My sketchbook and how I do it take 2!

edges I wrote a blog post 10 months into my sketchbook project here. I am always asked so many questions about how I do this.. from discipline to supplies I think its fair time for an update. The earlier post  isn't all that different but I have changed up a few things.

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The main sketchbook I now use is a Strathmore 500 series Mixed Media sketchbook. The paper is heavy and smooth but with a fine tooth. I love the texture and it handles the paint very well. I can use thick gouache or watercolor or ink and I'm happy with the results of all. I also sometimes use a black sketchbook so I can paint directly onto black paper. It is a Derwent, I am pretty sure this is the right one that I'm linking to here.. Gouache glows on this paper as well as using gold and white gel pens.

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I still love my Muji book and I play around in it sometimes but not for this project anymore. The purpose of that was to be free and able to play without worrying about perfection. After a year of that one I'm able to do the same thing on better paper.

I mainly use gouache. I have lots of brands, my favorite is Winsor Newton but I'm a art supply junkie and its hard for me not to buy any color that looks beautiful. I have Holbein, Schminke, Linel, DaVinci..

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I recently found this set of Shinhan poster paint that I've had for decades!! It was all dried out so I added water and reconstituted them.. They are so vibrant and gorgeous so I use these now too.

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I also use a Sakura of America Watercolor travel set. I take this with me whenever I'm away. It is quite thick lustrous paint and Its perfect for travel and I also use it as an everyday paint if I'm too lazy to squeeze some paint onto the palette! I also add detail with ink, either Dr PH Martins Black Star waterproof ink or just lately some Black Walnut ink that a friend made and gave to me... That one isn't waterproof. I also use Bleed Proof White for details and layering over gouache.

 

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I really love this little well palette, but I'm happy mixing paint on anything that is white.

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For paintbrushes I started using Escoda Barroco sintetico after I picked some up on a trip to Spain last spring. They last so much longer than other brushes for me. I am rough on them!!! I use size 1 up through about 16. For big areas of color it goes fast to use a really big brush and the size 1 is great for layering details.

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Discipline wise it has just become something I do. Some days are still hard and I don't love every piece. But I get more confident every day. I don't apologize for one that is ugly anymore.. Maybe I have a migraine, or I got a call that upset me or I just feel crappy. Its about doing it for me and not about the outcome. I usually find something in all of them that makes me happy, but if I don't I just move on to the next day. There is always the next day.  30 minutes is manageable, I can fit it in without feeling too stressed out. This is the only habit in my life that I have been able to keep up like this. I think because its the most rewarding in so many ways.

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I still love this project, even on my 3rd year. I haven't missed a day! I love all the amazing support from everyone.. I wish I could respond to you all individually but it just takes so much time. I read and look at everything that comes through. I'm so grateful for all the press and the jobs and the encouragement that has come from this. Sometimes I just stop in my tracks and am amazed by the whole thing. I wish I could keep up this blog more consistently but I just get too busy and I need time to unwind at the end of the day. I hope this helps answer some questions and I'll update when I can. xo Jennifer

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End of the Year Sketchbook Thoughts

9.3_s I'm not quite at the end of a sketchbook but it is the end of the year. The time we all reevaluate the year, think about the positive and negative things that have passed and what goals we want to achieve in the New Year. I'm about to embark of year 3 of daily painting and drawing. I'm sort of in shock that I've done this for so long.

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There are days that I feel like I just can't do it.. I make a mess, I'm not satisfied, I'm unhappy and stressed. But every single day I get it done. Whatever happens, whatever it "looks" like is really ok with me. Sometimes just the process of putting aside any other work or commitment puts me in a happier place. Those 30 minutes become relaxing and rejuvenating. There are also times when I suffer through it. The brush isn't comfortable in my hand, I feel edgy and wrong... In a practice that is every single day there are bound to be good and bad days. You can't get around that. But as a whole, when I look back at 6 full sketchbooks and 2 in progress it's an amazing feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

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I'm thinking about what changes I want to make in my project for 2016. I'm not the type to keep doing the same thing for the rest of my life. What I do know is that I want to keep painting daily for the rest of my life or for as long as I can. I never could have imagined the positive things that have happened for me because of it. I'm not even talking about jobs, or collaborations, or number of followers. Its the personal joy of setting my mind to doing something and really doing it. I'm more confident, I'm happier, I'm busy in the way I want to be.

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In the next 2 weeks before January 1 I'm deciding if I want to keep on painting in a sketchbook or move onto flat paper. There are pros and cons. I love having a book I can hold with all my work in it. It feels like a diary, a tangible thing that starts and ends. On the other hand I'm not taking them apart so I can't have a exhibit which I'd like to have. I guess I could say I'd do another project where once a week I do a stand alone painting, I'd still have 52 by the end of the year. I'd like to be able to sell my originals, I'm going to run out of room for all of the sketchbooks at some point.. I'd also like the art to be in loving homes. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I should do... Whatever it is, I do say to myself, it's my project, I can do what I want, I can switch around. The main point is that I show up every day.

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Now to do the same in other areas of my life!!