Let's Talk About Sketchbooks Volume 6

It's been quite a while, but I'm finally back with another post in my sketchbook series! Today I'm sharing my most recently completed sketchbook, which I started in at the end of 2015/the beginning of 2016. 

At the time, I was feeling like spreading out on a big surface, so I got this big Moleskine sketchbook. and started working in it (even though I was already working in a few other sketchbooks/journals at the time). I decorated the cover with lots of stickers, including some from BabevibesFeminist Sticker ClubBuried DiamondTuesday Bassen, and a pizza of my own design.

On one of the first pages I made a list of things I wanted to do in 2016. I've accomplished quite a few of them by now. I also ripped out the first page.  In this case, I ripped out my original strawberry painting to frame, but I tend to rip out the first pages of my sketchbooks often. Usually, I'll start a book but I won't stick with it, or I'll decide to use it for something else, so I'll rip out the used pages when I first start a book. I think of it as getting comfy with a sketchbook until I find the right time or the right use for it.

I think that this is the most "traditional" sketchbook I've ever kept. I used it to work out ideas and practice and didn't make very many "finished" pieces in this book. Some ideas worked (like the clouds), and some didn't (those weird lumpy shapes). 

Practicing painting portraits of European queens.

I can't keep a sketchbook without using up a full page for writing, but at least this time I wrote with a paintbrush.

Sketchbook randomness, which is what I think sketchbooks are for. More portraits, lettering, gratitude lists, and songs stuck in my head.

sketchbook floral

Flowers and color palettes

Notes and mock-ups of other projects.

I love both of these pages and have used them digitally as backgrounds for other work. The galaxy is watercolor with pen on top and the colorful page was made while playing with oil pastels.

More gratitude lists with little illustrations. Also, the first iteration of my collaged gems. I tested out the random idea with some scrap paper on this page and developed it later.

Like on this page, where I created a composition of several gems cut from watercolored paper.

Still life practice at the Hillyer Art Space in DC.

Pattern practice. And more chaos, always.

Pulling color palettes from Disney's Alice in Wonderland picture books.

Possibly the most sketchy part of this sketchbook.  Working on ideas for the logo for my Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcast, Hot Chicks with Superpowers. The middle drawing on the left page became part of our logo, but I can't wait until I get to draw that axe again.

When I want to practice but I don't know what to draw, I tend to look around the room and draw what I see.  These pages were drawn in my friend Ashely's apartment.

Towards the end of this sketchbook I got new sets of watercolor and gouache, so I spent a lot of time playing around with and getting used to the new paints.

I catalogued all of the watercolors in my new set, which looks pretty and comes in handy when trying to find the right color.


Practicing layering with gouache. I was never really one for abstract painting, but I started to fall in love starting with this sketchbook spread.

Working out handlettering, which I digitally combined with the previous galaxy page to make this piece.

Using up excess paint and loving abstract painting even more.

sketchbook test page

I always use the back page of a sketchbook to test different writing implements/paints to see how they work on the paper or if they bleed through. And doodle song lyrics.

I finished this sketchbook in May, and since then I have mostly been working on loose paper, or working in a sketchbook but ripping pages out to scan. I'm starting to feel the sketchbook itch again, so I'll probably start another one soon.