See more at: BLACKBOOK | Nuria Mora
See more at: BLACKBOOK | Nuria Mora
I came across some wonderful sketchbook images, plus an interview with Anne Davies, the artist who created them, at the website of Sue Bulmer, a UK artist.
How do you feel about the prospect of starting a new sketchbook?
I love it, maybe that’s why I have so many on the go at once! I’m not one of those people who has fear of a blank sheet of paper, I love a fresh start.
When/where do you get your inspiration for your sketchbook pages and how would you describe your creative process?
My main inspiration comes from the landscape. I’m also fascinated by colour. Working in a sketchbook is very liberating because no-one else is necessarily going to see it so for me it is a place where I can work very freely and experiment with colour and shape. A lot of my work is about memories of landscape rather than about re-creating a particular view and so the landscapes in my sketchbooks are often created out of my imagination. In some ways my painting sketchbooks are a place to ‘limber up’ before I start on my other work. I don’t recreate work from my sketchbook into a finished painting but some of the colour or composition ideas will find their way in along the way. When I’m drawing I will sometimes draw from life. Even then the drawing is filtered through my own way of seeing and won’t be a technically accurate depiction of the scene in front of me. I’m more interested in the way a place feels and the memory it evokes than trying to produce a photographic representation of it. I see the landscape in terms of line, shape and colour and the stories behind the buildings held in it.
Read more at: sue bulmer – artist: Sketchbook Peeks – Anne Davies
Some gorgeous sketchbook pages from artist Jazz Green:
See more at her website: sketchbooks | J A Z Z G R E E N
This photo of artist Gary Panter caught my eye– I wish I could get a better look at that little sketchbook!
Panter creates art in various media, but the New York Times article this photo accompanies focuses on his new graphic novel, Songy of Paradise. The article notes that he does not use digital tools to create his comics:
“I’ve been using old-fashioned tools,” Mr. Panter said. “There are new pen nibs being made now that are like the old tools.” Then there’s the three-ply Strathmore buff Bristol paper and Pelikan Tusche ink, but no Wite-Out — “I have to live with my mistakes.”
Which brings him to his career-long aesthetic. “I’m more interested in the crude,” Mr. Panter said. “It’s why I don’t ink in brush on slick paper. I want to slow the reader down, slow myself down.
“I have 50 years of investment in analog tools and the dirt world.”
Nothing further about what kind of notebooks he uses, though! Bummer!
“Set in the same 1960s Chicago where Ferris spent her youth, the book’s main character is Karen Reyes, a 10-year-old obsessed with movie monsters…. The central gimmick of the comic is that Karen is the cartoonist behind its creation. Accordingly, the tome mirrors the spiral notebook that provides the canvas to so many children’s first forays into sequential narrative. The spine looks like a stack of notebooks, full of blue-lined, white paper. The back cover is the deep mustard yellow of a cheap notebook’s back cover, and a two-dimensional rendering of a spiral coil threading through holes sits close to the spine. This innovation in packaging enhances the feeling of peering into a gifted youngster’s work.”
I was really excited when I heard that Stillman & Birn were expanding their product line to include softcover sketchbooks, especially when I saw that a pocket sized version was available. There are so many options out there for hardcover sketchbooks, and so many pocket notebooks, but these really fill a niche in terms of offering durability, flexibility, portability, and a wide array of quality paper options. I’m ashamed to say I received samples for review almost a year ago and am only getting caught up now, but better late than never!
I’ve reviewed Stillman and Birn’s hardcovers in the past, see here and here. The softcovers are available in the same paper types– 6 varieties, covering different paper weights, textures, and colors, but different sizes.
I tested the 3.5 x 5.5″ pocket size portrait versions, of course! They are slightly smaller than a pocket Moleskine. The covers are a smooth material, not at all leather-like but with a leathery-looking pebbly tone, which you can see but not feel. The covers are neutral shades of grey, dark green, dark red and blue, corresponding to the paper type within– greenish for the Delta, with 270 GSM ivory cold press paper; red for Alpha, with 150 GSM bright white medium grain paper. There is nothing imprinted on or inside the sketchbooks except for the Stillman and Birn logo embossed on the back cover.
