sketchbook

Summer Sketches

Hi there. How are you?

The summer months are a notoriously unproductive time for me. It’s hard for me to be inside when the weather is nice and things at my day job get insanely busy. My studio sat empty for most of June, July, and August.

I also have to be in the right headspace to make. It was a tough summer for me personally, which also contributed to my lack of production.

That doesn’t mean I wasn’t making, but it was mainly confined to my sketchbook, and done in fits and starts. It’s important for me to keep up my creative practice. Without it, I just don’t feel myself.

Here’s how I snuck in some drawing time:

Ballpoint & marker drawings from May 2019.

Ballpoint & marker drawings from May 2019.

I drew on the job.

I worked on these drawings while attending a conference. If someone is talking, I was drawing. It keeps me focused on what they’re saying. I’m still deeply enamored with my Parker Pen.

Ballpoint and marker drawings from June 2019.

Ballpoint and marker drawings from June 2019.

I drew on the couch.

If you’ve seen my Instagram Stories, you’ve probably seen me “couch drawing.” If I’m sitting on the couch, watching TV at night, I’m usually drawing in my sketchbook. Sometimes I try to take videos while I’m drawing so you can see my process. (Find some of those videos in my stories highlights.)

A loose drawing made on a road trip.

A loose drawing made on a road trip.

I drew in the car.

(I wasn’t driving.) I made this very loose sketch as a passenger on a road trip. It was the first time in a long time I drew with a Pilot pen. I used these all the time when I was making my coloring books.

I made this ballpoint drawing while on vacation in San Diego this summer.

I made this ballpoint drawing while on vacation in San Diego this summer.

I drew when I traveled.

I did this one while visiting my brother and his wife in San Diego. Airports, airplanes, and beaches are great places for me to sneak in some drawing time.

Drawings made with Bic Cristal ballpoints purchased from the UK. Click for purchase information.

Drawings made with Bic Cristal ballpoints purchased from the UK. Click for purchase information.

I experimented with new pens.

A student in my Jen & Ink Ballpoint course turned me on to a set of Bic Cristal Ballpoints from the UK that included some new colors. (There’s even a gold!) When I have new supplies, I just have to try em’ out! These drawings were the first I’d none in a while with anything other than a black pen. Unfortunately, these pens are out of stock on Amazon. But hopefully, they’ll be available again in the future.

Ballpoint drawings from July 2019.

Ballpoint drawings from July 2019.

Most importantly, I stuck with it.

Drawing can bring me a lot of peace. It’s almost meditative for me. I drew when I wanted and didn’t worry about the outcome. There are some drawings I made this summer that will never get finished and I’ll never share. That’s perfectly OK.

As Emily Jeffords says, I “do it for the process.”⠀

I encourage you to make if it brings you joy. You don’t have to share it or show it to anyone. Do it for yourself.

What do you do, just for the process?

What do you do, just for you, to bring you joy?

Do tell.

That’s all for now.

Ciao, Jen

* HEADS UP: As an Amazon Influencer, I earn a small commission when you purchase the pens I've listed here with Amazon links. It's a small way to support the work I do without any cost to you. (Thank you!)

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!