So, I'm in the 10th month of my sketchbook project. This project has become one
of the most rewarding things I've ever done. Really. I mean my husband and son
are really the lifelong part of me that is truly #1 but starting a sketchbook project has
made me a happier person and truer to my real self.
I've met so many wonderful people and have been told so many times that I'm
inspiring them, I feel so special and happy because of that.
Many, many people ask me all the time about how I do this and what supplies I use
and any trick that gets me going... So here it is.
I use this very basic notebook from MUJI. It's approx 5.5x7.5" It's only $4.50! The paper
quality is not that different from a moleskin notebook in weight but its a little bit smoother,
less of a tooth. It really isn't meant for detailed watercolor, the paper doesn't absorb it well,
and you won't get subtlety.
I mainly use Windsor Newton gouache, but I'll add in Acryla Gouache or even just acrylic
paint. I'll use gel pens or sharpies sometimes. I try to do the 30 minute painting first thing
in the morning, I feel fresh and it helps motivate me for the day. I sometimes know just
what I want to paint.But many times I sit down and am completely flummoxed. I just sit
and think for a few minutes. I may pick up a vintage book of birds, old photos from my
collection. I may see something lying around and it just feels like the thing. I use flower
bouquets that I buy, or a new mug I may have gotten, I take lots of iphone pictures when
I'm out so that gives me ideas too.
I put in earphones, sometimes classical, other times current, maybe something that
makes me sing along. I'm pretty happy while I'm painting. I do a quick pencil sketch,
up to 5 minutes tops, very loosely, I decide the color palette and squeeze out the paint.
Then I put the timer on for 30 minutes
and go. I many times finish in 20 minutes or so but if the timer goes off, wherever I am,
I stop. I spray fixative on them when I'm done. I didn't the first 2 months or so and they
got very distressed looking, the paint rubbed off the pages onto each other.
Sometimes the paint bleeds through to the other side. It doesn't bother me,
I just paint right over it the next day. I may paint the page a solid color and then
paint or use gel pens to draw over that but I'll also just use the colors that show in
the new painting. Most of it gets covered up anyway...
The whole idea for me is to experiment, have a good time and have a discipline.
The benefits are that I have gotten jobs from this, I have hundreds of pages of
personal reference material, I have tons of new friends, my
confidence has grown and I'm happier. I hope this helps answer some questions.
Please ask more in the comments and I'll answer them all!
you can follow all my daily paintings on instagram @augustwren and see them
on my website here. Love, Jennifer