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An Artist's Sketchbook

An Artist's Sketchbook

Amy Wilson

A book about the ocean

If you take one of my drawing classes, you’re all too familiar with these sketchbooks I’ve become obsessed with, since I keep having my students buy them and do projects in them. I wish I had a better way to describe them, but one of their selling points is their absolute non-descriptiveness: they are small (6 × 7 inches, about?), with a simple solid colored cover, staple bound. The paper inside is decent but not totally amazing, but the books are really cheap so it’s ok (maybe $3.50 each? see, I’m vague on details). Basically, if you can picture one of those examination books you’d get for mid-terms when you were in high school then you can get a good idea of what I mean. There is no brand name on it anywhere I can see. The website of the store where I buy them doesn’t have any info about what they are or who makes them. They’re like the indiest indie band ever that refuses to have a name or a label or release an album, to the point where the line between “cool” and “frustrating” becomes really blurred.

Anyway. I adore these books because it’s relatively easy to get going on a little experimental jag in them and fill them up pretty quickly. Most sketchbooks have 100 pages or so in them; these have about 25 – totally doable to fill the whole thing in about a week.

So that’s what I’ve been doing – I have several of these books going at one time and it is SO fun. I’ve been wanting to kick out some simple images that would give me the flexibility to think more about my writing, as least as an experiment.

This is the one that is the most done and it’s about halfway finished. The waterline is going up and then receding and then moving back again (ok, you can see it partway through its process here). I put one of these images up on this blog before, but I think it’s better to see it in context:

Might rework that last one, not sure yet.

Anyway, there’s about ten more spreads to go, I think. But you can see the start of it here.

I’m also doing some single drawings that I really like, but the leisurely pace of winter break has given me some time to breathe, flake out, and work on books. Oh winter break, please don’t ever end…


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