Every(rainy)day sketching

. . .from the rainforest of northern California:  soggy weather, perfect for doing art inside,  especially with others.  Which is what I did on Saturday at the Everyday Sketching in Your Watercolor Journal workshop.  The day combined some of the quick travel sketch style with some indoors-contemplative-everyday journaling style.  I spread out  items from my house for drawing exercises, fruit bowl, basket, silverware, coffee maker, roses and this teapot. . .

by Susan:  Sharpee pen, watercolor, hand cut stamp

At lunch time we headed over to Henweigh Cafe in Sebastopol for lunch and restaurant sketching to include simple figure outlines with most of the detail left out.

by Susan:  handcut mushroom stamps for a border

The afternoon focused on page designing with borders, stamps, textures and words.  Here’s some student sketches:

by Adrianne

by Gale

We played around with stencils and stamps and textures and other ways to divide up the sketch page and then add words.

(unfinished) by Corrie

On Sunday I went to an exhibit at California College of Arts in Oakland featuring Louise Stanley’s art journals.  Her work follows in the tradition of history and narrative painting, documenting current and fictitious events using myth and allegory.

There were intricate sketches, often done in art museums in Europe in pen and gouache and gold leaf in beautiful hardcover journal books.  I particularly liked her rules for keeping a sketchbook, quoted here:

Uni:  Never, ever tear out a page unless you sell it, in which case you can replace it with a copy.

Due:  Start on the third page to get your courage up.

Tre:  Go back to the first page and do a self portrait when you’ve got the nerve.

Quattro:  Strap your journal to your body.  Don’t leave home without it.

Cinque:  A little gold leaf and color peps up a page.

Sei:  Always carry a pencil.  Many museums won’t let you use ink.

by Louise Stanley

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to MySpaceAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to Twitter



  1. How very interesting! I love your sketch of the teapot with the flower… I would definitely need a workshop like yours to help me with the lay out of my pages, and the adding of words, which I always find so difficult…
    And what an interesting list of tips for keeping a sketchbook!
    Thanks for sharing!


    1. I like to draw my words in rather than “writing” them and put them in some contour of the image or use them to fill a blank space. For designing the page think of framing it or creating a grid, or in the example of the teapot, using a radiating pattern.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s