The NCalSBA Sketchbook Exchange is officially underway and I’m working on the title page for my sketchbook, which will start traveling soon and then return to me containing entries from 10 other botanical artists next June. Meanwhile, I will be adding one botanical sketch each month to a new sketchbook belonging to someone else that arrives in my mailbox before sending it on to the next artist.
I made some discoveries about working in a little accordion journal that I post here:
- The accordion book is hard to work on without adding some kind of support underneath whichever side is highest on the page spread you’re working on. Originally, I ordered several different sketchbook options before settling on the Etchr model and you can see in the photo above that one of the other journals turned out to be just the right size for providing that support and it’s peeking out from under the left side of the Etchr sketchbook on my work table. I also tried using a stack of 4×6 index cards and that worked well too because I could make very fine adjustments so that both sides were equal in height and therefore my working surface was flat. This is very important if you’re working over the folds on 2-page spreads.
- I also noticed that the book was unwieldy and tended to unfold itself as I shifted it around until I thought to use the built-in elastic band to hold the rest of the accordion together while I was working. You can see that band on the right side of the image. Luckily, I was not planning to work in that area near the band today. I will make a couple more bands from some 1/8″ elastic as that narrower elastic will not interfere as much while I work and bands that are not attached to the end boards will be easier to shift as I move around while working in an open page spread.
- I wanted to make that circle on my title page and it was bigger than the largest circle my handy circle-making template had to offer so I needed to use my compass. I did NOT want to make even a very small needle hole in the middle of my paper where I was planning to put my echinacea blossom. I have a roll of some white “artist’s” tape that features post-it note-like adhesive. I love that stuff, I think I bought it at Utrecht years ago. After testing carefully, I stacked 3 small pieces of the tape in the area where I needed to place the needle of my compass. It worked perfectly. The hole is in the tape stack, but the needle did not penetrate to the actual paper and the compass did not slip or skip. You can also see a piece of that tape off to the top right on top of my mock-up page spread.
- The creamy hot press paper in this Etchr book is excellent for my Micron Pigma 005 Sepia pen plus colored pencil style of sketching. Graphite pencil marks erase beautifully.
- Finally, I noticed…this is FUN!