E received this sketchbook from her mentor, R, on the day of her confirmation. (Remember R of ella-print shirt fame?) She’s had her nose buried in a book since school let out, but after blazing through a half dozen titles, she’s now buried in her sketchbook for hours on end. I thought I’d open it up to the last couple of pages and show you what she’s working on and ask her a few questions.
She’s been using a copic marker set she received for Christmas from her grandparents, and she had some work done in those. I suggested taking an ink pen over them for some added detail work, and she took that idea and ran with it.
I love the pinwheels she started and finished today. She sketched them out in pencil first, and then did the contrasting sides of the paper, like a real pinwheel. She even taught her little sister how to draw them.
Her sketches reminded me of Lisa Congdon’s sketchbook spreads, so I showed her some of those this afternoon. (I follow Lisa on Instagram @lisacongdon, and I highly recommend it!) Lisa does a lot of white linework on colors, and E’s elephant and this growing village (it’s now twice the size since I took this photo) reminds me of her work.
I think it’s so important to have some sort of daily practice at what you love to do – especially since E seems really engaged and enthusiastic about art and graphic design. Sketchbooks are some of the best tools to beat summer boredom, and having good tools is always the way to go. She talked about trying out some pinwheels in a larger format with watercolors and masking fluid, using a similar technique to the popsicles I made recently. I think that’s a really cool idea – I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.
Q: What is your favorite medium to work in?
E: Watercolors, or ink – or a combination of both! For totally different reasons – watercolor is really freeing, you can make things as detailed or loose as you want to. Ink has a lot more control, and you can do the tiniest details ever. My favorite is the combination of the two! I love these watercolor like markers I’ve been using.
Q: Do you think you’ll be doing a lot of drawing / painting this summer?
E: Is that even a real question? Um… yeah.
Q: What projects would you like to tackle this summer?
E: I would like to do a really large watercolor painting – I’m excited to try something on a larger scale.
Q: What’s your favorite work you’ve done to date?
E: That’s a hard one. Maybe the painting of a gnome that I did on canvas this past year. I also get “gently teased” for my school projects – they tend to be really large and elaborate. (Mom edits to add: And take forever, driving everyone insane and robbing us of necessary sleep!)
Q: Is there any medium that’s really challenging to you that you wish you could do better?
E: Painting people is really hard. I can draw people okay, but painting them is really tough.
Me: Thanks for answering my questions and for letting us peek inside your sketchbook.
E: (Giggles) Anytime. It’s not like it’s a diary!