View Full Version : Xina's fill a sketchbook in October challenge

10-03-2010, 03:54 PM
Yeah! I finally got off the ground with this. My thinking at present in order to do this is to use any spare half hour moments I have so that whatever I do is going to be pretty simple. But I do want it to be useful in terms of learning and progressing, after all thats what the challenge is for so for each sketch I do I'm going to try and have some specific aim so today I started with a pencil sketch to ease myself in and the aim was to study the tonal values. The colour sketch was simply an exercise in using the watercolour pencils.


The scan has reproduced badly but you can get the drift. I won't be posting daily, I'll just post every week with a small selection of sketches done.

10-03-2010, 04:18 PM
Nice to see you hop in, Xina! :wave: Nice job on the first sketches - looking forward to some more.

10-03-2010, 04:33 PM
Xina, these are beautiful! Great start! Looking forward to more - your drawings are so sensitive, tonal and lovely. Posting your thread to the Index now.

10-03-2010, 04:42 PM
Those are some beautiful sketches to start off with, can't wait to see more!

10-03-2010, 07:49 PM
Yay Xina! Both sketches are great - I like both equally. You've got great texture on the tonal one and the coloured version is so vibrant with the colours complimenting each other so well. Hope you have a great month and enjoy your creative time :)

10-03-2010, 07:53 PM
both the same and yet different, and both very well done and eye catching.

I want to try it too!

10-03-2010, 08:30 PM
Great job. I think I've had a fruit bowl like that in the past :)

10-03-2010, 08:47 PM
Great start. Fruit is always a good thing for trying different techniques.

10-03-2010, 09:58 PM
Hi Xina . . . I like that you've first done a value study and then a color version. Very cool. Neat bowl.

10-03-2010, 10:50 PM
very beautiful and delicate :)

10-04-2010, 09:49 AM
Very nice!! I like the two in different media- lovely!

10-04-2010, 11:29 AM
nicely done! you pay close attention to detail

10-04-2010, 02:43 PM
nice start - there are lots of lovely seedheads and colourful leaves at this time of year too.

Vivien Maloney
10-04-2010, 09:07 PM
This looks good Xina. I like your still-life set up and great job on both sketches!

WC Lee
10-05-2010, 05:46 AM
wonderful sketch, the eclipse of the bowl rim and the bananas in the pencil sketch looks perfect

10-05-2010, 09:33 AM
Very nice - you have a sensitive eye and light touch that works exceptionally well together! Especially considering a relative short time in doing them!

Joan T
10-05-2010, 12:33 PM
Love the tonal sketch as well as the colored one!! Nice work!

10-09-2010, 04:35 AM
Hi Xina

The Tonal and Coloured Sketches of the still life are just GORGEOUS!!!!!!

Gentle Hugs, Stacey:grouphug:

10-10-2010, 09:33 AM
Thank you everybody for your very lovely comments. :)
But... I've been having a hard time with my sketchbook. Its nearly half way through October and I only did 2 pages!! :o I've been PARALYSED and had some serious thinking to do round this.

My second page of book


Its ok but I didn't enjoy it so much and I had no idea what I was doing couldn't really find the purpose apart from 'have to get something in my sketchbook' (which of course is better than getting nothing in it!) so I've been searching for another way.

Here it is,I've started a NEW sketchbook and I'm going to do 'journal spilling'. This is the title of a lovely book by Diana Trout that I bought this week, its simple, its encouraging, its doable and I'm giving it a go. Its the art journaling thing, which I'm going to use for now to explore my own relationship with art and creating. Some of these pages will be very personal so I won't post them but some might end up being interesting enough to show - who knows - this is all new territory for me.

Here are a couple of my pages so far (and I've done more already). As the page says 'judging' (good/bad?) is not on the agenda here, just 'doing' (spilling it out) and I enjoyed it SOOO much.



There are 48 pages in this sketchbook so its very unlikely I will fill this by the end of October, (plus I'll be doing facing pages too) but I'm going to be happy doing my art in this book. I have a lot to learn, but it will be really, really FUN.

I'll be coming back to the site tonight to look at all YOUR sketchbooks. :)

10-10-2010, 06:11 PM
The fruit and sleeping kitty are splendid.

However, it looks like you are very inspired with this new methodology. Keep going. You might surprise yourself and finish this in a month.

10-10-2010, 06:17 PM
Excellent work on the pomegrantit and kitty study! Very nice -

10-10-2010, 06:34 PM
:clap: Xina I love your pomegranite sketch - lovely light touch , it's descriptive and interesting. The kitty is spot on for a quick sketch. It sounds like you put an awful lot of pressure on yourself?! :(

I hope you enjoy the new approach to your art (your new pages are really creative!) - I doubt I will even get close to filling my sketchbook in this challenge (mine has 150 pages but only A5 size). My personal challenge to myself was to try my best to keep focussed on one subject and be pleasantly surprised by how far I do get by the end of the month! I sketch when I can, but days go by and I don't even pick up a pencil - and I am only a "part-time" worker at my "real" job :evil:

10-10-2010, 07:11 PM
Your journal spilling looks like an excellent idea to explore... it's certainly turned out very cool so far! The pomegrantes are awesome as well. I'm having a bit of the same issue... two pages minimum a day, every day is hard - especially with dogs, small kids, farms and weekends being booked to the gills atm. I'm trying to keep in spirit with the challenge, which is that it takes lots of practice (enough to fill books, instead of just admiring them!) to get better. So the spirit is doing something as often as possible to enhance and I think I'm meeting that, even if I don't meet my page churn out quota per day! :)

Joan T
10-10-2010, 10:09 PM
I love the pomegranate and the cat, as well as the colorful pages in your new journal. I hope we get to see a lot of the pages. This looks like it could be fun. It reminds me of the journal pages by Teesha Moore. She has a website if you want to check her out.

