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Old 09-12-2010, 10:59 AM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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!
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:05 PM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:53 PM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

Now that sounds like a challenge if ever I heard one. I'm in. Any excuse to buy a new sketchbook.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:16 PM
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Carole A Carole A is offline
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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
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:17 AM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2
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!
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:31 AM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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?
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:39 AM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:00 AM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

Ever thought about becoming a sketchbook salesman Robert?!

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! ). 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
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:55 AM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:52 AM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2
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. I am sorely tempted! Love ya, Robert!

Jan
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:34 AM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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.
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:48 PM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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! I could use a challenge like this to motivate me to sketch more regularly though.

David
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:06 PM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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.

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?
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:15 PM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:03 PM
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Re: Challenge - Sketchbook in a Month!

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?
:-)
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