A Swift One

Well it’s been a while but I’m back again.  I thought I would start with a few little graphite sketches so I nipped out to get a cheap little sketchbook.  I’ve always fancied a nice tiny book so I bought this A5 sketchbook for mucking about with.  Anyone in the UK may have heard of The Works – they sell cheap books and art equipment – that’s where I got this book.  Very cheap and as I have a hard cover book from the same place and the paper in that is awful (but OK for what I wanted it for), I had my doubts about this even cheaper book.  Not the best paper you can buy but not bad either – and for 99p, well you just can’t go wrong.  You know that feeling when you have expensive paper and you are so scared of making a mistake?  Cheap paper frees you up a bit – so what if you ruin a sheet – so what if you ruin the whole book!


25 thoughts on “A Swift One

  1. Nice to see you back 🙂 and the sketch is lovely. I agree with you about using cheaper paper and sketchbooks – much less daunting.

  2. Good to see you back drawing again : ) Always good to try out different papers, cheap or not, and cant tell from the picture if its cheap. If it works then thats all it matters, and your drawing very fitting with the subject (she looks almost a bit worried about the piece she is holding.

    1. Hello Mari,
      Thank you for your comments.
      It’s hard to find just the right paper for graphite. I find if it is too smooth the graphite slides too much over the paper. Too rough and it’s harder to do fine details. Of course, you need some tooth to the paper.

  3. Hi Stew – so glad to see a post; i’ve been popping in regularly to check and hoping you were OK. Will be sending good thoughts your way for your hospital visit – your A5 notebook (thanks for the heads up: might see my nearest ‘The Works’ is to stock up) will be handy for keeping on those charming hospital bed side tables. My uncle, a professional artist and art historian, had a nasty complication after a routine op recently, and his sketches of the doctors and the thoughts they inspire were inspired. Will be thinking of you, and thanks for posting such a lovely sketch. Jane

    ps totally agree with you about the intimidation factor of expensive paper. I recently bought three hardback notebooks from these folks: http://falkiners.com/ much more cheaply than the Moleskine I bought elsewhere… and guess which ones have been used?

      1. G’day Stew – just found out that there is a ‘The Works’ in the town near here, so popped over there today and got a handful of the 99 p books – which is great, thanks for the heads up! I drew something in one of them on the way home, as you are perfectly right – that it is so reasonably priced just makes you want to make marks all over them!
        Hope all well.

      1. Stew, I have been starting with some watercolor paper samples I got on the cheap. I made some mono prints from leftover wax paint drippings to start the whole abstract thing, then fused them with a heat gun. The I added some layers of ink in colors I liked. I took plywood cut tot he size of the paper and primed it with black gesso. Then I added clear wax to the board, and fused, then did more layers of clear wax (encaustic medium), attacked my paper with wax, layer after layer, always fusing in between. on the top layers I started adding ink again, mixing it with the wax, to give some layered effects. For me, the fun is the process, I guess I like playing in sandboxes.

  4. Hi Stew, as usually an excellent portrait ! I like it. Have t try graphite again, but I don’t like it when my fingers get so dirty and then my finger prints are all over the paper. Wishing you all the best for your hospital stay and praying for healing!

  5. Stew, this is really nicely done. I particularly like how you handled the teeth; it can be so easy to overdo them.

    I recently came to a similar conclusion, that the paper/sketchbook was holding me back. I like my sketchbooks to have “good” drawings, even though they’re just sketchbooks. I don’t like to flip to a page and find a dud, or a doodly thing that I was just doing not knowing where it was going to go. So for my practice sessions, I’ve started using index cards (talk about cheap paper!). I’ll be posting some of the results of these practice sessions soon.

  6. Hi 🙂 A great drawing!

    I draw in Moleskine, since I’m very picky if to speak of the feeling that paper gives me, though in Russia those notebooks are quite expensive. The scariest thing here is to START drawing in the sketchbook, then I just stop care about it that much. Really, you always can glue another piece of paper (I like when it has different colour or surface) on an unfortunate drawing, or cover it with acrylic colours or whatever 🙂

  7. Very nice sketch! Oh yes, I know about not wanting to ruin the “good” paper. I have a small throw-away puzzle book my daughter gave me. I gesso or paint over the puzzles and then do trial sketches (notice I didn’t even say trial drawings, chicken that I am) in it. It seems so much safer than doing work in my ordinary sketchbook. It looks like you are doing quite nicely on this cheap paper though.

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