that helps. Cheers,

09-26-2010, 11:32 AM
I finally have a sketchbook...I looked on line, went to the art and craft stores, and finally got one I think will do the job :)

"the art of watercolor" sketchbook, A5, 5 x 8, acid free, 180gsm, 40 sheets/80 pages
it has a faux leather cover, an elastic strap closer, and a pocket on the back page (ah, how Moleskin has influenced the sketchbook industry! :D )

now...80 was a tad more pages than I had originally wanted, but I think it will be a good challenge to complete it, and honestly, it's not that large--smaller than what I am working in now--but I needed one that I could travel easily with.

and I wasn't sure what the feel of a 180gsm paper would be (it's watercolor paper)...I am used to the lb measurements...so luckily there was a sketchbook open so I could feel it...and I like it! (and for any of you who are also not good at converting measurements yourself, here is a website I found that has it: http://ruralljs.com/infoWeights.html )

I had bought some watercolor paper so that I could just make my own...but I doubt I would get it done in time...so I'm glad I found this book :)
I'm so excited to get started!! if I haven't already said it, THANK YOU ROBERT for bringing this challenge to us!!:clap:

09-26-2010, 07:43 PM
Everybody is sounding so excited getting prepared with their new sketchbooks and things. It's fantastic.

I am not ready... the new splint I got on my hand 2 weeks ago is causing more pain and problems than it is solving. Have hardly been able to pick up a pencil or brush so not sure how the challenge will go. There is only a couple of days till it starts, oh goodness. Maybe my challenge will be to hopefully do some sketching in the month. :)

09-26-2010, 08:35 PM
well, I just dropped by this forum for the first time, and I have to say this piqued my interest. I teach high school art and I am always harping the students to use the sketchbook. I keep one, but have never filled one in one month! Should be an interesting experiment. Thanks for the suggestion or for the leap into insanity :)

09-26-2010, 10:54 PM
Jacqui, sorry about the splint on your hand. This could be a chance to practice off hand sketching if you really want to try it - there's nothing about the challenge that says all the sketches have to come out perfect or anything. You might surprise yourself. I did when I tried off hand drawing.

Epoh, that sounds like a great sketchbook! Congratulations on daring to do an 80 page one, that's way beyond what I'm doing. Sure will help you work loose and free and fast!

EP, thanks for explaining how to subscribe to threads! Lots of new folks jumping in here may need to know how.

Colleen, welcome to the leap into insanity! This is going to be a lot of fun. Looking forward to seeing your sketches!

Jeanne, thank you for bringing that up. As soon as I read your post I realized what I could do to help. I'll start a post with links to all the "October Sketchbook Challenge" sketchbook threads so that anyone joining in can post links to their threads, and check and update it till everyone's checked in. This should make it a lot easier to find the Challenge threads. EP has a good idea with subscribing to threads, but I think if I create an October Sketchbook Challenge Index, it'll be easier to keep track of them all. Heck, maybe a moderator will sticky that one so it's easier to find.

09-27-2010, 12:30 AM
Just got mine! :clap: :clap: :clap:

It's nothing flashy - Eraldo di Paolo brand A5, 60pgs and a lighter paper. It's spiral bound and hard covered though so can tuck into my purse and not stick out once it's on the bookshelf. Now the trick will be to wait till October to start! :lol:

09-27-2010, 03:58 AM
That's great! Yep, that's a bit tough holding off on starting it. This is a good time to warm up in your old sketchbooks, experiment with different mediums and styles, do some other sketching. If you get into a daily habit before October it'll be easier to ramp it up and charge into the new one. You're doing two pages a day so that'll be fantastic! Bold choice!

09-27-2010, 04:53 AM
I JUST WANT TO START!!!!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE, can I??????????

09-27-2010, 05:02 AM
Thanks for the advice Robert and WC Lee, I'll try not to X my drawings or rip pages out of the sketchbook. I can understand about gauging your progress, but some days or even weeks I'm way off lol.... I guess it's like mood swings, I can draw for hours and then the next day I have to force myself, those usually end up in the trash.

Hello WC Lee .... you've done some excellent portraits over at conceptart, I like looking in that thread...:thumbsup: can't wait to see your sketch book here.:)

09-27-2010, 06:32 AM
Real soon, Stacey! We're getting close to the countdown now. Only four more days. How many pages in your old sketchbook can you do before the 1st?

