No big gusts of wind over Thanksgiving weekend means there are more pieces in the “Fall in Almaden” series. One of the things I try to do when I sketch a subject over and over is switch something up each time. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a different viewpoint, or a different tool.
I love typography and signage, and really enjoyed drawing the upside-down, distorted “STOP” painted on the road. (Drawing typography upside down, from the center outwards, or back to front is what I do normally anyways, it keeps me looking at shapes instead of just slipping into writing)
I did this sitting in my car, looking up this side street and using my cupholder to keep my open ink bottle from tipping over while I dipped my reed pen in it. I love the organic lines of the reed pen and how it goes so quickly from a juicy mark to dry scratches.
I’m often asked what sketchbook I use the most. It’s the Stillman & Birn softcover Beta journal. It’s a hardy multi-media book, and I like to try stuff in my book without wondering if the paper can hold up to it. This thick paper will take almost anything except alcohol-based inks without leak-through. Here I use big wet washes for the trees, repeated scratching into with a dry pen and finger smudging, some of it done while the page is wet and at its most vulnerable.
Sketchbook preferences are a personal thing. You’re always exchanging one thing for another: a true watercolor paper for a multi-media one, the pen gliding on a surface for texture, and more. What works for one person might not work for another. But if you know why someone likes a certain book, and how they like to work, that helps understand their choices.