Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pages From My Sketchbooks

Any artist worth their salt
earns their bones filling a gazillion sketchbooks with doodles

I made these when I was in my bookmaking phase.

Delacroix's Le Voyage au Maroc sketchbooks are one of the best sources. When you're considering starting a sketchbook.
It's both a diary + sketchbook, drawn and written daily records of his Moroccan travels.

I've always treasured this picture of J.M.W.Turner's leather bound sketchbook. Many of his sketches can be seen in the Tate's Turnercollection in London, where Turner donated much of his artwork. Closer at hand is the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, CT. You can actually touch a Turner sketchbook!
Make an appointment first

A Turner-esque page from my sketchbook
Multi-doodles done in Poppi, Tuscany
I love to put down blobs of color and then create a little scene on top
Sketchbooks provide the chance to make quick summaries of what you see. Like a quick camera snapshot.
Spontaneous notation is what it's all about.
Often sketches are more personal, more interesting than the final finished painting.
More color blobs + grape picker doodles
Chateau doodles.
The thing about sketchbooks is they are private.
You can be as casual and messy and experimental as you like.
No ones going to see what you do...
Well almost no one.

Some of the sketchbook paraphrenalia you can "collect" in the name of sketching! There are endless art supplies out there waiting to tempt you, and every bit as luscious as any patisserie shop offering.
more SKETCHBOOK posts:


  1. Anonymous10:29 AM

    There is something so personal and immediate about sketch-books! These are really wonderful. I am loving the candid shots of you in the previous posts too! Finally a picture with the words...!

  2. If wishes came true I would sketch instead of scribble in my notebooks. ;-)
    Yours are wonderful treasures, I imagine they conjure up memories and stories leafing through them. May they all be happy ones!

  3. Anonymous11:26 AM

    These are delightful, Carol. I always love looking through anyone's sketchbooks, and yours are wonderful. I think Delacroix's have always been my favorites...great post!!

  4. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Wish I had your talent... It would have been great to sketch all the places I saw on the Riviera last fortnight ...
    I have to do with my pictures...

  5. Love the post today. Taking a photo is quick and only gives you two demension's, But sketching slows one down to absorb everything around you. The smells, the sounds, the atmosphere of that day,and more debth if your good at it. I have always been drawn to anything to do with sketching,& have been trying my hand at it. Thanks for the inspiration today.
    Also thanks for your tips and comments on my blog which has also been very inspiring. ;-)
    Cris in OR

  6. I love this post, and the preavious one about your sketchbooks. There's a romanticism involved in these posts. There's something trying to be discovered in these sketches, weather its a discovery involving the medium or the landscape itself.

  7. Anonymous1:30 PM

    Your Sketchbooks are wonderful.
    I think I can recognise the Florence typical waves-paper

  8. I almost prefer sketchbooks to finished art. There is something about the spontaneous creative process that comes through so clearly in sketchbook form that is many times lost in art that is more 'worked'.

    I have stacks and stacks of sketches - many of them on tissue paper - scattered about. Which is my way of being spontaneous I suppose. I seem to have a much more formal relationship with my sketchbook, unfortunately. Something I hope to 'get over' some day!

  9. That's the trouble TLC
    There's a lot to get over...
    I used to ONLY work on paper 6" x 8"
    It was like pulling teeth to get myself to work larger. Finally I got to 20" x 30" and really loved it!

  10. lovely stuff, sketchbooks are so free great and brill, like a peek into someones soul or at least theit underwear draw...so personal!

  11. Anonymous5:08 PM

    Sketches can bring back different soulful memories of a place and journey, even more so than photos. More time is spent in rendering the image in your own mind, then on paper.

    It is so impressive to see how much beautiful work you have cranked out in one lifetime!

  12. Anonymous7:23 AM


    I love, love, love that tuscan painting! Wow!

  13. I am amazed everytime I take a look at your posts...you are a very talented person. Love the journals that you created and your sketch's...just gorgeous!

  14. Wonderful! I love your sketch books the best, I love the style of your sketches, and the topics you paint.
    Thanks for letting us see into your world through your eyes.
    I wish I could paint, you make me envious ;)

  15. OK so you put down blobs of colour and then create a scene. I put down blobs of colour and create blobs of colour. I would give my right arm to be able to paint like you but then if I gave my right arm I wouldn't be able to paint.

  16. Anonymous1:16 PM

    I'm glad you have the sketchbooks, as they are and will be a testament to your talent, Carol! ;~)

  17. These are beautiful, and such talent!

    Can I ask for some advice please?-
    Where do you recommend I could look for ready-made watercolours that are nice and grainy/sedimentary?
    I have some artists pigments I forgot about, how can I make my own w/cols?

  18. Hi just found you and loving your blog. I too love all things "Paris" and watercolor.

  19. Beautiful sketchbooks!! Thanks for sharing them- please share more and more!!


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