I'll try to post the Index Thread at midnight start of Friday, at least in my time zone. People can start after midnight in theirs if it comes earlier. I always do great on a marathon if I make a midnight start, so there's the start time - midnight your time.

Chuck, I know what you mean about the ups and downs. I still get them, I think that's natural. But one thing I found is that the downs still teach me something - I look at them and I'll do something off what I normally do but improve by noticing what I should've done. Or succeed at something else because I goofed on what I thought I was doing. Some of my best ones came out of drawings I thought were terrible right up to the last stroke that made them work.

09-27-2010, 06:59 AM
this challenge looks like it could be just the thing for me to engage with one of the many sketch books on my shelf -- I think I might just join you all in October

09-27-2010, 08:18 AM
OHHHHHHHHH a SHOPPING SPREE is coming!!!!!! WYSIWYG - hope you have fun and find the RIGHT journal for you!!!!!!

I am just so excited that I am having trouble keeping myself from starting early!!!!! :eek:

YES I KNOW that it's only four days to go...... Buuuuutttttttt..... I wanna play NOW in my new sketchbook!!!!!:crying: :evil:

09-27-2010, 11:28 AM
Hi all :wave:
Here's something I REALLY need, I'm going through tough times at home and am not in any kind of art zone at all and am desparate.

So great idea Robert, its the sharing with others that helps so much.

I'm not going to get a new sketchbook I have so many, most started and unfinished - in truth abandoned. I found this sketchbook A4 spiral hardback 200g cartridge paper. I just have to post its first page - I only did 2 pages in it!


Oh dear look at the date. My original idea was to use it as a watercolour sketchbook - (though its not watercolour paper it takes a light wash ok).
Those weird red things are petals fallen from a tulip. They had an unusual beauty I was unable to capture. I don't know why, but after the 2nd page of sketches (which weren't too bad) I got cold feet about using this book again. I set myself up to high standards for this sketchbook and then couldn't bear to see them not realised. Silly, silly, silly.

So I will be thrilled to see this sketchbook filled by end of October, and to do it I won't worry about 'standards' (I'm promising myself) The nice thing about this idea is it doesn't hold you to a sketch every single day. Some days it may be possible to do several sketches, other days none, but those can't be too many of course. That will suit me much better.

This book only has 30 pages, and as I won't be doing facing pages, and two pages have been used already, I'm hopeful I'll meet this challenge. :)


09-27-2010, 12:11 PM
I'll have to bow out of this challenge. I was leary of accepting anyway but thought I could maybe do a short sketchbook but the reality is I can't focus on any one thing that much to make sure I get it done. I think what's most important for me is that I just do art of some kind nearly every day, doesn't matter wether it's in a particular sketchbook, on loose paper, from life, or from a photo as long as I do something.


09-27-2010, 01:20 PM
I bought this book years ago to do art with some children ... and never used it. Too ambitious in size (11x13"!!!) for this project? Not heavy enough (55lb.) for washes. But "only" 30 pages ... one per day...

09-27-2010, 05:06 PM
Xina, welcome to the challenge! That's great - a good way to finish off an abandoned sketchbook and push yourself. I love your drawings, this is going to be fun.

David, sorry you're dropping out. I hope you'll still be posting lots in September even if it's spread out among different sketchbooks.

EP, welcome to the challenge! This is gonna be great - huge pages, I'm looking forward to seeing how you fill them. Lots of mediums you can sketch with that are completely dry. I bet Pan Pastel "washes" would be great in it.

09-27-2010, 09:30 PM
Robert - do you EVER sleep??????? hehehe

QUestion: Will this challenge continue EACH month, not just for October, as I LOVE the idea of filling a journal a month!

Also, does it ALWAYS have to be pictorial????? Can it include notes, thoughts, ideas, and study notes (from books) too??????

THANKS again for the challenge!!!!!

09-28-2010, 12:27 AM
David, as an alternative you might keep a simple list of the art you did each day or whenever. Then it would encourage you to see at the end of a month all the variety of creativity you did!

