Thursday, 20 December 2012

Artist Sketchbooks Show and Tell 2

Amazed. I really should start this post with that one  distinctive word. Why? Because I literally had to work up a sweat to prepare this article! Honestly, up until now I thought I belong to a minor group with "artist" written in my resume but have very little ability to keep a sketchbook. But it turned out that I have lots of friends in that department! You have no idea how many times I was turned down while inviting other artists to participate in this post simply because they don't use sketchbooks. Well, it's a good thing I have the will power of steel. Haha! :D

So anyway, without further ado, here are peeks into the minds of some fabulously creative souls (bless you and your sketchbooks. LOL!)...

As it has been a busy past few months for me, sketching is a great quick creative outlet for me as well as a way for me to keep my "creative juices" flowing :) I like the fact that I don't have to be as concerned about the final product as I am with painting, and that loosens me up to experiment a little bit more with my style and technique as well as different themes. Some of these become ideas for paintings, but a lot of them are just for fun. Faces are my favorite thing to draw and paint, so I tend to focus on these the most. ~ Lauren Saxton, Fair Rosamund Art ~

I have the most fertile imagination, so my sketchbooks are the place where I get to plant and sow the ideas. Some won't take, but others will and blossom into strange things that keep me amused. Mostly, I use them as a place to experiment and try things. My favorite things to sketch with are ball point pens with just a touch of color with colored pencils. Sometimes, I end up drawing whole stories in my sketchbooks like the Bunny Girl who feels odd called, "Being Odd" and the Victorian underwater adventure called, "Fish Tale". It's a lot of fun. Can't you tell? ~ Melissa Kojima, Artist in La La Land ~

"I tend to use my sketchbooks as a place to play with colours or try out new techniques. My ideal sketchbook is an A5 because it reminds me of a normal sized book, like a novel.I use my sketchbooks as art journals too and sometimes write personal things from my heart which I more often than not layer with paint which then leads to other visual ideas.I've kept sketchbooks since I first started painting 20 years ago and still find it difficult to break out from the page onto a fresh piece of paper or canvas. It feels safe for me inside my little sketchbook! :)" ~ Jessica Stride, Jessie Lilac ~

I am constantly sketching. I have a large stack of paper next to my desk that I doodle on all day. It’s actually 8 ½ x 11 inch computer paper. My desk is filled with paper and pencils – I draw everyday. I absolutely LOVE coming up with ideas and sketches, and get excited when I have a new idea for a drawing! I use pencils and pen to draw….mostly pencils. The paper next to me on my computer desk is my sketch “pad” or pile as I like to call it. It is filled with faces, characters, ideas, song lyrics, pretty much all of my thoughts that might come to me throughout the day. I wish I had more time to draw all of the thoughts I write down. I listen to music all day while I draw and am definitely inspired by the lyrics of many of my favorite artists. I am also greatly inspired by my two daughters- the perfect muse(s) for a children’s illustrator! Thanks so much for taking the time to read about me and my sketch book! ~ Heather Stillufsen, Rose Hill Design Studio ~

I recently did a Christmas card that had a similar feel to this first sketch of a girl in portrait form. I had so much fun with it that I wanted to make a valentine greeting in that same vein. Here she's still in her early stages, but you can see her muff is in the appropriate shape of a heart. The other illustration is the companion to my painting of Fergus Fox, who was always intended to be accompanied by his sister. So here she is. This is the original drawing of both of them together. Both Fergus and his sister came about from a trip to the museum, where they had a fox family on display. I've found inspiration to be something that can hit you at any given moment, and you always have to be ready to receive it. ~ Gretchen Powers, The Blooming hare ~

I don’t tend to doodle much in my sketchbook. If I get an idea for a drawing I just want to put it on paper there and then. I hate having to wait or think about things too long. Approaching life in general in that way can be lots of fun unfortunately I guess it doesn’t always go without its troubles. In my creativity, especially when I am approaching a new piece of art, I may end up with things not quite working out but I am resourceful and don’t like to throw things away either. Often this is a time when new things and ideas are born so I guess it is not such a bad thing after all. These pieces will often end up glued in my sketchbook.  If you follow my blog you will certainly have been introduced to Lottie Popjes, she was a mixture of creative adventures gone wrong. I love her dearly because she is so much of what I am about and how I got where I am now.  I am looking forward to her visits to my sketchbooks for the year 2013. ~ Manon Visser, Manon's Popjes ~


My huge, huge thanks to these wonderful artists for sharing some of their inspirations here on Pencils and Fireflies. As I mentioned before, I'm very bad at keeping a sketchbook myself. But that is the very reason why I have started this routine post in the first place...which is to inspire everyone, including myself, to pour out what's up there onto paper and keep the creativity going! I have started drawing more and more in my sketchbook because of it and I will show it to you some time when I'm over my stage fright. :)

Until next time!

Many hugs,


  1. Ah, how fun to see this show and tell of sketch books. I'm so glad you asked me and these other lovely artists what's in their sketchbooks. There's something about paper and pencil or pen that just can't replace anything else. I love it. Glad we're in this sketchbook club.

  2. I do love posts about sketchbooks and this one is particularly special to me because you've been so kind to include mine, thankyou Amalia! ♥ I shall enjoy looking up the other artists's too! :)
    Jess xx

  3. hello Amalia,

    i love your sketchbook posts. so fun to have a peak inside and read what each artists shares about their sketching. thank you for sharing each artist!

  4. What fun it is to take a peek inside of someone's sketchbook! Thank you Amalia for including my illustrations. I'm so glad to be a part of your lovely site!

  5. such an inspiring post, i follow already those guest blogs featured here, lovely artworks :)
    wish you happy holidays

  6. Oh wow, look I am there too! Thank you so much Amilia :)
    This is such a great idea I love peeking in sketchbooks. It such a personal thing. I guess it is a place where we can really let go and play. I am amazed how you have managed to get so many artists together to participate. Well done!! Now I am of to join the blogs I haven't already joined.

  7. Happy Holidays Amalia :D (((HUGS)))

  8. What a great post and I love to see how other artists process their ideas. I doodle/sketch in a smaller version, just to get the idea down before I lose it.

  9. Such a wonderful post with so many talented people. What a beautiful blog Amalia...glad I found you via Manon's blog.

    Merry Christmas! And greetings from Wichita, Kansas!

  10. Thank you so very much for this! It's wonderful and i am honored to be included with all of this amazing talent!
    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  11. This is a wonderful idea and I so much love your blog!



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