2018 Sketchbook Tour

Hi there. How are you?

It didn’t really seem like I did much sketch-booking this year until I sat down to compile this post. In 2018, I made 37 drawings in two different sketchbooks. Considering one finished drawing can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, that’s not half bad!

See all 37 sketchbook drawings I made in 2018.

After drawing exclusively in the the standard 5" x 8.25" size Moleksine sketchbook for many years, I started using the ultra portable pocket size again as well. At just "3.5" x 5.5", the tiny Moleskine was perfect for all of the traveling we did this year, especially our trip to Switzerland!

*The Amazon links included here are affiliate links. I earn a small commission when you purchase through these links. It's a small way to support the work I do without any cost to you. (Thank you!)

Video Tour Time!

So that you can quickly view all 37 drawings, I created a short video, showing each sketchbook spread in chronological order. Just click that arrow on the image below to watch.

Patterns and Themes of 2018

Looking back at all of the sketches I made this year, I recognized some patterns and themes in my work. I’ve also noticed how my style and technique change over time.

I used a lot of true blue.

I actually did 5 drawings in just blue. I’ve always been drawn to the color and Bic blue pens are incredibly easy to draw with. I also had a chance to try out the Baux Pen 2, a new ballpoint pen body that works with Bic pen parts. It's solid and feels good in my hand. At first it felt a little heavy, but after a while I really liked that weight. It seemed to give me more control.

As the year progressed, more “holes” appeared in my drawings.

Negative spaces really made a comeback in my work this year. I can’t tell you why, they just did.

florals Reemerged too.

If you’ve been following my art journey for a while, you’ll recognize these shapes. Florals have been a reoccurring theme in my work forever.

And then there’s these.

I don’t know what to call these, but I like them and I’ll keep making them.

This concludes our 2018 sketchbook tour.

I hope you enjoyed it. I sure enjoyed looking back at this year of work. It makes me excited to do even more in 2019.

Do you have a favorite drawing of mine from this year?

Leave me a comment and let me know.

Ciao, Jen

P.S. If you’d like to learn my ballpoint drawing techniques, check out the “Jen & Ink” e-courses. In my two self-paced courses, I share my ballpoint pen drawing secrets and techniques.

New E-Course Coming Soon!

Hi there. How are you?

I’m in the home stretch of finishing up my newest e-course.

My newest drawing course is coming soon. My lovely mailing list members will be first to know when the course is live. Click to join now!

My newest drawing course is coming soon. My lovely mailing list members will be first to know when the course is live. Click to join now!

New E-course will be live soon!

“Jen & Ink in Color” is a companion course to the original “Jen & Ink” course. I dive into color and how to harmoniously work two or more colors together in a composition. I’ll be tackling all sorts of color schemes including complementary colors, analogous colors, triads, and how to successfully incorporate black and brown into drawings without overwhelming.

Want a sneak peek of the first lesson?

In this lesson, I discuss the color wheel and color theory. Knowing how colors work together (or don’t work together!) is an important part of any work made in color.

The video gives a nice overview of the content of Jen & Ink in Color. You’ll see all of the color schemes that I will demonstrate in this course.

Want to get started now?

Take my first course, “Jen & Ink!” You’ll want to take that one first, as they build on one another.


Already taken Jen & Ink?

Be sure you’re on the mailing list.

My lovely mailing list members will be first to know when the course is live and will be able to purchase the course at a discounted rate!

Gotta go work on my course. Ciao!

Sketchbook Tour - Spring 2018

Hi there. How are you? 

As spring is quickly turning to summer in Southern Illinois, I thought it was a good time to look back and share my sketchbook with you. It's fun to see the work that I've created in my trusty Moleskine over the past 4 months.

These drawings account for hours and HOURS of work. I work for days, even weeks on one page. It's hard to estimate the exact number of hours I put into a drawing, as they're done over many days. Let's say I average at least 8 hours per drawing.

* The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. If you click and purchase I will get a small portion of the sale at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

So, without any further adieu, here's my sketchbook.

Ballpoint drawings by Jennifer Johansson made with a Yoobi 8-in-one pen. 

Yoobi Experiments

I got to experiment with my new Yoobi pen this spring. I will definitely be taking this 8-in-one pen with me to Europe this summer. On top of being ultra portable, the ink is really nice and smooth. 

Ballpoint experiments by Jennifer Johansson for a custom wedding invitation. 

Wedding Work

I've been working on invitations for my brother's upcoming wedding. These were both experiments for the actual invitation, which has a desert/succulent theme.  It was fun to work in one of my most favorite of color schemes. 

And before you ask, the burgundy pen is a Pentel RVSP. I've only been able to find these on Amazon. I suspect that they might not be manufactured any longer as they're about $5.50 a pop! But that color is pretty darn great, so I gave in and bought. 

I experimented with the Perfecto pens that a patron sent to me from the Netherlands. 

Going Neon with Perfecto Pens

I also experimented with my Perfecto ballpoint set that a generous patron sent me from the Netherlands. (Thank you Natasja!)  The colors are so vibrant, especially the orange! These photos just don't do it justice.

*I would link to these Perfecto pens if I could find them anywhere on the internet, but alas, they are nowhere to be found. 

These patriotic ballpoint drawings are destined to become backgrounds for voter postcards.

Destined to be Postcards

I got a little patriotic with these two. Both were drawn to be backgrounds for voter postcards. You can see how I used the bottom drawing here. 

My most recent ballpoint sketches.

My Most Recent Work

These are my most recent sketches. The blue one has become the background for my new Kentucky state print. 

Ballpoint drawings by Jennifer Johansson. 

The Oddballs

I started the black drawing on top when I was particularly frustrated. I don't even remember why I was frustrated, I just know I needed to start drawing without any thought behind it. It's a weirdo, but I like it. 

I set out early in the year to make some large drawings outside of my sketchbook to submit to some museum shows. I made this one above, but I'm not so sure how I feel about it. 

This concludes our Spring 2018 Sketchbook Tour.

I hope you enjoyed it. I'm about to leave for a week on the beach, which usually means lots of time for sketch booking. Stay tuned! 

Before you leave.......Wanna keep in touch? 

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