Stacey, as to writing notes in the sketchbook: I got in a good habit trying this challenge before- I jot a title (ususally humerous) and the date and time, and medium used. It has been interesting to see the odd times of day I could do sketching, just so enthusiastic about the challenge. Sometimes for lack of creative juices I did those sample swatches of new pencils or o.p.s or compared graphites. ANYthing to put my hand to the paper daily. Have fun!

09-28-2010, 02:22 AM
I once filled a large sketchbook going to life drawing classes, with the gesture drawings on the left hand side and the longer poses on the right. When I was broke and desperate, I tore out the pages, matted them, and sold most of them for one hundred dollars each. So all the drawings have another on the back.
All I have now of that sketch book are some ratty leftover drawings and the covers. It got me through a very tough time.
Maybe I'll do that again.

09-28-2010, 03:45 AM
Stacey, it can include anything you want to put in it. Go ahead and add text or poetry or whatever you think would improve the pages. I did one of mine with a fair amount of text and I love putting notes in with my experiments. If I'm trying a new color or technique, those notes help a lot when I want to use it again. I always at least sign and date what I put in mine, often also mention the photo reference credit.

And yeah, I'm a night owl. I drift into it by biorhythm more often than not. I had a really hard time as a kid having to go to school early in the morning and I had a hard time anytime I had to work a day job. It's a lot easier now that I'm on disability and don't have to do things in the mornings.

Jacqueline, that's a great story. Those drawings are probably even more valuable with extra sketches on the back. It would be great if you do that again.

09-28-2010, 04:42 AM
Candace - thankyou, I am also looking at writing notes and "painting" over them, sort of a mixed media artist journal look. BUT the difference is the writing would still be visible, as it would contain valuable information that I want, the painting, would just make the page less boring and would link into the information anyway. This is what I was wondering if I could do too????? Or does it have to be souly drawings/sketches/paintings with some information about them and that is it?????
Hugs all

09-28-2010, 04:44 AM
I once filled a large sketchbook going to life drawing classes, with the gesture drawings on the left hand side and the longer poses on the right. When I was broke and desperate, I tore out the pages, matted them, and sold most of them for one hundred dollars each. So all the drawings have another on the back.
All I have now of that sketch book are some ratty leftover drawings and the covers. It got me through a very tough time.
Maybe I'll do that again.

I would LOVE to see those works, they would be invaluable now.... and worth twice as much as there is a undiscovered drawing on the back!!!!!:thumbsup:

09-28-2010, 07:35 AM
Stacey, it can include anything you want to put in it. Go ahead and add text or poetry or whatever you think would improve the pages. I did one of mine with a fair amount of text and I love putting notes in with my experiments. If I'm trying a new color or technique, those notes help a lot when I want to use it again. I always at least sign and date what I put in mine, often also mention the photo reference credit.

Thankyou for the information, as I want to add study notes into it as I am studying "the principles of art and design", basically as a refresher course and to remind me what NOT to do!!!!:eek: :lol:

And yeah, I'm a night owl. I drift into it by biorhythm more often than not. I had a really hard time as a kid having to go to school early in the morning and I had a hard time anytime I had to work a day job. It's a lot easier now that I'm on disability and don't have to do things in the mornings.

I WISH I could do that, even on the pension it isn't possible, as Donald (hubby) has many appointments during the day.... eg. dialysis! So sleeping during the day just isn't possible. HOWEVER, I do still stay up until around midnight most nights!!!!

09-28-2010, 07:37 AM
Oh just asking again - will this challenge continue through other months, or is this a one month thing??????

(REALLY want to do this EVERY month!!!!!)

09-28-2010, 07:45 AM
I don't know if Robert intended/intends this challenge to be every month but if not we can always do a second challenge yeah? Or are challenges only able to be issued by mods or something? (Sorry, newbie ignorance!)

That way people can choose if they want to be in on a given month or not since I know not everyone would be able to commit to a full book every month or might find it too much pressure or somesuch. :) Personally I think it'll be a good exercise for me, as I need all the practice I can squeeze in for improvement! :lol:

09-28-2010, 01:28 PM
I just found another sketchbook filled with life drawings.
This could be my trip to LONDON!!!
My challenge sketchbook project is getting more exciting all the time.

