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Archive for April, 2009

Ever have one of those days where it is difficult to do anything? My “L” day was one of those days and it is evident from the pen & ink illustration. My “L” is unfinished and represents the lethergy I was feeling when I was journaling this letter. The drawing feels right with the incomplete word “lethargic” at the bottom. I am happy to leave this as-is to remind me that not every day is an easy day and not all journaling needs to be finished to communicate a feeling or mood. I am sure that when I revisit this journal in the distant future, this page will be a strong reminder of what I was feeling at the time I created it.

Not All Work Needs to Be Finished to Communicate a Strong Feeling or Mood.

Not All Work Needs to Be Finished to Communicate a Strong Feeling or Mood.

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Are you having trouble deciding which notebook or journal to use next? Do you want more information about journal sizes, line widths and page counts? Discover which notebook is the best fit for you and your lifestyle by using this chart including four high-quality journal makers. You’ll find measurements, available sizes, line widths, page count and more. Each of these manufacturers offer journals that are well made, acid-free and designed to be used on a regular basis. My favorite ruled journal is the Cartesio journal, what is yours? See the chart by clicking this link: Journal Chart.

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When creating “K”, I wanted to create a collage so I could paste additional paper across the back of the previous “J” page which had a large tear. I didn’t want to risk tearing it completely through. I also wanted to create the collage because I hadn’t done one yet. The interpretation of “K” is more figurative than I usually do, which was fun. To keep the collage from looking so rigid and too much like a magazine cut out, I added color blocks by pressing a pale green stamp pad onto the paper. The stamp pad creates a block of color that is imperfect with lighter areas around the edges. Circular Chinese coin images were added for an additional pop of color and to give some relief to the hard angles.

I Created a Collage on the Illustration of K so I Could Cover the Tear on the Previous Page.

A Collage was Used to Create "K" so I Could Cover the Tear on the Previous Page.

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Because I love how the acrylic paints look and feel in a Moleskine Sketchbook, I decided to create a thick, layered page. I started by applying the acrylic to the page with a roller. This gives a flat, even application and it fills the page quickly. When rolling the paint on the right page, I accidentally removed the top layer of paper from the page. At first, this was disappointing, but I decided to use it as part of the illustration. I built the background by rolling several colors and giving each layer time to dry before applying the next. This gives the pages a rich, texture that feels a bit like stucco when you run your hand across it.

The white images were applied as the final layer. I used a white pen to create the letter “J” and the webbing, which adds another texture. A final coat of Golden soft gel was applied using my fingers to create a top layer that adds more texture and protects the white layer.

Multiple Layers of Acrylic Were Used to Create TextureMultiple Layers of Acrylic Were Used to Create Texture

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The letter “I” is so simple, that I did not want to make the illustration too literal, so I merged a watercolor illustration to a cropped photo to see what would happen. As usual, there was some bubbling to the paper, but because I had painted acrylic on the previous page, the left page had only minor bubbling. The acrylic paint on the reverse side seemed to help the paper retain its shape better than it without it. This is something to keep in mind if you would like to add watercolor illustrations to the sketchbook paper. I was able to paint 4 very thick layers of acrylic paint as the dot of the “I” with no problems. In fact, the acrylic paint is my favorite medium to use on this journal at the moment. The photo of the wolf  was cut from a magazine and pasted down and there was a little bit of bubbling to the paper wherever there was glue. I think in the future I will use a dry adhesive tape runner such as Tombow’s Mono Adhesive so I don’t have this problem again.

If any of you have had good results with your Moleskine Sketchbook, I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you are doing.

The Paper in the Moleskine Sketchbook Accepts Glued Images with Ease.

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I decided to use acrylic paints in the Moleskine Sketchbook for the letter “H”. I wanted to see how far I could push the paper, so I laid a thick layer of black acrylic paint across the 2-page spread, expecting lots of bubbling. Once dry, the pages did curl, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the paper curled evenly, without bubbling. Also, one the paint had dried and the book was closed for a while, most of the curl flattened out with exception of s slight curl towards the outside edges of the pages. The dried paint left a smooth, plasticized layer which was easy to paint additional layers on top of. I was surprised that the paper performed so well with the acrylic paint and look forward to using more in the future.

The Paper in the Moleskine Sketchbook Performed Surprisingly Well when Painted with Acrylic Paint.

The Paper in the Moleskine Sketchbook Performed Surprisingly Well when Painted with Acrylic Paint.

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At  Moleskine.com you can create custom pages to add to your large or small Moleskine journal. The pages can be printed on your printer and are sized perfectly to fit your notebook. You don’t need any additional software, layouts and tools are provided for you online. There are options for creating a custom page using your text and picture, or you can upload your contacts from Outlook, Plaxo or your phone to create your own personalized address book including the data you choose from preselected options. You can also create a Moleskine sized Events Calendar to keep you on track by uploading and printing your schedule from your iCal files (icalendar format). Check it out at www.moleskine.com/msk.php.

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I love the letter “G”, in particular, the lower case version. I think it is the most beautiful of all of the letters. The form is strong enough to be a design element all on its own, which is why I chose to give it an entire page all to itself. I used a Tombow roll pen to illustrate the letter and markers for the colored g’s on the left. There were no suprises with the paper on this one.

The Letter G in My Moleskine Sketchbook Created in Ink and Marker.

The Letter "G" in My Moleskine Sketchbook Created in Ink and Marker.

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I loved using my drawing pencils in my sketchbook, so I thought I would do another illustration in pencil. This letter “F” had such flowing lines, that it inspired me to draw a female face, so for the first time my letter corresponded unintentionally with the illustration. The Moleskine performed flawlessly with the pencil, as usual.

The Pages in the Sketchbook are Great for Creating Soft Pencil Blends

The Pages in the Sketchbook are Great for Creating Soft Pencil Blends

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I decided to put the Moleskine Sketchbook to its intended use by using my drawing pencils for this letter. The pages are quite thick, so even when I drew with pressure, there was the paper stayed smooth and barely left an impression on the pages below. The smooth finish enabled me to create soft blends easily. I like the sooth pages for pencil, but for using charcoal, I think I would prefer a paper with more tooth, like the Moleskine Watercolor Notebook.

I approached the letter “E” a little differently than the previous letter. I wanted to create the letter from a negative space so I used a pattern in the background that was dark. When the illustration was complete, I closed the page and burnished the pattern onto the other side to create a pale mirror image. The dark, mirrored letter “E” was done last. To keep the drawing from smearing or transferring to opposite pages, I sprayed an acrylic fixative on both pages.

The Ivory Paper in the Moleksine Sketchbook Compliments Pencil Drawings

The Ivory Paper in the Moleksine Sketchbook Compliments Pencil Drawings

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