Have you ever wanted to journal some of your vacations or special events? I’ll show you what I use and how to draw and write what you see. You don’t have to draw very well to do journaling. We will use some drawing, painting, collage, and other interesting techniques to add to your pages.
What is a sketchbook journal? As the name suggests, it is a book usually bound, containing both sketches and bits of personal history and observations. More than a diary of written words, it is an outlet for visual expression and artistic creativity. Where words leave off, the sketchbook journal awakens the mind with shapes, colors and textures, all seen through the eye of the recorder and preserved in his own personal style.
As a very personal work, your sketchbook journal need not be shared with everyone. It is not a mini-gallery open to public critique, but rather a safe haven where the creative mind is allowed to express, experiment, discover, document and dream, with no thought of pleasing others. Therefore, one should never apologize for the art or thoughts contained within. Rarely are the sketches contained in a journal the recorder’s best art. The sketches are often quickly made; if they catch the essence of a memory, they have done their job. Only the illustrations in an in-depth study journal need be as detailed and precise as possible.
Within the pages of this book, I have shared many entries based on my personal memory and sketchbook journals. Some of the illustrations are detailed and elaborate, reflecting days when I had plenty of time and interest to devote to the subject; other sketches are mere scribbles. Nevertheless, each one reminds me of a specific subject or experience and is therefore adequate. The written journal entries are penned in uppercase block letters so that you can distinguish them from the other text. Any idiosyncrasies or unique spellings in the journal pages add to the inherent integrity of the artwork and should be enjoyed as such. They only enhance the work and make it more personal.
It is my hope that this glimpse into the pages of my life, as well as the instruction and advice contained within this book, may inspire you to begin your own sketchbook journal. Remember that there is no greater way one can celebrate life than to create a legacy of memories.
How to Keep a Sketchbook Journal by Claudia Nice
First we will learn the monoline italic version that is a clean, easy to write and read style that will record your thoughts.
Next, we’ll learn some techniques of drawing that is natural, for you individually.
1. Practice the lowercase either straight up or on a slant. Do what is natural to your own hand.
Practice letter by letter in the letter families. Letters are about 1/2 as wide as they are tall. Keep the letters kind of sharp and triangular instead of round. Only practice each letter 3 times then move on to the next. Be sure to look at the examples between each time that you write so you are sure to write the “correct” forms.
2. Practice writing words using “picket fence” spacing. ALL THE WHITE SPACES ARE THE SAME, INSIDE THE LETTER AND BETWEEN THE LETTERS. Really!!!! They are supposed to be the SAME!!!!!! This gives an overall gray color to the full page.
Again, practice each one 3 times at a time. Look at the exemplar each time.
4. Choose whether to use plain or decorative capitals. You can combine some plain some decorative. Make some Large and some small. Just look at the overall design and decide as you go along.
There are many ways to illustrate. We will start with drawing.
Next we’ll cut out interesting things and glue them to the page in an interesting way. Use a glue stick. Typically a UHU is acid free, but others are also. Use watercolors, pencils, watercolor pencils to make squiggle borders and little colorful marks around the pictures.
Today we picked some foliage from outside. Purple and orange flowers, green leaves were some of the material we used to mix colors. Using the color palettes that were in our paint box we tried to mix the exact same colors that were found in the materials. It teaches us how to put color together to make different hues. Then we drew the flower or leaf and colored it with the colors we mixed. It's also fun to write calligraphy with the colors that you mixed. We painted swatches onto the paper until we got the color that we were comfortable with.
The homework assignment was to write something about what we did in the class today. Also, to write in the journal everyday. You can draw anything, from the pen that sits on the table to scenery outside the window. The more you practice the more you will get in touch with "your personal style". It takes awhile to get a "feel" for your "style". Give yourself the practice and time to figure it out. The more you practice the letterforms the better you will get with the rhythm. I had so much fun today, but I was really tired when I got home. Were you? I can't wait to sit down and do some journaling. I'm going to Ojai, so I'll draw when I go there. I hope you have a great week! Remember to bring your camera if you have one. It's great to take pictures of others work and pictures in books.
Here are the books in the library I brought to class today
Books that I used for reference;
Drawing Made Easy by David Sanmiquel ISBN 0-8069-6927-X Sterling Publishing
The Natural Way To Draw by Kimon Nicolaides Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston
Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R Norling
The Pleasures of Gardening by Angelea Stanford ISBN 0-7683-2353-3
Watercolor Journeys Create your own travel sketchbook by Richard Schilling
ISBN 1-58180-272-2 North Light Books
The Watercolorist’s Nature Journal How to create a personal record of the natural world around you. by Jill Bays ISBN 07153 1147-6 David And Charles
Create Your Own Artist’s Journal by Erin OtToole ISMB 1-58180-170-X
How to Keep a Sketchbook Journal by Claudia Nice
Artful Journals Making and Embellishing Memory Books, Garden Diaries And Travel Albums by Janet Takahashi ISBN 13: 978-1-60059-069-6 Lark/Chapelle Books
Italic Letters Calligraphy & Handwriting by Inga Dubay and Barbary Getty Revised Edition Portland University Continuing Education Press ISBN: 0-87678-091-5