Sketchbook pages

I’ve just come to the end of a sketchbook that I’ve kept for the last 18 months, so thought I’d post a few pages here. Ironically, when I was in the thick of being a children’s illustrator, I didn’t keep sketchbooks – the last thing I needed in my spare time was to be drawing. I had to rest my overstretched tendons and tunnels (I had recurring RSI). In recent years I’ve started to carry one around with me again. I’ve also included some pages from other sketchbooks – I have them of varying sizes from a tiny one that fits in my purse to an A4 book at home in which I do comics workings-out.

I don’t often attempt to do finished drawings in them – they’re more for practising looking, and planning (comics). I like to draw in cafes, on journeys, on beaches, and in waiting rooms etc. In these situations, people are in varying degrees of motion, which means fast drawing is required to get any sense of form. I like that challenge, and the results are very gestural lines – mere essence of movement or character.

My reasons for sketching are varied, and include: taking the opportunity to practise drawing when I’m not doing anything else; an attempt to be ‘in the moment’ and record it for posterity; on occasion, to escape from the moment or thoughts, or from boredom; note-taking at talks; and I also sketch in the wee hours when I can’t sleep – this tends to be when comics idea emerge. They can seem very urgent and important in a dozy half-slumber but often appear pretty rubbish later in the day. Like dreams!

75 thoughts on “Sketchbook pages

  1. Love love love this. I have just recently taken to really keeping track of my doodles and cartoons, and as I look back in the book from time to time, it is heart warming (and comical) to see what you feel the need to doodle down! At the time it feels so incredible and inspiring, and then I sometimes look back and wonder if a 12 year old snuck into my book and drew it. Nope – just me. I am totally in love with your header images too – beautiful, heart warming and happy. So thank you for the inspiration and now this access to your beautiful work. Keep shining x

    • Thank you! I wasn’t keeping my doodles on purpose – I just had a year’s worth of recycling in a box and noticed them. But yes, it’s very strange, because I don’t remember doing many of them!

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  4. That’s exactly why my daughter keeps little books to sketch in all over the house and carries one with her when we’re out. She always says, “Just in case.” What a great way to handle life. Beautiful sketches.

  5. Love your sketches! I’ve always been too shy myself to bring my sketchbook to draw in public – I suppose it’s the fear of someone noticing I’m drawing them or coming over and saying “Why are you drawing him/her?” I like the way you capture everyday scenes in such a short space of time ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I thought I’m to only one who doesn’t finish my works. I have a sketchbook too, but I did not draw from a long time now, because I never finished them. Your post encouraged me to draw again, without any second thoughts, just because I like doing it. Very inspiring! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s this sort of reply that makes me think blogging about my work might be worthwhile. Before I was ‘freshly pressed’ the response to my blog posts were waning, although one or two supportive people kept me going. So – thank you!

  7. Love the pieces you posted. I’ve been working on my recent sketchbook on and off for a year now. I used to do graphic design so that thought of drawing on my free time seemed absurd to me. But when I switched to a writing profession, I found a new love for the sketchbook or maybe just the mere act of doodling. Thanks for the post!

    • Thank you. I use a scanner. I use Photoshop to clean up the image and for colour balance but for the sketchbook images I just scanned them and darkened the lines so they were properly visible.

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