The signatures are stitched, and there is a fair amount of glue at the spine, holding the signatures to the cover. The pages open very flat despite the spines feeling a little stiff at first, especially with the thicker papers. After being opened all the way, the covers will stay open for a while but will eventually close most of the way. There is no elastic to hold the sketchbooks closed. No inside pocket or ribbon marker either.
The papers are up to the same high standard as S&B’s other products, performing well with all sorts of pens, pencils and watercolors. Only the bleediest markers show through much on the 150 GSM paper, and the 270 GSM paper is pretty impervious. Even the papers meant for only dry media held up fine with watercolors. From the outside, these sketchbooks don’t look like fancy sketchbooks designed to be kept forever, but with acid-free, archival quality paper, what you create on the inside should stand the test of time.
What’s not to love? This is where I thought I’d be saying “well, they are a bit pricey…” but they’re not! The pocket size sketchbooks have a list price of $10.99 and are currently discounted to under $9.00 for some models at Amazon. With so many options in bindings, paper types, sizes and portrait/landscape formats, Stillman & Birn really offers something for everyone!
And I am offering you all the chance to win a free sample! Four winners will be randomly selected from those who enter in any of the following ways:
On your blog, post something containing the words “Stillman & Birn” and “NotebookStories” and link back to this post.
And for those who don’t have these other options available to them, you can also enter by leaving a comment on this post.
Since we can have 4 winners, I will pick at least one winner from each entry method above, and each winner will receive at least 2 sketchbooks.
The deadline for entry is Friday June 23 at 11:59PM, EST. Good luck everyone!
I’d love to see this in person– this art installation is a glowing flat circle that turns out to be made of thousands of recycled notebooks!
“Commissioned by Azkuna Zentroa, Luzinterruptus crafted Denboran Zehar for the 10th anniversary of Gutun Zuria (Bilbao Internacional Literature Festival) in April 2017. In light of the anniversary, the designers wanted to pay homage to the themes of creation and time.”
Great drawings from Bologna-based illustrator Davide Bonazzi:
“I confess I’m not the kind of artist who absolutely needs a sketchbook when he travels. Mostly I just enjoy traveling light, keeping my eyes wide open and taking pics. I used to keep sketchbooks when I was a student, and later I enjoyed doing sketches on my iPad, but for some reason I didn’t become an addicted to sketching.
Recently my girlfriend, who’s an illustrator as well, encouraged me to keep a sketchbook. I forgot how exciting this was! I made many sketches during my recent trip to the US; you can see some of these below.
I just used Tombow watercolor markers and I rediscovered the pleasure of drawing on paper, simply using a strong black outline to represent the things I was seeing. No eraser or CTRL+Z to undo what you’ve drawn here! As an illustrator I mainly use digital tools, and my style consists of “flat,” colored shapes, so it’s been nice to do something very far from my usual way of working.”
Read more at: AI-AP | DART » Davide Bonazzi’s Sketchbooks
Tina Koyama has some great posts about how some new types of Field Notes inspired some new sketching styles. After not loving Field Notes initially, she’s been using the Sweet Tooth edition and the Byline reporter’s notebook and having a lot of fun! I especially love the black and white ink on the red pages.
“Of course, the release of Field Notes’ Sweet Tooth edition is what really changed my attitude. Something about that brightly colored paper liberated me to try a different kind of sketching than I normally do in my “regular” sketchbook. Different media, different subject matter and mainly a different approach – quicker, more casual, more ephemeral.
And now it has happened again. Field Notes just released its limited Byline edition, which is homage to the classic reporter’s notebook. Long, narrow and topped with a spiral binding on its short side, it’s meant to be held easily with one hand while the other pens quotes from sources during press interviews. Although I appreciate the historical reference, I had initially dismissed the edition as anything I would use. The longer shape certainly doesn’t fit in the pocket of my bag where other pocket notebooks fit so nicely, and I couldn’t imagine the paper would be sketching-media friendly. (As it turns out, the paper is actually friendly to almost everything I’ve put on it so far.)”
I’m amazed at some of the spreads you see online of people’s bullet journals– some of these are works of art that go way beyond just detailed organization and tracking!