(doing happy dance)

09-28-2010, 10:26 PM
Stacey, we can continue it in November if you're interested. I'd like to start a new thread for it every month if we start doing that though, the threads are going to get pretty long.

I think anyone can start a challenge, WYSIWG. I'm not a moderator or guide, just started the challenge because I decided to do it and wondered if anyone here wanted to join me. It's great that so many are jumping in!

09-28-2010, 11:05 PM
Robert have you counted up how many of us are in on the challenge? I think I see a new name joining us almost daily! How very cool.

09-28-2010, 11:22 PM
oh no, I just found this forum and thread in the color pencil forum. And I just happen to have a brand new shiny dick blick 8.5 x 11 hardbound sketchbook available. Pencils galore.

I wonder how far I can get in october!

Sounds like nanowrimo with no keyboard

09-29-2010, 02:33 AM
Thanks Robert, I would LOVE to continue on past october

09-29-2010, 10:56 AM
Jen, welcome to the group! This is going to rock!

I haven't counted up, but in a couple of days when I set up the Index thread to make challenge threads easier to find, I'll have a good idea of who's participating and how many there are. This is so cool. I thought I was over the top trying this and didn't know if anyone would join me, now it's a movement! This is great!

All this support is going to make it so much more likely I can manage to fill mine in a month, even if I am only trying for 50 pages.

Carole A
09-29-2010, 11:14 AM
Robert, I want to challenge myself to do this, have my new journal but probably won't get started until next week as I have family coming from out of state tomorrow for a few days, and a couple of grandkids' birthdays. I'll have my cameras out and ready though.


09-29-2010, 11:32 AM
That's even more challenging but I think you can do it. If you start a little late and still fill it within a month, then you did it. If you come close, then give yourself a few extra days to make up for the late start.

09-29-2010, 01:30 PM
ok, so how bad is it that I want to wait to start the next scavenger hunt til the 1st so that I can have the whole group in my new one-month-challenge sketchbook?

as for doing one once a month--I think that would be a wonderful thing! ...I'll see if I can accomplish October first though. I am hopeful about it...and if I do complete it, I will definitely try to do one book in November as well..

Robert, I cannot thank you enough for bringing this challenge to all of us!! :clap:

09-29-2010, 03:12 PM
Sounds cool to me, Epoh. That'd be a great way to keep your Hunt sketches organized. Seems to me that doing this is a good way to enjoy being able to get new sketchbooks often. I'll go through a lot of the ones I bought and get to try new ones a lot faster if I stick to this. It'll be fun!


09-29-2010, 06:32 PM
Okay I'm in on this, I'm a newbie and have never joined in any of the group fun just sat here and read about it. Robert and I are buddies from a ning group. Think Bicemama Robert. This fits in nicely with my October plans, it is going to be a month filled with art, and my birth month. So I'm going to make myself a sketchbook filled with all kinds of different scrumptious papers and play with all of my toys. Thanks to whoever it was that mentioned using oil paints in the sketchbook, never thought to try that, but I will definitely do it in this book. I'm definitely afflicted with a severe case of ASAS. I have no earthly idea how many sketch books and drawing pads, writing journals I have. If they are cool and on sale I buy them. All of the employees at my local Jerry's Artarama know me by name, I'm sure you all get the drift

This was a fabulous idea Robert, I am so glad that I stumbled on to it in time to join in.

your pal in the fabled land of Texas

09-29-2010, 08:17 PM
Yay Margo! The more the merrier! You sound like you will fit right in with this forum :)

09-29-2010, 09:53 PM
Thank you for your welcome Jackie. Oh and Robert you should sign up for the Sketchbook 2011 challenge and do choose coffee and cigarettes, that was my choice and I just got my sketchbook last week. I am definitely going to rebind it with some heavier paper, it would be fun to see how we approached the same topic in different ways.

09-30-2010, 08:47 AM
As I don't have a computer at this moment that can handle both a printer/scanner and image software, I will not be uploading for a few days, but I will be commenting on everyones work and still doing the challenge (as I have 4 papes a day to do!).
Gental hug all.

09-30-2010, 10:54 AM
Tic, toc, tic, toc ....

feels like the countdown to the Three Day Novel Writing Contest (http://www.3daynovel.com/) Or NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/).....

