I spent a day at a coptic stitch bookbinding course at Ardington School of Craft last week. Produced two quite acceptable sketch books as a result. I don’t like these open backed books all that much, aesthetically, but they do work very well as sketchbooks as they open out completely flat. I may get to love them.
These are all the sketchbooks I have made since last summer. I had no idea it was so many. None are full but all have something in them. They are very satisfying to make. You can have just the size you want to cut a pocket, and just the paper you want. Even several different papers in the same book. I shall make more.
Not a great deal of art recently, due to travel and general indolence. I managed to leave it too late to register for my usual Tuesday afternoon life class in Cirencester. I had delayed because I was getting fed up with their very limited choice of models. The same one kept coming again and again. Now I will have to use the Stroud Life drawing groups evening sessions . They seem to have no problems with getting almost unlimited models . The woman who modeled last Tuesday had come from Cardiff .
The two sketchbook poses are the first and last ones. The other two were done on better quality pastel paper . I am disappointed with the paper in the sketch book , which is to shiny to take more than one layer of chalk. The chalk “pencils” I have tried are also a bit disappointing , especially the white, which seems to have gritty inclusions. I need to invest in some new pastels and paper .
I love sketching with ballpoint pens. To be precise, it has to be a Bic Biro, nothing else works as well in my experience. They aren’t perfect. They can blob and clog up, and the lines and densely shaded areas can have a rather nasty shine. But nothing matches the way it feels when you draw rapidly on good paper. The drag of the point is just about perfect. Textures can be built up through rapid scribbles and crosshatchings. I rediscovered it on my tall ship sailing week in the Canaries last week, where I used it for sketching on the boat, in cafes and on the beach. All I needed were a book and a biro.
Back ashore at a life class this week, I used a bigger sketchbook, but the same biro to do some textured studies .
I do like biro.
Yesterday’s drawings were done in the life class. Today I spent a chilly few minutes sketching mute swans and black headed gulls on the water the Abbey gardens in Cirencester. Not great drawings, but this to be working from live birds rather than photographs.
I’ve made several sketchbooks now, and I wanted to cut some sort of maker’s plate into them. As I’ve been very busy printing, cutting a lino block seemed the best idea. As I often do I liked back over years of life drawings to find inspiration and found this one, which is an old favourite.
Then I cut a block, which I think works quite well.
Printing straight into the book is a bit but and miss, but that rather adds to it.