my daily routine before going to Lisbon for the etching studio.
I started sketching on cheap plain white pages sketchbooks. At that time my sketchbooks were a mix of planners and sketchbooks , I put everything on it, stamps, addresses, phone numbers , sculpture projects, collages, reminders, you name it , I sketched with the same pen or pencil I wrote. But one day I bought a watercolor case at Venice/Italy and then visiting Toscanny , I tried to use watercolor on my sketch of the leaning tower of Piza and it was a disaster, I had to start the sketch again because the paper waved so much and was so soggy that I had to eliminate the page.
Cheap plain sketchbook, black fineliner pen and color pencil
Bic pen o n A5 cheap sketchbook
Back to Venice I bought a wire bound , 170gsm, Canson sketchbook but still I didn’t like the paper too absorbent , and too thin, it waves with the watercolors, and that wire and all those holes made the pages very easily detachables. Anyway I fulfilled it until the last page. After that I bought all available watercolor sketchbooks brands ( as you can see on my previous article on my blog) after all I need my gear work with me , not against me. That’s why all the fuzz about sketchbooks.
HB graphite pencil on a A5 cheap sketchbook (all sketches from 1994 and 1997)
By the way I’m waiting for a stillman &birn wet media, square sketchbook , these days at the mail, and I ‘m so excited about it 😜👋
copper strong acid etching- aquatint
Silencium I - with pommegranit Paper Dim:
copper strong acid etching- aquatint
" Still-Life I " with peache and courgette
copper strong acid etching- aquatintaquatint on 50% cotton paper Paper Dim: 70 cm X 50Cm Plate DIM: 39cm X26,5 cm
aquatint on 50% cotton paper Paper Dim: 70 cm X 50Cm Plate DIM: 39cm X26,5 cm
Some people I met while sketching usually says “I wish I could sketch like that” . Well, you can. Really ! Once, a little child , maybe 5 or 6 years hold, asked me how I did that sketch, she was looking to the sketch and the real view at a time, she was really admired. I answer,saying that I just look for what’s in front of very, very carefully. And that made sense to her, I could see that on her eyes.
This is what I was sketching
A5hand made sketchbook, Namiki Falcon fountainpen, Sennellier watercolors
All you need is paper , a pen or pencil and the will to put on the paper what’s in front of you or those things who made you stop and look more carefully. Looking carefully mean, if that horizontal line of that wall seems to you as an oblique, draw it oblique, sketch what you see , not what you think it should be, if that tree has that strange branch or if you see the tail of that slipping dog right on top of his head, draw like it is and not your idea of a tree or of a dog. Sketch with your eyes not with your mind. That’s called perspective.
In this sketch there’s only one horizontal line ☝️
A sketch doesn’t have to be a work of art, it’s even not meant to be seen if you don’t want it. Sketching is a form of meditation. It’s having fun. I start sketching at school, very young, then at art school my teachers wanted every student had a sketchbook where you draw everything, without to much details, just fast and easy drafts . It could be a flower, a group of trees, a sitting person on the subway or a building. Doesn’t matter what.
A5 hand made sketchbook, Namiki Falcon fountainpen, fabercastel pit pen.
A5 Hand made sketchbook, Namiki Falcon fountainpen, Daniel Smith watercolors
At first my sketches didn’t reached the quality I wanted, I still struggle to make a decent vertical, but I insisted over and over until I said to myself It’s okay, this drawing It’s good enough to give me an idea of what was catching my attention on this day, I can improve on the next one.
A5 Hannemuhle sketchbook, Hero fude fountainpen
It’s important never give up on drawing or on a drawing, we must always go until the end even you don’t know where it leads you. Even I know the foundations of perspective and colors , I had and still have difficulty on representing the reality of my surroundings, but I’m learning and remembering what already know. I search on internet for other sketchers sketches and I try to understand how they solved on paper that perspective, that volume or that sky, I browse on YouTube how to paint with watercolors, because there are some tricks on the technique . Just tricks. Sketching or drawing accurately something it’s the sum of some little drawing tricks and looking with attention to the subject. To learn the tricks it’s easy, you just have to search on internet how to do it, there lots of art tutorials and artists work to study and learn, paying attention it’s more difficult in my opinion .
A5 stillman &birn alpha series sketchbook, 0,3 micron pen
At first can be a bit disappointing all the struggle to put in two dimensions what it’s in three dimensions on reality , but after a while things tends to came together and then it’s a joy when you say to yourself, I did it! I like it! It’s done. And most of all, I had fun.
