The Gift of a Really Cheap Sketchbook

I use and enjoy plenty of nice sketchbooks, books with lovely multi-media and 100% cotton watercolor paper. This book below isn’t one of them. The Midori Blank Notebook is about 4×6 inches, has 176 thin pages, and costs a little over $8.

It has become a must-take-everywhere book for me. Why?

Below is a sequence of sketches, done one day as I waited for my kid at an orthodontist appt. I had no idea how long I had to sketch. I guessed 20 minutes, turns out it was 45. As I sat outside a Starbucks I put pen to paper, drew a wee bit, turned the page, started another sketch, only to have the person/dog move away, turned the page, started yet another drawing… You get the idea.

With a fancier paper, I’d never have done this. It was really fun to just keep going, not filtering out anything. Below are 7 spreads, in sequence, from that 45 minute session.

Starting Slowish
Then the kids on their bikes arrive. But they don’t hang out long…
These ladies are interesting, but that dog is more challenging.
He moves a lot. And I don’t understand dog anatomy well enough to sketch as quick as he moves…
I can’t tell what I was going for here. But obviously the page turned pretty quickly.
I slowed down. Color added with a rainbow pencil
Last sketch as I think, “What’s taking her so long?”

And then I get a call, the appointment is done. That was a fun don’t-think-just-draw 45 minutes.

The Midori book is a lovely smooth paper that pens and pencils glide across deliciously. Archival? I doubt it. I love that you can kinda see the previous (and next) sketch through the think pages. I feel like an old-time rotoscoping artist, onion-skinning a story together.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in books, california, Close to home, Doodles, Everyday Sketches, people, san jose, Silicon Valley, Sketch Journal and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Gift of a Really Cheap Sketchbook

  1. Nice sketches, I really like the coloured one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tina Koyama says:

    Hooray for the cheap, small sketchbook! I use a Field Notes notebook for this purpose… I have lots of half-done sketches when people walked away or whatever I was waiting for happened, and I had to go. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lee Kline says:

    I agree that it is always a good idea to take along a sketchbook I do not worry about in terms of quality paper, etc.

    Lee Kline

    On Wed, Aug 11, 2021 at 9:35 AM Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook wrote:

    > Suhita Shirodkar posted: ” I use and enjoy plenty of nice sketchbooks, > books with lovely multi-media and 100% cotton watercolor paper. This book > below isn’t one of them. The Midori Blank Notebook is about 4×6 inches, has > 176 thin pages, and costs a little over $8. It has becom” >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Margy says:

    Reminds me of the difference between film and digital cameras! I take lots more photos with my digital camera because I don’t have to pay for developing and prints!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pfel says:

    “With a fancier paper, I’d never have done this. ” I see myself SO MUCH in this quote.
    Gorgeous drawings as usual, thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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