My Experiences Holiday Sketching.

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A holiday is the perfect opportunity for sketching. Pretty scenery, plenty of time on your hands, (despite small people) and good intentions.

I have never been that great at sketching while on holiday. I’m conscious of people I am traveling with and wasting their time, plus there is the issue of confidence. However on a recent trip I decided to really try and dedicate some time to sketching elements of my holiday.

Tools.

For this trip I have been using a Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook. I really like the hard back cover of this notebook and the size works really well too.

In addition to coloured pencils and my watercolour palette I brought along my aquwash brush pens, a few Faber-Castell PITT Artist pens and some graphite pencils. These are all thrown in my Superior Labor pen roll.

Alongside these main tools I have a brass bullet sharpener, a Faber-Castell eraser and a penco big clip.

Sketching in action.

For the first time, I have carved out moments during my holiday to pull out my sketchbook and draw. I have been putting the base down in pencil and then inking and painting later on. The idea was the capture as much as I could with pencil and give myself a base to then spend time on later in the day adding the colour.

I’ve used my watercolours a lot during this trip. The Pentel Aquwash brushpens have really made it easy to paint and not worry too much about my tools although my painting still leaves a lot to be desired.

 Watercolours and ink.  

Watercolours and ink.  

I have struggled with using my coloured pencils with the Moleskine paper. The texture of the paper means you don’t get complete coverage on the page which has been a little frustrating and has meant I haven’t used them too much. I think coloured pencils could be my thing so I will try a different sketchbook and really test out this medium.

 Coloured pencils on the left, the rest are watercolours  

Coloured pencils on the left, the rest are watercolours  

I’ve managed to sketch something everyday which I’m really pleased about. It’s made me look at a place I visit each year in more detail than I think I have before.

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Sketching exactly when I wanted to wasn’t always possible therefore I took photos to work from when I had time. It was less about capturing exactly what I saw, more about finding a way to reflect and remember things from our holiday.

 Inking before adding any watercolour.  

Inking before adding any watercolour.  

Final thoughts.

I’ve really enjoyed sketching on this trip. I honestly didn’t think I would do as much as I have, I’ve almost completed half a sketch book. I have found it a little tiring at times with evenings spent inking and painting but overall it’s been great fun. I have caught the sketching bug and plan to sketch regularly and not just be lured in by the exotic holiday scenery, but sketch the local, everyday things I see and pass.

 Oh and here’s me sketching the view.  

Oh and here’s me sketching the view.  

Compartmentalising with Notebooks

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I have always been someone who has a lot of notebooks on the go at once, boarding on the ridiculous, but somehow it works for me. I find that using multiple notebooks helps me to compartmentalise my thoughts and tasks, keep track of my ideas and link themes together.

I have tried to use one notebook for everything but I found it very muddled, hard to locate notes and felt I moved through a notebook too quickly and therefore lost all the information I needed. So I’ve come to settle on my way of working with lots of different notebooks.

Below is the list of notebooks I use the majority of the time.

Journal.

This started off as a morning pages journal and I do still write most mornings, but I felt like this restricted my use of this journal. I really like emptying my head in the evening and getting everything out on the page. I definitely think this helps me unwind and ultimately sleep better. This journal has evolved over time and I tend to write whenever I need to.

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I like to write using one of my fountain pens therefore paper quality is important. At the moment I am using the Nomad Notebooks Travelers Notebook, with the ruled refill acting as my journal, but other notebooks I’ve used are Baron Fig Confidants and Leuchtturm1917 notebooks.

Jibun Techo.

The Jibun Techo is my functional notebook/planner. I keep track of how I spend my days, planning out my month and keeping track of my habits. I really like this notebook and the functional role it plays in my life. I wrote a full blown review on this planner recently which you can find here.

Blog bullet journal.

Having my ideas in a bullet journal just for my blog is one of the best ways I have found to use the bullet journal system. This is a side project, it takes time, organisation and planning to get these posts online.

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My bullet journal is very simplistic. I use a Baron Fig Train of Thought notebook and plan by month creating a calendar to show how much time I am spending on the blog and when I plan on getting posts live.

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I have ideas sections, sample lists and future plans all thrown into the blog bullet journal.

I also brain dump any post ideas. I don’t always work like this but sometimes spending the time to jot down notes on a post really helps.

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Work bullet journal.

This is a very stripped down version of a bullet journal and really is a notebook of daily to do lists, future planning and weekly tasks all captured in one notebook. I don’t take notes related to my work in this notebook, it only houses my tasks. Having these things in separate notebooks really helps. General notes are thrown in a Field Notes notebook.

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Field Notes - to do list.

I have been using my Field Notes Resolution edition as a daily task list. One day per page with everything thrown in. It works really well and keeps me organised with anything and everything that I need to do.

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Field Notes note book.

I have another Field Notes on the go which I throw my random notes in. At the moment this is the crazy beautiful Coastal edition. I don’t burn through these very quickly anymore but I have to have one with me, without it I would be lost.

