Inspiration: a scruffy sketchbook and leaky pen


The right tools are nice to have — artist quality paints, high quality paper designed for the medium you are using and lovely lines made with a flexi-nib fountain pen. 

I can really get caught up in an art store looking for right sketchbook, newest art book and perfect pen. In Manchester, I bought some lovely Kuretake watercolor markers.  Yummy.

BUT. Sometimes I hide behind the search for the perfect materials,  stiffen up –forget myself and get stuck.

Then I’ll rediscover my favourite sketchbook — a Leichtturm1917 designed for writing not sketching. The paper is impossibly thin for splashes of wet media such as watercolour and ink. It buckles, the ink seeps through to the other side and the paint pools. Imperfection. 

And yet it’s the sketchbook with all of my best drawings.  When I sketch in that scruffy book, it’s like hanging out with a close friend. I relax.  Play around, capture the moment from observation, draw comics, write grocery lists and take notes. No masterpiece for show and tell – just the pleasure of messing about with ideas.

Inside that sketchbook,  I have the most fun. So, as I’m feeling a bit stuck — it’s time to put the fancy stuff aside and tuck the red Leichtturm1917 into my bag and go draw something!

a quick sketch of a fellow traveller and her blue dog

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