I'm ready to start my EP October CASIAM (Complete A Sketchbook In A Month) thread. :) :) :)

09-30-2010, 11:00 AM
Me, too! I've already 'cheated' and put my color swatches from my probable media on the first page. Only 99 pages to go (50 page sketchbook, both sides will be used). :)

09-30-2010, 02:51 PM
This sounds like a super fun challenge! I unfortunately don't think I'll be able to participate in this challenge as much as I'd like to. I'm studying abroad in Chile and just have way too much going on between trips and classes - much less I hardly have any supplies here and no decent version of Blick's or Michael's for two hours around. If this continues to be a monthly challenge or an every once in awhile challenge I hope to join after I return home in December. Otherwise I guess I'll do it by my lonesome ;) :)

It's going to be fun watching everyone's sketchbooks fill up!

09-30-2010, 05:14 PM
Stacey, it doesn't matter when you upload as long as you do the challenge. You could upload all of it two days before the end of the month and it'd still be a triumph. So glad you're going to start drawing tomorrow anyway!

Denyalle, we might be doing it again and turn it into a continuing series of projects, so if you can't do it this time - jump in and cheer! Or choose a sketchbook that has very few pages, like a 12 or 10 page watercolor pad that's not very large. There's nothing about how many pages the sketchbook has in it, so you could work something else like that in.

John, swatches done before the start aren't really cheating. Not if you'd actually use a page in it for swatches anyway - especially since you're using both sides. Braver man than I am, I'm just going to use the front sides the way I did on the small one.

Margo, I'm very tempted. I think I bookmarked it, need to check my bookmarks and see what I have.

Did it. That's my theme - coffee and cigarettes. I'll have to see what that stirs up for me, though of course some of it will involve sketches of things like my tobacco humidor, rolling machine, ashtrays, coffee cups, late night ruminations, various things like that. I might also put some coffee paintings into it, that'd be cool.

09-30-2010, 05:23 PM
I made some wheat paste glue this morning so I can finish the covers on my sketchbook and put it together, I guess that will keep me busy so I don't jump the starting bell. Tomorrow is my life painting group so I think I'll do a sketch from our model as my beginning, that is if I don't wait until the stroke of midnight and get silly immediately.
Denyalle, do you have a notebook and pen? Robert does the most amazing things with ball point pen on any old paper. Then you could join in. Sounds like you would have some amazing things to sketch if you are traveling around in Chile. Just a thought so you don't feel left out. I've been challenging myself with a ballpoint pen and a sketchbook with questionable paper of late. It is freeing in a way to use crappy paper and a freebie pen.
At any rate have a blast traveling and studying.:thumbsup:

09-30-2010, 05:34 PM
Margo, that's fantastic! Yep, finishing the covers and constructing the sketchbook is preliminary. I love the idea of starting with a life sketch from your model, so one thing you could do is skip a page if you go for a midnight start and sketch something else at night. Then the first page would be your life sketch from the life painting group.

Denyalle, she's got a point - and if you use a small pocket one it'd fill up fast with quick gestures in ballpoint or HB pencil or whatever you have at hand. Pocket size ones fill very rapidly with gesture sketches. Timing them so they're no more than 3 or 5 minutes is a good way to fit sketching into a busy day.

09-30-2010, 05:35 PM
Hi Robert and All!!!

I'm stopping by to say hi and cheer you all on, though I won't be joining in this month myself. Life took a major "BUSY" turn a couple of months ago and I sort of dropped off the face of the earth for a while. It had mostly to do with my daughter's child care support getting flakey and unreliable, so I had to pitch in and do lots of extra duty for a while. I've missed being here, but feel I am close to getting back.

I have been looking at this and my other favorite forum once in a while and wistfully dreaming of the day I would get my life back. You all are continuing to do just amazing and inspiring work and I LOVE it!!!

I don't feel I can commit to the challenge for October, but I have very high hopes of getting back to regularly posting work from my other journals and if you do a second challenge in November, I will try to participate then.

Meanwhile, I CAN'T WAIT to see your fun journals unfold this month. I'm simply amazed by how many people are participating.

Happy sketching!


09-30-2010, 05:52 PM
Ok, cool idea! Count me in!!!

