Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Labeling Spiral Journals and Sketchbooks

It used to be all I ever worked in were spiral sketchbooks/journals (once I stepped away from single sheets and placing in Itoya presentation folders).  Then I was introduced to the hard bound journals like Stillman and Birn or even hand-sewn journals we can make.

I kept going back and forth as to which I prefer and I'm at a point now that it's a true toss up.  Sometimes spirals can be difficult to lay completely flat for scanning but then I've also had problems with hard bounds as well.

Some people feel you can't work a two-page spread but I have and to me looks fine even with the spiral in between the pages.

What I determined was the biggest positive for hard bounds was the fact you had a spine you could write contents on so you could see at a glance on a book shelf what they contained (time period covered, subject, etc.). 

I like spirals because they are often lighter in weight.  Mentally they also give me permission to not treat the journal as some priceless book I can't use for fear of messing up the pages.  If a page is that poorly messed up, you can tear it out without leaving any trace you've done that........lol.

The problem is, of course, with a bookshelf of spirals, you have to take them all down just to flip open to see what's in them or you pull off the shelf to see what you might have written on the front cover.  If you have several (like I do), that can be horribly time consuming.

Here's my solution to that :-)  You can use the round key ring labels but I used what I have on hand and to me these work out beautifully.  And you can color code if you wish depending on brand or type of journals you're using.  Or color code by subject, etc.


Couple other ideas:

One friend of mine takes stiff paper (watercolor paper as an example) and wraps it around folding the ends inside front and back cover.  That creates a spine you can write the contents on.  Unfortunately, I don't have paper laying around that I could use for that or large enough for some of my spirals.

I've also tried sticking a pen through in between the spirals and trying to write on the edge of the pages with very little luck. 


Trying Out AutoSketch on Note8 Phone

A dear friend of mine uses AutoSketch on his Note8 all the time.  I thought now that I have a Note8 that I would try the free version out of this app with the stylus pen.

Not sure I'll use the phone app often as the stylus pen is a bit tiny and awkward for me to use.  At least at this point.  Probably in time I might get used to it but only time and usage will tell.

I found the app very limited and not real user friendly.  Unlike Procreate, I couldn't find very much on how to use the app on the mobile phone.  What videos I found were on larger tablets and the interface appears different.  And maybe the videos cover the paid version whereas I'm not going to pay for an app unless I understand how to use it or if the features are those I like and one can easily use.  So far that's not the case for me with this free version.  It took forever for me just to locate how to undo or erase or make the pencil tool size larger or smaller. 

With all that said, I did manage this simple little sketch from memory of what I did the other day after seeing our little hummer friend at the feeder again this morning.


Another Whimsical Illustration for Group Flyers

Just playing around with various illustrations for our sketching group, I came up with another to add as eye candy on flyers.

Using Procreate, I originally worked this.  After a couple of days I decided it needed some more work.........especially some shading.  Then I had to add the sunglasses.........lol



Due to the fact I work each component on layers, I can keep the shadow under the car or untick and not use it.  And the sunglasses is the same deal........I can include them or not depending on my mood :-)



One of the ways I thought of using this is as follows.......as if the car is pulling a trailer (Trekkers)


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Couple Quick Sketches

Yesterday and today both we saw our little hummer friend.  That's encouraging and hope he/she sticks around.  Would be nice to see more but thankful for the one after all this time not having them around.

Quick pencil sketch in Paper Blanks journal. 


And this is just a very rough sketch of something we laugh at several times a day, every day.

Miya, our little yorki-poo, likes going out with Terry every time he sits out front.  He sits while she sunbathes a few feet away.  And every time she goes out, she has to take something with her........mostly a toy.  Once in awhile she'll take her bone out but that's another story with her behavior that cracks us up.

This illustration shows what she does when Terry stands at the front door calling her to come out with him.  She runs to grab a toy (most often sitting in the middle of the floor in the living room by the foyer/front door) but instead of turning to go outside, she always continues on through the living room......through the kitchen.......through the dining room......back to the foyer and out the front door.

You have to wonder what goes through their minds or what makes them do what they do sometimes.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Subject Approached Two Different Ways

This is a statue I decided to try two different methods in sketching just for my own comparison.  Which do I like better?   Hard to say honestly as I like each for different reasons.

One of the reasons I love sketching is for spontaneity and liveliness they often portray (mine don't always but I do strive for that look).  Not so stiff looking or formal when spending a lot of time working on a sketch.  I tend to overwork when I spend a lot of time.  I keep seeing things that might look better and then find to my eyes they often look over-worked.  And a lot depends too on the subject.

I enjoy using Procreate but like using a single sheet of watercolor paper, I tend to labor over what I'm working on........often spending several hours on one piece.  Using a sketchbook mentally gives me permission to sketch loosely and quickly if I so choose.  Other means for some reason I feel I have to keep striving for perfection which I never reach..........and that's OK (as I keep trying to remind myself.......lol).

The left to me is more spontaneous.  The statue to my eyes appears rough and weather worn whereas the one on the right is smooth and doesn't quite portray it's been sitting outside for any length of time except for maybe the green I placed for moss or mold.  Although the face on the right is more true to life looking than the quick sketch.

I like the brown leaves in the right example but then the more I think about it, I also like the green grassy area of the left example.

The other thing I like best about the left is it has better contrast between lights and darks on the statue itself.

And I haven't quite made up my mind with the backgrounds.  I like the suggestive look of the background on the left as I don't feel it competes with the statue itself.  In some ways I feel the background on the right competes.  But it's all in the eyes of the beholder.  Everyone is different and even I tend to change how I see things from day to day depending on my mood (lol.)




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