Creative Links #17: 10 of My Favourite Sketchbook Artists and Their Blogs

Pens and Sketchbook

Each week I share a few links to things I’ve enjoyed online. This week I decided to share links to blogs by some of my favourite sketchbook artists. These are all people who regularly draw in sketchbooks, documenting their lives in all kinds of different ways.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list and my plan is to share new lists of favourite blogs in the future. For now I hope you enjoy exploring these:

  1. I mention him and his work a lot so it makes sense that Danny Gregory is the first on this list. His blog isn’t just about sharing his drawings, he also writes about creativity and promotes his other work (books and online courses).
  2. Koosje Koene is a Dutch artist who lives in Amsterdam and along with Danny Gregory, founded Sketchbook Skool. She shares images from her art journals, and videos demonstrating techniques and ideas for how to make art. She also offers a few different online classes that I keep meaning to try out.
  3. Prashant Miranda is an artist who documents his life and travels in his art journals and is a great example of someone who makes art every single day.
  4. Another artist I’ve mentioned before is Tommy Kane, who is based in New York and again, documents his life and travels in his sketchbook. Tommy often spends hours on a single drawing, making sure to record even the tiniest details in his distinctive style.
  5. For the past 2 or 3 years I’ve been in awe of France Belleville Van Stone‘s artwork. She is a high school teacher and author, and draws every day in her sketchbook or on her iPad, even if she only has a few minutes to spare.
  6. Lapin is a French illustrator, living in Barcelona and Paris, who uses old ledgers and accounting books as his sketchbooks.
  7. Another sketchbook artist who I’ve mentioned a few times before is Liz Steel, an architect who lives in Sydney and draws (amongst other things) her three loves – buildings, tea and cake.
  8. Roz Stendahl is an artist, graphic designer, teacher and book binder. Her sketchbooks contain drawings of animals, lots of experimentation with different media, as well as notes and ideas. On her blog she also shares in-depth reviews of art resources.
  9. Jean Christophe Defline is an artist who records his travels in detail in his sketchbooks and these drawings often form the basis of the book covers he draws, which are influenced by Hergé’s Tin Tin books.
  10. Cathy Johnson is a prolific watercolour artist, who, among other things, teaches online classes, has illustrated and authored books and shares snippets of her own life in her blog posts. She loves nature and a lot (although not all) of her work reflects that.

An Imaginary Book Cover

Coloured book cover of 2 people in New York

Here’s the bigger homework I did for Jean-Christophe Defline‘s Sketchbook Skool klass. The homework was to design a book cover, either for a book that you like or for some kind of imaginary book that doesn’t exist at the moment.

When we went to New York earlier this year I had intentions of doing lots of sketching while we were there. I bought a tiny sketchbook and planned to fill most of it over the course of the week. But I didn’t. I didn’t do any drawing at all. I spent my time either taking photos, walking around and looking at things or resting in the hotel room.

So I decided that my book cover would be inspired by my trip and I used the photographs I took as reference points to put this drawing together. My idea was that this would be a replacement for the travel sketchbook that I didn’t make, or perhaps the cover for the travel sketchbook if I had made it (if that makes sense!) – the sketchbook that never was.

I also decided that, just as Jean-Christophe uses the Tintin book covers for inspiration I would loosely base the layout of this cover on the covers for the hardback copies of the Moomin comic strips.

Rough sketch of a book cover

I started out with  a couple of rough sketches. This one was the second one I did and the most detailed. I actually sketched it in HB pencil but when I scanned it it was barely visible so I adjusted it in Picasa so you can actually see it.

I traced a few of the details from this sketch using tracing paper and added a few more as I went along before transferring the traced drawing into my sketchbook. I outlined it in Copic Multiliner 0.3, used a Copic BS brush pen for the black coat and the lamp post and the rest is watercolour paint.

There are a few things I’d change if I did this again and some corrections I’d make but otherwise I’m quite pleased and really enjoyed doing this drawing.

Little People

Black and white drawings of 3 people

This week’s teacher at Sketchbook Skool was Jean-Christophe Defline. Jean-Christophe lives in Paris and he draws book covers inspired by the Tintin books to illustrate the adventures he (known as Flinflin) has with his wife and children.

He set us 2 homeworks and this is the first. It was a little warm up drawing in preparation for a bigger, second homework where we drew small sketches of people from photographs. Jean-Christophe suggested using a pen that wasn’t too fine to avoid getting bogged down in details. Each figure should take no more than about 15-20 minutes.

Because I knew what the next homework was going to be and I’d already started having some ideas for it, I used some of my photographs from my trip to New York and drew some of the people from those. First in pencil and then in 0.5 Copic Multiliner and a Copic BS brush pen for to fill in the darker areas.