Sketching Right Along

During the holidays it has been a challenge to keep moving on the sketchbook project, but deadlines are motivating.  Here are images from the December and January sketchbooks:

 

December in the garden doesn’t give much inspiration at first look, and Nandina is one of my least favorite shrubs, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed for this book.
And this shows how my image fits in with the ethos of this particular book. As the project has moved along, I’ve noticed that the books really develop personalities and each book needs something different to carry it forward. Often it’s NOT what I’ve planned to do for the month, but when the book speaks, the artist must listen.
Who knew that something labeled as “Christmas Cactus” at the nursery or big box store could really be “Thanksgiving” or “Easter” Cactus masquerading as Christmas Cactus? This one definitely has all the characteristics of truncata and not bridgesii, which is the traditional Christmas Cactus. This image is on cold press watercolor paper and it shows the difficulties encountered when using colored pencil on highly textured paper. You get paper texture showing through and it’s harder to make smooth transitions. Hot Press Watercolor paper is the current standard for colored pencil drawings, but I still like the Stonehenge in my homemade journals best of all for mixed media sketches like this.
And finally, this is the full book. We are officially half-way through the project. I’ve over-emphasized the fleshy raised area at the center of each leaf, well, because I can in this project and I think it’s one of the things that makes these leaves interesting. Also, I rather like the pointy projections from the leaf body.

So that brings us up to date with the Sketchbook Exchange Project. What will February bring? Ellen Blonder, who comes before me in these books, said it’s like Christmas when you get a new book every month and then it’s like finals week when you are approaching your mailing deadline and don’t have your sketch done. That describes the project very well.