Sunday, February 27, 2011


This part of my blog is where I will record my sketchbook, or some of it.  What I hope to impart is how I use and develop this tool (yes, I see the book as a tool to assist me creatively).  Sometimes, I will post work, if it has relevance to a sketch to illustrate how I use the sketches.
This week I have sketched a few butterflies and moths (because there are a lot around) and been reading The Art of Annemieke Mien again.  It is one of my favourite books as it obviously is for shirley Fife, who showed how she created a fibre art butterfly in response to one of her works.  Here are a couple of my sketches
This one is of an orchard butterfly which was feeding on blackberry blossoms, was done for the sketchbook challenge theme opposites this month. I used felt tip calligraphy pens in black, blue, red and silver and liked the way the two halves reflect each other.
This one is a collage of a Hummingbird moth, which I observed closely on my saponaria blossoms.  I had never seen one of these before and was entranced by the way it hovered and fed.  If I had not seen it's antennae and known there were no hummingbirds in Australia, I would have been sure it was one.  I used a red and a black felt tip marker and later a brown crayon.   This sketch was very important to me, which is why I drew as many angles as I could, since this will become a fibre art piece, I am sure.  I also observed an orange darter, which is a small skipper that holds it's wings in quite a striking way, and a painted lady butterfly, but they are only rough sketches in pencil, which would not show up in a photo.
Out doors, I generally work in pencil, using a rather antique set of clutch pencils loaned from my partner, which range from 3h all the way to 3b.  My sketchbook is a really important part of my creative process.  Not every sketch is worked up, but it gives me impetus and ideas for what to create.
This very simple sketch done with a watercolour wash and a black crayon was done from memory as it is one I see all the time.   It is looking up through the wattle at night to see the moon on the landing at the top of our steps.
 These two colour studies illustrate a point: that my sketchbook is a working one where I keep information and exercises as well as "Works of art".  These two were looking at opposites, using a technique modified from Jane Davila and Elin Waterston's Art Quilt workbook.  (Their blogs are here and here).  I took a variety of paint chips from the hardware store and sorted them into opposite colours (LHS) and into darks and lights (RHS).  This is a very useful exercise and reference for me especially when I am choosing colours for a project.
As you will have noted, I often use whatever is to hand to finish sketches, crayon, markers, paint and mix the media to suit my impulse at the time.  A sketchbook is a tool for the owner, to assist in creative endeavours, not a work of art to display.