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Old 08-28-2010, 06:16 PM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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San Francisco, CA
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Too Good To Use... Hardbound 2004-05

Here's the one I should have filled and used carelessly without worrying about whether everything in it was perfect. A friend of mine gave it to me in 2004 for my birthday. I was thrilled, it felt so luxurious to have one that was hardbound with an elastic band closure. It was too good to use for anything but the best finished, polished, perfect showoff drawings.

Five years later... nothing in it is perfect or anywhere near as good as I'd do with it now. Some are pretty good. Most were done with a lot of time and attention.

I only used nine pages in this sketchbook and I have layout lines marked on the next six for various sizes smaller than the full page. I got tired of not using margins and decided to mark up margins before drawing. Then never went back to it or did anything with the dragonfly sketch.

I've since learned my lesson and put gesture sketches in Moleskines that cost four times as much as this one. I would've learned faster if I'd just kept using it and used it up, filled it and moved on to fill more of them till I had a nice shelf of full sketchbooks. That's what the hardbound ones are good for - they shelve nicely and can be stored with hardback books in a good looking bookcase when they're full without looking ratty.

So here's my blast from the past. Compare it with my current ones and laugh, because some of them have basic errors in layout or structure that were nonetheless finished, polished and detailed perfectly for days. Would've been great if I'd also known how to sketch then!

Pages are in order, oldest first.

Elf from Imagination - graphite, 2004.
I redid this chap about four times, darkening his darks and adding textures, adding background that he didn't have at first. He doesn't look as real as he would if I'd used a reference, but he's definitely a fantasy drawing. Could be worse. Could do much better now if I did him again from scratch.

Water Lily Scene - colored pencil, 2005.
I thought this was the height of colored pencils realism at the time I did it. I thought I'd blended and layered my colors so subtly. Little did I know that a pastels class in 2009 would completely change how I look at color and make this look so crude... there is a lot I'd change here. Though not the layout, the layout actually worked on this one. I might try using toothier paper too if I were going for a layered and burnished look.

Orange Flowers - colored pencil, 2005.
This one's all right, nice and saturated, I got a more burnished texture on the flowers themselves and didn't bother with a background. For what it is, I still like it a lot.

I'll put these in three posts, since there are a lot of them.

Robert A. Sloan, proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Site owner, artist and writer of
blogs: Rob's Art Lessons and Rob's Daily Painting
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