10-11-2010, 02:10 AM
love the pomegranate and kitty :)

and the journal spilling is wonderful and looks fun and freeing!

10-11-2010, 03:18 AM
Hi Xina,

I have to say that the new turn that you have taken is fantastic..... not just because it has inspired you to create, but because it has got you to think outside the box and what would be "expected" in a sketchbook.

REMEMBER this forum is for ALL JOURNALS, so JOURNAL SPILLING definetly goes into that category!!!!!!!.

I brought the book about 2 months ago and have yet to read it, so good on you for jumping in straight away!!!!!!

Oh yeah, the pomergrant and cat are gorgeous too!!!!!

Gentle HUgs, Stacey

10-11-2010, 03:26 PM
Love the colours and the spilling :) :) :)

10-12-2010, 02:55 PM
wonderful pomegranate and I like your collage as well!

10-12-2010, 10:06 PM
love your journal, very creative and you have a great eye for detail

10-17-2010, 08:15 AM
Hi everyone, Well we're over the halfway mark in October already and I am nearly HALF WAY THROUGH MY SKETCHBOOK/JOURNAL!!! My change of direction is suiting me I can't wait to get to my book. In the evening when at last I have time I sit on my bed, surrounded by my materials, I have my kit set up, boxes of all the gear - crayons/paints/glue/ various pens etc etc. lay some newspaper down and just do whatever comes up, I have ideas in the day and work some of those in, I try out different materials and ways of doing things, I try my best not to judge - still difficult for me but I'm getting much better - and the best thing is I don't need to set anything up to work from, I'm learning to just simply create as I am. I know I'm not making wonderful creations, but I also know I am learning HEAPS, and what I do in this book (and many others to come) will feed me towards my goal of making honest and true paintings that say my own thing in my own way. THAT has been something so elusive, THAT has been something I was deciding was unattainable, but it is now becoming a goal that I can see as possible. I just need to spend time with my journal, exploring my own dreams and it can happen.

Here are some sample pages showing the very different things I've been exploring. Wielding my watercolour brush in new ways, discovering how amazing oil pastels can be, enjoying my acrylics again, and how great is glue and gesso and gel medium and all that lovely stuff to use and make 'art' happen.


the next one is an old ripped up failed Oil Pastel I did, but the memory of the day I was out sketching in that place is still strong and so I keep it here now in a new format.


This page just wraps me up and makes me feel good, peaceful and happy. My journal is my safe place. I love the colours that I took from the cushions. I'm learning...

I will spend time tonight looking at some more of YOUR journals.


10-17-2010, 08:20 AM
great pages :) and that's exactly what sketchbooks should be - working through ideas, practising skills, thinking things over ....

10-17-2010, 11:52 AM
Very creative, Xina, and very nice! I suspect that everyone who has jumped into this challenge has experienced at least some of the same things you have. I know it has really helped me, in several aspects. Glad to hear you're sticking with it and enjoying it so much.

10-17-2010, 12:26 PM
These recent pages are so colourful and cheerful :)

10-17-2010, 06:52 PM
Good for you finding your own way. Journals are private and can teach you a lot about yourself.

10-18-2010, 03:55 AM
Xina I really like the way you have developed the journal spilling idea, your pages are beautiful and full of colour and life.

10-20-2010, 09:03 PM
Yay! :) So good to hear you are thoroughly enjoying yourself ;)

I really like how your new approach is taking you on a different path - these pages are so colourful and creative, congratulations Xina!

10-20-2010, 09:53 PM
Xina, wow! Love the pomegranate study, that's finite perfection - aside from being one of my favorite fruits of all time rendered so mouth-watering, it's magnificently rendered. Then you burst out into color with these collage and text and multimedia pages. Loose, free, gorgeous and well composed, well balanced, colors harmonious, cheerful texts ... they form a powerful and creative theme tumbling over and over each other in lovely complexity. That oil pastels spread of the landscape and its painting, that's wonderful.

10-20-2010, 09:58 PM
Your sketchbook looks great, the pastels and colors mix really well...

10-22-2010, 12:01 PM
I like the term "journal spilling", and love your colorful journal pages.

Vivien Maloney
10-27-2010, 11:07 PM
I like your idea of "Journal Spilling" and the way you are working your ideas out in your journal. I'll be back to follow you on your journey.

10-28-2010, 12:46 AM
Your journal is beautiful. . . each page looks so special and PERSONAL. I love what you say about it being your special, safe place. How cool. And I also think it is great the way you added in pieces of an old OP painting that was special meaning to you with good memories. Your book really makes me think more of how to use my future journals. Thank you!