Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Art of a Sketchbook

The Art of a Sketchbook

Watercolor journal-sketchbook cover, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Although technically I think this is a more a journal than a sketchbook I'm sharing it with you so that you can see another way you can sketch. Watercolor sketching.  I cut down 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper to a size of about 7" x 7 1/2 ",  the half inch was to allow for the binding,  then cut down some matt board the same size for front and back covers, then had Kinko's bind it into my own journal / sketchbook.  

I had three of them made. 2 this size and one 11" x 14".  In the photo above, in this journal I took a copy of a picture of me when I was little and glued it to the front.  Just an easy way for me to identify which book was which.

 Watercolor journal-sketchbook picture 2, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

Because the paper is heavy there is no bleed through and I can watercolor 
and write on both the front and back of each page.

 Watercolor journal-sketchbook picture 3, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

I'm not really picky as to what I choose to put in my books.  It can be anything that may be 
going on at the time.  Sometimes months go by before I pick it up to enter something in it.

 Watercolor journal-sketchbook picture 4, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

 I sometimes will take it boating or camping with us.

Watercolor journal-sketchbook picture 5, ©2012 Nancy Van Blaricom

 Its just a nice thing to have if I get in the creative mood without having to bring too many supplies.

Until next time, keep on sketching ...


  1. Love this! It is such an inspiration. I sometimes don't want to lug all of my oil stuff on trips, especially trips where I know there won't be lots of painting time. So, I'm contemplating taking water colors, even tho I'm not a watercolorist. This would be a great way for me to put together vignettes of trips. Thank you!

  2. I really enjoy your sketchbook posts! You clearly put in the time, both with your sketches (and what a great variety you have!) but also with your thoughts about what is going on. I am inspired!

    And, I completely understand the need for a break from the internet. I look forward to hearing and seeing what new discoveries you make with the time away from the information congestion on the web.

    Happy sailing! I'll keep an eye out for you!

  3. Nancy, I am loving your sketchbooks.
    So much that I got one ready to take on vacation to begin my own sketches. I understand the break from all that the internet brings. It can suck the life out of you. Can not wait to see what your break reveals to you and your paintings.

  4. I have just started painting with pigma pen and watercolors and am loving it! I am so encouraged by the quickness of it and the sketchy look I get that I am starting an art journal too! Not sure yet of the specifics but I will probably do it like you and just put whatever, whenever! Less pressure and more fun! Thanks for sharing your beautiful and inspiring work!