Sunday, January 16, 2011

Is it a Sketchbook or an Art Journal

For my word of the year I narrowed my choice down to the word focus. My focus is on completion on finishing things I start.  These can be old projects that have been around for years or new things that I start. To cement the idea in my head I like to do a art journal page on the idea. The page is fairly simple but the message does get across so I think that is all that is needed.

I am participating in the Year long Sketchbook Challenge and first I decorated the cover but didn't do much beyond that.  I tried some simple sketches on the first few pages, but there is nothing fantastic that I wanted to share.  I found myself trying to turn the book into an Art Journal and had to stop myself.

The theme this month is highly prized.  I found the prompt to be a little problematic as it can encompass so much.  I ended up adding a drawing my daughter did to the page and then doing my own little sketch.  Next came a few words on the idea.

I am really not too sure how to handle this sketchbook thing.  When I see some of the artists sketchbooks  on the site I see elaborated drawings with watercolor added so they really look like paintings themselves. I have always thought of a sketchbook as pen or graphite and I know that is limiting myself.  Perhaps if I were better at watercolor I would not hesitate to add it. So tell me what do you think the difference is between an art journal and a sketchbook?

This is the another page in the sketchbook.  I drew her from my own imagination, she is done in graphite pencils H and 4B.


  1. All of these are really good. I don't think it matters (at least to me!) whether it's a sketchbook or an art journal. Remember there are no rules in art! I have been reading the sketchbook blog but I haven't done anything so far. I'm with you on the prompt. It didn't resonate with me.

  2. For me, a naturalist, the sketchbook is something I take with me out into nature and then sketch whatever i am studying or see. It helps me focus more on the plant or bird or sea creature or habitat or whatever it is that has caught my attention at the time. I learn more about what I sketch through the process and it challenges me as an artist because I am far more of an abstract artist. I use pen and ink, pencils, charcoal, colored pencil and watercolor pencil mainly. I also tend to think of a sketchbook as a place to practice drawing, to challenge myself in trying to learn observation skills and techniques i don't otherwise use. it is a place to record what is happening in the world around me in quick and sometimes not so quick sketches. That may be of one of my cats sleeping in the sun or the new flowers blooming in the garden and so on. I suppose a sketchbook in the end should be what you need it to be. Why did you decide to participate in the challenge to begin with, what were your motivations, what did you hope to get out of it?

    I love your word for 2011!

  3. I think sketchbook and art journal go hand in hand. Either way you're putting your thoughts on paper. The difference is how far you're gonna develop the subject. :) Love your focus page.

  4. Good question... what is the difference? But I see your point. When I was in highschool a sketchbook was simply that, 'a SKETCHbook'. Now I think that sketching is not as appealing to me as it once was (after learning to art journal). I love filling the pages!
    Hugs to you

  5. These are really good drawings!! I'm probably like you with your thinking about sketchbooks, but that's cuz I don't paint much (or at all). I bet ppl use the word interchangeably. An art journal for me would be WAY MORE PERSONAL, but that's just me :D


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