I'm glad I saw this before the beginning of the month. This will be good for me this month since I am going to be traveling for a couple weeks mid-month and can take the book with me.

So now to decide what sketchbook to use and what medium(s). . . hm. . . so many choices. :) I will pick out a sketchbook tonight from my stash. I hope I have a watermedia one available unused so that will open up more media possiblities!

Do we supposed to create each our own thread for the sketch in a month to show the journal? Or add here?

09-30-2010, 06:28 PM
Rainy, so glad you're joining in! Welcome to the challenge! Yep, everyone creates their own thread and then I'll post an October Sketchbook Challenge Index thread so that it's easy to find all of them. If we all added here, this thread would explode! This one's the chat thread for it.

Jean, sorry to hear that your life's taken such a busy turn. Looks like there's plenty of interest for a second challenge in November so I hope to see you then! Meanwhile, sketch when you can and post in your existing journals. Life just gets harried sometimes, I can understand how grandchildren take priority. Yesterday I was mopping up toddler vomit from the flu I just caught from him so I've been in the trenches a bit too - but nothing like what you're talking about.

09-30-2010, 06:49 PM
Hi Robert and everyone,

Robert may already have done this, and if so (and especially if he's posted it and I've missed it) my apologies for the repetition. I was curious to see roughly how many people have 'signed up' for the challenge by indicating their interest in this thread. So, I just went back through all 11 pages and did a head count -or is that a sketchbook count? Or even a 'who are all these crazy people? count...! :)

The number I came up with is...twenty seven! Wow! A few may fall by the wayside, a few may join at the last minute, so it's probably a couple plus or minus this number, but that sure is a good indication that Robert's idea certainly has a lot of appeal.

I think I may make my introductory post tonight, sans any actual sketches, for which I will be a good boy and wait until at least one minute after midnight to start. :lol:

Thanks again for the great idea, Robert!

09-30-2010, 07:34 PM
wow, twenty-seven? that's awesome! :D

I really look forward to see every one's progress and different methods, and just to have such a large support system when it comes to finishing this challenge will be wonderful!

....and midnight for me comes in 4 hours!! :clap:

WC Lee
09-30-2010, 07:45 PM
still haven't decided which sketchbook to use and it is getting closer and closer to midnight :lol: all of my blank sketchbooks have too many pages which I know I would not be able to finish in a month. Hmm does a sketch pad containing 24 sheets count?

09-30-2010, 08:11 PM
Whoo hoo!!! IT'S 1 OCTOBER here! Go Aus! :thumbsup: Theme for me will be... hm, just life I think. Whatever we're doing or seeing around our property, seen on walks, animals, wildlife, plantlife, kids etc.

09-30-2010, 08:51 PM
WC Lee: I picked one with 108 pages. I know I won't fill it, but it is brand new so I will try to get at least halfway through. Maybe if there is a November challenge I can do the other half :)

Vivien Maloney
09-30-2010, 08:56 PM
Robert - You know me, I cant resist a Sketchbook Challenge, and so I'm in as well. I've bought some new Sketchbooks lately so will use one of those. Probably an A5 size, so it doesn't take so long to fill!

09-30-2010, 09:03 PM
Alright, you guys talked me into it... I just bought a sketchbook and actually did find I set of Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens on Tuesday because I've been wanting to work in pens. I'm just scared of the not being able to erase part! I can't promise that I won't fall by the wayside. I have yet to ever finish a sketchbook, but I've wanted to for a long time. So here goes nothing :o I got another three hours :)

Oh, also - my book is already a few pages in since I wasn't planning on doing this, but I did them this week so they're at least close!

09-30-2010, 09:30 PM
Denyalle, that's fantastic! Staedtler Triplus pens are great, I've got a set of those too and they're a lot of fun. I got nervous about not being able to erase too, but it helped me to loosen up and relax about it - in a sketchbook it's okay if not all the drawings are perfect. Close enough if you're starting with a few pages done, you know when you're starting!

Vivien, great idea using an A5 sketchbook. I was tempted too, but I'm going to stick my neck out and use the larger one (with fewer pages).

Jen, go for it! Set your own goals. You might surprise yourself.

WC Lee - yeah, a 24 page journal counts. That's what I've been suggesting for the time crunched, there's no size or length requirement.

