Friday, March 13, 2009

No Chicken Scratch! The Sketchbook

I've always kept a number sketchbooks that I use to jot down ideas for new paintings or, just to dabble around in until I come up with something concrete that I want to do a finished painting of. I use these sketchbooks to do the planning and layout work, explore new compositions, try to work out anatomical problems and every kind of scribble and notation from art supply lists to mathmatical jottings. Mostly, they are just so much chicken-scratch that even I have trouble trying to decipher what I'm looking at! Ha! You know it's bad if even I can't tell what I just drew! Basically, my sketchbooks are not anything I would ever want anyone else to see, but, here are a few of the better pages from my 'work' sketchbook!

Planning ideas for mustang series

First idea sketches for Paint Horse Magazine cover competition

Guidehorse paintings study

Planning sketches for "Malpais Gold" painting

I've always admired other artists that keep wonderful sketchbooks with every page filled with exquisite drawings and beautifully rendered studies. Personnally, I never put that much effort into a sketchbook before, because I always considered them to be working tools. I've always felt that the real efforts should be saved for the final painting or drawing, and so, I just did quick thumbnails sketches for layouts or values and very rarely attempted even a halfway finished sketch. When the Horse Breed a Week Project was started on WetCanvas in January, I decided to start a new sketchbook with the goal of No-Chicken-Scratch! Every page would stand alone as a finished sketch or study and it would be filled with everything from the various projects, to life drawings, to purely imaginary fantasy art...all complete - no incomprehensibility. Well, we'll see how that goes! These are two pages from the new sketchbook drawn from life of my cats, Claw-dette (top) and Foxy FaeFey.

I had a Christmas gift certificate from my sister and brother-in-law to Barns & Nobles, so, I used that to get this wonderful hand-made, Italian leather bound sketchbook/journal with over 300 pages of perfect drawing paper.

I have just loved drawing in this book...once I got over the trepidation of 'messing up' this wonderful book! So far, I have only used black Eboney graphite pencils, but, this paper should also take pen & ink, and color pencils very well, and, if I get off my Eboney kick, I may try some other media in this. These two are my newest from the Horse Breed project, Appaloosa and Australian Stock Horse.

"Appy Roping Horse"

"Australian Stock Horse"


  1. I feel the same as you about messing books up, perhaps I'll get some courage and start one, one day. Your sketches are the best, you know I love them, always a treat. Lindax Love the blog.

  2. I'm the same on messing up books. I think that's why all my sketches are on pieces of paper stuffed in file folders :-) Your drawings are wonderful pieces of art, you need to list some of them!!

  3. Love the sketch book! You artwork is incredible:)
    Glad you started a blog!