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Travelers Notebook.

My Travelers Notebook acts as my memory keeping space. I use my weekly + memo refill to note down interesting things from my day, decorate and play around with. I love these refills and really can’t see anything replacing it.

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I also have a mishmash Travelers Notebook size ruled refill in my TN which I use more creatively and throw in pages when I am feeling crafty.

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Sketchbook.

The latest notebook that I use is a sketchbook. My previous post showed my first completed sketchbook but I am now using the Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook. I really love the size of the Moleskine sketchbooks and the hard back covers give it some strength.

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Overall thoughts.

I have learnt over time that I use my notebooks to compartmentalise my life. Each notebook has a purpose and a reason for being used. I couldn’t strip this back and reduce down the number of notebooks I use without sacrificing something. I don’t use each notebook everyday but they all hold a purpose and perform an important task for me.

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Mid-Week Mini: Futura #2 Pencil Review

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I was given the Futura #2 pencil by Priya from The London Parchment after she visited CW Pencils. This isn’t a pencil I would normally choose myself but I have been using it and surprisingly enjoy it.

The colour of this pencil is bold and striking. Pink lacquer on the body, a pink ferrule and eraser. The eraser is awful, the old style of eraser that is always associated with pencils. The lacquer on this pencil is a beaut and one of its top selling points.

 Love that Futura type

Love that Futura type

The second is the Futura’s semi-hex barrel. It’s really comfortable to hold and use for long periods of time.

 Look at that pencil point!

Look at that pencil point!

The type on the pencil is pretty impressive especially on a small scale. Futura is embossed on the pencil and filled in with black ink which contrasts the pink.

What surprised me the most with this pencil is how enjoyable it is to use. The graphite is soft, a standard number 2 pencil and the graphite is dark. It sharpens really well too, the exposed wood casing is actually quite pretty. It also smells great too, very nostalgic.

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I am really surprised by how much I enjoy this pencil. I would not have bought it for myself probably put off by too many of its elements however looks aren’t everything. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, there is a lot to like about this pencil. Thank you Priya for introducing me to this pencil!

Completing my first sketchbook.

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One of my 2018 goals / resolutions / aims was to sketch. I love watching YouTube videos of people sketching or sharing their work and have a real admiration(/jealousy) for people who can draw. After hearing so many people say just draw that’s what I decided to do.

I have had sketchbooks in the past. I have reviewed the odd one and liked them but they felt like sketchbooks and I guess for my first attempt it was a little daunting. I had ordered the Field Notes Haxley edition because I loved the bear and squirrel covers but it turned out that the sketchbook in this pair was the perfect starting point for me.

I started the sketchbook in January completing it in April. I didn’t sketch regularly in the beginning but towards the last month really found some momentum. The Field Notes size worked well because it was portable and familiar. The 70# “Natural” paper in this edition is nicer than regular Field Notes memo books so I could use some of my tools without worrying about bleed through.

Finding a thing was tough and it took some time to switch on to sketching. I started by drawing random things, a couple of people, the house across my road and things around me while I was sat on conference calls.

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I then looked to illustrators or artists that I admired. I copied some things from Geoff Gouveia and Frannerd to really get some ideas going and to find a way of making the right shapes and mimicking what I was seeing. This proved really helpful in getting me familiar with how to control and move the pencil on the page.

 Mimicking the extreme proportions and limb movement of Geoff Gouveia

Mimicking the extreme proportions and limb movement of Geoff Gouveia

I found that I really like sketching people which I didn’t expect at all. Turns out there are people everywhere, and therefore inspiration everywhere. Sketching people in public feels nice and not actually that hard to do. It gives me variety with different body shapes, positioning of people and facial expressions.

I like using pencil to sketch, in particular a coloured pencil. It feels easier and the lines softer and less harsh. I have bought some coloured pencils to use in my sketches and start to add depth. I have a few Derwent pencils and some Caran d’Ache. I followed advice from a Frannerd video and just chose colours I liked.

Watercolours haven’t been used at all really but I think this is a mental block I’m having. Given some time, practice and concentration I could really enjoy using watercolours. I just get stumped on how to use them, how to create nice pretty colours and how to add depth.

I am really proud to have completed this sketchbook and wanted to share it here on the blog, partly because I called it out as a 2018 goal but also because I have found it hard to find content into peoples entry into the world of sketching. (I admit I may not have looked hard enough.)

There are some things in this sketchbook that really make me cringe, perspectives is something I really cannot get my head around. What this sketchbook does show is my progress.

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Sketching has become a way for me to occupy my hands, to stop reaching for my phone, to pay attention on my many conference calls and sketch things. I am trying to incorporate it into other forms of journaling and sketch my monthly favourites, inspired by Ohaijoy and Frannerd.

 Tools that I liked using with this notebook

Tools that I liked using with this notebook

I will continue to share my sketching with you on the blog as I complete sketchbooks. I am actually coming up to completing another one at the moment. I also include another video but this is purely a flip through showing my sketches.