Please go outside, or if you are to shy yet to do that, seat at home and draw whatever it’s in front of you. Try. Don’t be to hard on you, allow yourself to make mistakes, but never , never give up, and learn. Me, I’ll keep improving my vertical lines 😉
A5 Square sketchbook, Namiki Falcon fountainpen, white nights watercolors
A5 Hannemuhle sketchbook, Namiki Falcon fountainpen with Atramentis documents ink, faber castel colorpencil.
A5 hahnemuhle sketchbook, faber castel fineliner, Namiki Falcon fountainpen with Atramentis document ink
Why do I sketch ?
Well I sketch to really see the world, one sight and one view, each time. Even the views that are around me all the time, became new , when I take my time to sketch them. Why don’t I take a photo and move on? Because sketching it’s different from taking a photo, the photo doesn’t show what you are really looking at, it shows everything on a wide frame, instead,a sketch shows what really took your attention and takes inside it a world of sensations, smells, conversations around you , sounds and even the light on that day, each time you open your sketchbook and see that sketch again.
Fountainpen and Sennellier watercolors on A5 Hannemuhle sketchbook
I get more aware of my surroundings but at same time, When I’m sketching, I go myself to a place where I’m not judging and I have no prejudices, I feel like a child discovering little important things, feeling the wonder of seeing for the first time hold views that were there for me all the time. A sketch it’s also a way to rebuilt your world, to stop time and focus on yourself and each little part of the world each time.
Fountainpen , Bic pen and sennellier watercolor on A5 square sketchbook
For me it’s a happy place to be when I’m upset or annoyed or have time to spent. I sketch to myself even thought I share later them on my blog, on Facebook and Instagram, I do it in the hope to inspire others to sketch too and feel the joy of being free to see the world on their own way.
Fountainpen and Sennelier watercolors on A5 square sketchbook
Give me a pencil and a paper and I’m the happiest girl in all world and by the way sketches are quick and inexpensive.
This post is for those like me that are always looking for the perfect pencil case and the perfect sketchbook. I’ll show you my actual sketching gear but first some of my past ones.
This one is from three years ago, the pencil case came from Russia, from Artskill.com it’s real leather and orange it’s my favorite color, it’s a very good pencil case and very expensive one. On the last pocket you can fit a small watercolor case. On that time I was trying the Hannemuhle sketchbooks, wich are really good. Good paper for watercolor and all technics if you don’t use alcohol brush pens.
This one is also a nice one, it’s from Eastpack and I have nothing bad to say about it, it’s very strong pencil case .
After the arttoolkit I found this one at a Japanese site Www.bubmcase.com , and this one is one of my preferences, it’s big enough for all my gear and fits a bigger watercolor case , I used for a while until I bought my actual pencil case.
This is my actual pencil case it came from a Japanese company Lihit lab, I’m not sure what model is but it’s perfect , opens like a book and have apalace for everything.
So basically these are my pencil cases. I carry one of these in my backpack 🎒 with the sketchbook and a little stool. That’s all I need for sketching.
I bought the stool at eBay, made in China, don’t remember the company’s.
I have a simple life. I work, I eat, I smoke, I have a coffee with a friend and I come home to cuddle my two biggest friends in the world, Tito the dog and Teca the cat. Sometimes I do not come home immediately, I stop somewhere to sketch a bit. That’s the way I relax and focus on my real life. Sketching is a way to be me again after a long work day. My attention it’s focused on the subject I’m drawing and it’s funny how I see for the first time those things I look to everyday. Sketching is seeing and discovering what seems obvious at first sight. Sometimes I meet other Urban Sketchers to sketch and that’s the only way I don’t feel antisocial when drawing 🙂
Well these are my three beautys , my most beloved pens. The first one is a Sailor 1911, the queen of pens, soft and juicy on watercolor paper, the second is a Namiki Falcon, an holdy extra soft and flexy lovely pen, the third is my trusty Hero Fude , I love to draw with this one because it makes diferent lines thicknesses . Love them all.
But I’ m still looking for new fountainpen stop sketch, so last month I bought this one at Gizmosified.com and it’s a Stone Graph. Well, for the price, about 30$ ( with import taxes) it’s not bad. It has the longest nib I know, it’s really flexy, producing diferents lines thickness but it’s a bit scratching on watercolor paper. It has a nice flow of ink too. If you want a cheap and flexy pen , this is it. But count on a litle bit of scratch on drawing on watercolor paper.