WYSIWYG! Congratulations! Start us off then! I've still got 3 1/2 hours to go.

09-30-2010, 10:42 PM
Count me as #28!! I've bookmarked this thread a week ago and have decided to finish an Aquabee Super Deluxe I've had for years but never finished. It's a 6x9 one- I love the paper. I've had it sitting here on my table for 3 days now, resisting the urge to pick it up and start early! I've got 24 sheets left in it, which I think is doable for me. I'm excited!

09-30-2010, 10:55 PM
I'm quite excited to actually join something here. Denyalle I'm so glad you decided to join in. My pen sketching is nothing compared to many others but I just decided to take the leap of doing straight pen sketching a month of so ago and I'm noticing improvements already. If a sketch doesn't go the way you want it to it's only a piece of paper right?
Maybe I'll finally figure out what size A3 and A5 are, that has always stumped me.
Robert I will do the first sketch at life drawing tomorrow, it's a different group than I went to last year though, and the models are frequently clothed. May even take a note from Kathryn Tyrrell's sketchbook and sketch the others in my group if my painting doesn't go so well. Though I have a fabulous brand new soltek easel going on her virgin expedition tomorrow so all of my paintings will be great! Or not!:rolleyes:

09-30-2010, 11:08 PM
Hi everyone,

I also did not know what the various A sizes of paper are, and decided to look them up. So, given the question was raised here, I thought I would post what they are for anyone interested.

Just as background info, the A sizes were developed as part of an ISO (International Standards Organization, I believe), which is a (theoretically at least) global set of standards that applies to business, etc. with the goal of trying to eliminate confusion between countries on various things. There is a mathematical background for the A sizes, they aren't simply random.

So, following is a table with the A number and the size, first in inches (in), then in centimeters (cm).

A2 - 16.5x23.4 in 42x59 cm

A3 - 11.7x16.5 in 30x42 cm

A4 - 8.3 x 11.7 in 21x30 cm

A5 - 5.8 x 8.3 in 15x21 cm

A6 - 4.1 x 5.8 in 10x15 cm

A7 - 2.9 x 4.1 in 7x10 cm

Hope this helps...!

09-30-2010, 11:35 PM
Thanks John, I also wanted to know the size comparison. Thanks for the research.

For my sketchbook I decided I wanted a smaller size of paper, 6x8, or A5 for the Aussies :wink2: And I wanted to use Strathmore 400, 80 lb. Those spiral sketchbooks are only 24 sheets so I bought one but am confident I will add another and attach them together in some clever way after the month is over. I used 8x11 last time and found it was a very good size for oil pastels. I hope to use more pencils this time: pastel, color and charcoal. I think they will be more attractive and manageable on a smaller scale.

Happy sketching everyone! 2 1/2 hours to go here! If I'm not snorin' by then...

10-01-2010, 12:04 AM
I've got about an hour to go now, very excited! I'll update the Index thread in the morning and whenever someone adds another thread.

Leslie, welcome to the challenge! Glad to have you! Wow... 28 people? This rocks. I had no idea it'd be that popular.

John, thank you for showing the A sizes and their conversions. I really like the A4 size, it fits neatly on my scanner unlike a 9" x 12" one.

10-01-2010, 02:01 AM
Well I have yet to start page one and it's 4pm, BUT tonight will be a different story!!!!!

10-01-2010, 11:30 AM
Thank you John for doing the research. One of those things I have meant to do and never have.

Just another 1 1/2 hours till my life painting group, hope I do a good prelim drawing this time! EEK, it would be so sad if the first thing I posted was not so good.:crossfingers:


Joan T
10-01-2010, 12:53 PM
I was trying to resist doing this since I have so many things going at once, but what the heck!!! I did buy 2 new sketchbooks yesterday at the new Dick Blick Store that opened here on Long Island. I stopped in to check it out and couldn't resist purchasing something. I was there for a special 100th anniversary celebration day, so I got to spin a wheel and win a prize (a marker) and got a free t-shirt. In addition I knew that someone I know from WetCanvas is working there part time, so I got to visit with him, see the wc he was doing for a demo, and chat a bit. Now I have to 1) get off the internet, 2) decide on a theme for this sketchbook and 3) get started.

