I’ve been spending more time in my sketchbooks and have been enjoying that solitary time. The great photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who took up drawing later in his career, said that drawing was a meditation and I think he hit it on the head. Sitting and drawing in my sketchbooks (or doing any art, for that matter) is an inner journey at times, a sort of zen place where a lot of personal reflection comes into play. My sketchbooks are mostly filled with observational drawing. It’s not that I don’t work out various compositional problems in them or try to refine some figure or other, but by and large my sketchbooks are just a place to keep my hand in. I’m not one to draw monsters or space marines and so the books are mostly filled with drawings done at cafés, while traveling, or while watching various movies purely for my own pleasure.
I began sketching in sketchbooks religiously in art school, a habit ingrained on me by my teacher Barron Storey. If you’ve not seen his sketchbooks you need to familiarize yourself with them:
Lately I’ve been scanning my sketchbooks with an eye toward self-publishing a nice volume of drawings from the pile of sketchbooks I’ve filled over the years. If you visit my website: http://www.georgepratt.com and navigate to the sketchbook section you can view a somewhat broad selection of these books. But I thought I’d throw out a few of the images I’ve done relatively recently. I’ve shot these with my iphone rather than scan them for the sake of time. I’m usually posting these on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but thought I’d throw out a blog post as well and try to get a feel for what you might think of a book of material like this.
These days I’ve been really leaning on working with a Soft and Smooth Palomino Blackwing pencil in a Moleskine sketchbook. I love the way the buttery line that the Blackwing’s soft lead has and the beautiful tones I can achieve by smearing the line with my finger. I’ll cut back into the drawing with the white eraser on the Blackwing and also use the Mono Zero 2.3mm eraser by Tombo. On many of these you’ll also see the use of a white gel pen, which is a nice little hit on the sort of off yellowish Moleskine paper and pops just enough.
There’s a few in ink as well. I’ll jump around with different media and even different sketchbook papers, usually opting for the Moleskine, but occasionally a brown paper sketchbook where the white gel pen really shines. In addition to the Blackwing pencil I may use a Pilot Custom 98 fountain pen or a Hi-Tec C gel pen for my linework. Every media is fair game (watercolor, gouache, colored gel pens, acrylics, etc.) and it’s only lately that I’ve focused on pencil and pen.
I’d love to hear any thoughts about the possible publication of a sketchbook. Is this something that might be of interest to you? As usual, thank you for scoping out the blog!