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Posts Tagged ‘sketchbook tips’

sketchbook tips

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

I love sketchbooks! They are my favourite part of my university projects and I am always looking for inspirational books to give me ideas for layout, techniques etc. I find it fascinating to look through somebodies sketchbook; they are so personal and I think they show a person at their most creative.

I have put together a few pointers that I think about when starting a new sketchbook, I hope that you find them useful!


Sketchbooks are available in many sizes and it is important to think before you start how big or small you would like yours to be (I hate it when half way through a project you find the pages too big that you struggle to fill them or if they are too small for your photographs, etc).  I have found that artists and designers tend to stick with a size that they find comfortable to work with; for some reason I like a square sketchbook… Small sketchbooks help to make your work look busy and exciting and full of ideas, however they can be restricting if your research and imagery is too large. Large sketchbooks (A4 plus) can be daunting when faced with a blank, white page, but the space is less restricting, allows for more creativity and there is many more ways to layout your ideas.

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Everybody has their own style when it comes to the layout of your pages; sparse imagery with lots of background colour can look just as great as a busy page with lots to see and touch. I find looking through graphic layout books really helpful as well as seeing others work. The main point is that the page flows and is visually interesting. I always try and make the page different to the previous one, take a risk and it will probably pay off!

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I usually start a new page by adding some paint to the background and make a mess! Then I start layering images, magazine tears, fabrics and papers. Craft and art shops sell great ranges of patterned paper but this is usually expensive; I try and use cheaper alternatives like old wrapping paper, packaging and paper bags. Be creative when attaching items to the page, perhaps stitching it would look good, or use a paperclip? Small details like this will enhance your sketchbook! Adding in texture can also enhance each page; I like to use corrugated card or bubble wrap as stamp with a thin layer of paint. Staining with a damp tea bag is also an old favourite!

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A great big chunky sketchbook instantly looks exciting! Even though this is a personal part of development within a project, I always think about somebody else flicking through the pages and would they be interested in what I have done? I like to include elements on every page that the reader can touch and feel; such as fabrics, textured paper, textile samples and other crafty items such as buttons and trims. My favourite way to include these is by making little envelopes that can hold the item and allow the reader to fully handle it! I find that UHU glue is great for sticking a diverse range of materials to the pages.

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There are many ways to add text to your pages whilst keeping it in the overall style of your book. Stencils and stamps are quick ways to add titles and look effective. Try printing on acetate paper which is good for when your page is full as it can be layered over without the need to compensate any imagery.

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All photographs and work my own.

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