10-01-2010, 01:40 PM
Yay, Joan! Look forward to seeing your sketchbook. Congrats on winning the marker and t-shirt!

10-01-2010, 02:04 PM
... I got to spin a wheel and win a prize (a marker) and got a free t-shirt.

Congrats on your winnings!

Just as background info, the A sizes were developed as part of an ISO (International Standards Organization, I believe), which is a (theoretically at least) global set of standards that applies to business, etc. with the goal of trying to eliminate confusion between countries on various things. There is a mathematical background for the A sizes, they aren't simply random.

I love this kind of detailed info :) Here's a diagram of the different A sizes that shows how one size is part of/half of the previous size etc. :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A_size_illustration2_with_letter_and_legal.svg

And here's a wikipedia page that explains it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_sizes


10-01-2010, 06:54 PM
ok, I started last night in my sketchbook...and I have just added my thread! ....so excited about this, I just can't explain! :clap: :clap: :clap:

10-01-2010, 08:20 PM
EVERYONE is on there way, FANTASTIC!!!!!!

Gentle Hugs

Carole A
10-01-2010, 10:12 PM
Robert! You certainly livened up this forum. There now so many people that I haven't seen previously on WC. I am anxious to get started on my new one, but now I'm torn between the Daler-Rowney that would end up being a 2 or 3 month journal, or a the new watercolor Moleskin that I bought yesterday.

Also need to find a new lesson for my Back to Basics book.

Carole A

10-02-2010, 12:48 AM
Carole, have you looked at the article library here on WetCanvas - heaps of tutorials and lessons!!!!!

Also, hope you decide soon which journal to use, would LOVE to watch it develop and come alive!!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey

Carole A
10-02-2010, 02:07 PM
Thanks Stacey. As I mentioned in another thread I have company this weekend through Sunday evening, so just making time now to sneak in here and see what wonders you all are creating. I should have references from birthday parties for my October challenge, not to mention pumpkin patch, haybale maze we're visiting today and later Halloween and husband's birthday.

I have a few lessons printed off for practice in my Back to Basics book.

Oh, oh, grandson's back from his trip to the park, so gotta go.

Carole A

10-02-2010, 03:16 PM
Carole, looking forward to seeing your thread! It's been crazy. I think we'll go to two pages with all of them just like the WDE does. I did two pages today, maybe I'll get in a third and make up for yesterday being just a one page day.

10-04-2010, 07:49 PM
It is wonderful seeing so many of you busy with your new sketchbooks. You are all doing great stuff. I am hoping (fingers crossed) that my hand will be strong enough to participate properly next time you run this. Robert you certainly have a way of getting people inspired and into action, its fantastic.

Good luck all for the rest of the month, i"ll keep dropping in and checking out the wonderful array of work.

10-17-2010, 01:17 AM
Can we revive the chat here on this thread? I'll start be saying it has been great to see all the sketches- so many styles and so many ideas for me to gather. Thanks everyone. I pledge to learn how to upload to the Mothership so I can do more than yak here.

10-17-2010, 09:00 PM
:confused: Sorry about my silly question, but.... Could anyone join the challenge any month, any time in the month or it was just for October? :confused:

10-17-2010, 09:02 PM
Anyone can join the challenge anytime during the month. We'll be doing a new one for November, hopefully my sketchbook will be full by then so I can start in on a fresh one. Way too many people are enjoying it to just let it vanish after October. But it'll be a new one next month.

If you want to dare to jump in with only half the month ahead, feel free to start the October one late - or count yours till the comparable date in November, maybe, that'd be fair. Whatever you decide.

10-19-2010, 07:50 AM
Good Morning,

I decided to start a sketch book on September 11th to help me get back into watercolor paintings. I am so rusty. I had a heart bypass in 4/09 and just could not get motivated to paint again. Anyway, I decided to start the sketchbook and it has been the best thing for me. I have several pictures I will paint. If you want to see some of them, check my blog and please post your c & c's. I will start a thread later here and put my sketches up too. A couple of years ago, I did a watercolor calendar for Christmas for family and friends. This year, I'm going to do a calendar of my sketches since I haven't painted enough to do a watercolor painting calendar. You ought to try this. My friends and family loved them. Great thread - See you later.