Here are the first two layers of me working into my new concertina sketchbook. I’m using this one. From all my research, this Seawhite brand is the best one out there, with thick enough pages for no bleed through, with a lovely, non-toothy, white surface. You can work into both sides; the contents of this post are only one side of it.
A concertina sketchbook is an accordion style sketchbook, or what some people call a Japanese sketchbook. It unfolds into a long continuous page or folds open to a few pages at a time. It is fun to work in with one page leading into the next in some way, with a continued element.
Click here to see a short video of this sketchbook at this stage, and see how the pages link together and morph into one another.
The idea here at this stage is to get a wide variety of creative marks down to respond to in future layers. It is a great place to experiment. Here is some of what you see here:
- a bit of scattered gesso and a little ripped artist tape put down for texture and different absorbency in future layers
- watercolor crayon marks, the only color here, which was unnoticeable until later fluid layers hit them
- black Posca pen, run in some places with water added
- crumbled up charcoal rubbed into glue stick marks
- Artgraf sticks, both wet and not yet wet; a wonderful very black mark that will run when wet
- a leaf sandwiched between tissue paper
- different sizes of brushes
- collage of black and white bits, white ripped edges showing
- white Gelly Roll scribbles
- white Posca pen dots
- graphite rubbings on tissue paper, glued face side down so they won’t smear (a graphite crayon helps for this)
- rubbings made with black magazine papers rubbed over texture with sandpaper and then collaged
- ripped edges from notebooks
- binder ring labels
- sticky labels from pages printed with black and white photos of my artwork
- dripping ink moved with scraggly brushes
- India ink toothbrush spatters, plus larger drips
- water soluble graphite lines and scribbles, wet with a brush
- painted tissue paper, with scrapped textures
Next I will be putting on tinted glazes in acrylic, and then the painting in, responding to what’s here will begin. Next time I post about this it will look completely different!
I love this liberating, experimental process. Sometimes it is nice not knowing where you are going and being open to discovery. I’ve tried a few techniques that are new to me, like printing my art on labels to use as collage elements, and also the two new types of rubbings.; I loved these and will use them again. Each sketchbook/ artist journal project moves my art a little forward in ways that totally make them worth doing. Besides it is just pure frolicking fun.
You can putter along with this doing ten minutes at a time here and there, or immerse yourself in a big, binging burst. Whichever way of working this is joy inducing and grounding. I hope you’ll join me!