Some people hate the first page of a new sketchbook. Too much pressure to do something good on it. I have friends who start in the middle of the book just to alleviate that stress. But I like that first page. It’s full of potential. Drawings that have yet to be drawn. This book is a Robert Bateman Cover Series, 6″ x 9″, made of recycled paper and quite nice for quick pencil sketches. Good for carrying around or, in this case, leaving on the kitchen counter for when you have a few minutes to spare.


29 Comments on “Stovetop”

  1. tkrysak says:

    I often leave the first page blank for a while just increase I really botch whatever I am attempting to do. I don’t want the first page to be really bad 🙂

    • That’s funny. Everyone has some system for sketchbooks. Many people leave that first page blank. I have also seen people cut out bad pages. My trick is to put some double-sided tape on a bad page so it sticks to the next one.

  2. Janet Beare says:

    I like my Robert Bateman sketchbook too. People have said they like my mountain goat sketch on the cover (grin) but I do tell them it’s not my sketch. The paper will take light watercolour washes as well but the paint doesn’t move much on it. Like your kitchen sketch! That’s where we women spend a lot of time on Sundays. Cheers.

    • I haven’t tried to add any colour to the sketchbook yet but I will see what happens with a light wash. I’ll probably test it first because I tend to use too much water and will probably end up with very warped paper. Thanks for writing Janet!

  3. wendymuldon says:

    Gorgeous skecht. Happens with my moleskine. It has to be something special. Next time I’m going to start from the end

    • Many people do that too. So far, I have heard from people who start in the middle, the end, on page two and even those who work through the pages in a random order which I find really funny.

  4. A fabulous start! Love this sketch, Shari! 😍 I do admit I tend to pause when starting a new book…hehe… just something about that first page and wanting it to be good. 😊

  5. magedark says:

    I treat the first page of my sketchbook as a normal page, but my final page is always special, it’s where I do something finished looking to commemorate a finished sketchbook.

  6. Lee Kline says:

    This has great style for a sketch. Love it.

  7. So much beauty in simple every day objects! Or at least you make them beautiful. 😊

  8. Janine says:

    Very nice. I love graphite. Still my favorite sketching tool of all time. Looks like great paper for pencil sketching, too. I think all pages of a sketchbook are equal – it’s just paper and as such mine to “ruin” in whatever way I choose. I don’t know why sketchbooks have become so “fetish-ized” and objectified nowadays. “Pretty” sketchbook pages do not necessarily equal great art. Actually, some of the greatest artists have the simplest, messiest, and/or most confusing sketches, where the sketch is simply evidence of the thinking process more than something that is meant to be admired. I’m thinking of Frank Gehry – architect. I just saw a show about his work in LA. His sketches are nearly indecipherable but his work is AMAZING. Ditto Dale Chihuly – glass artist/sculptor. In the end, it’s really the sketch-ING that counts more than the sketch-BOOK. FWIW. YMMV. Yadda yadda yadda. 🙂

    • So true Janine. The best museum exhibits for me are the ones where you get to see the sketches and drawings of some artist, along with the finished work. Or even just the sketches alone. It is a bit like looking into someone’s diaries. Much more personal.
      Robert Bateman has a good quote on the inside front cover of the book, “The interesting thing about a sketchbook is that you never know what will appear on the next page. The books provide a place for exploration into many ideas as they occur such as the goat on my cover. Sketchbook drawings are intended as unfinished work.” I like that.

  9. Judy Sopher says:

    Never thought of the first page as different either. I love Janine’s comment–all pages are equal. I am sure I mess up equally throughout the sketchbook.

  10. anne farmer says:

    Really like the vertical shading. Onwards!

  11. randilbouck says:

    Oh this is just beautiful. And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who loves the first page in a fresh new sketchbook:)

  12. Haha! We should make an IG group for ” bad first pages”, it might be very interesting.Lucky you you like them! Mine are always bad. It’s been 30 years it’s bad so I guess there’s no hope. I call that page the “pensum page” : it’s a punishing exercise and I just go through it.
    For the pensum page and my other error pages, I keep tickets, stickers, and washi tape : bad pages make delightful backgrounds for collage and notes, especially if only part of the sketch is ugly. I like that so much that I actually have a journal for scraps, too.

    • I think that’s very funny Delphine. I think we all have our ways of dealing with bad pages. I hate to have a sketchbook that is mostly ok but with one bad page. It drives me crazy. But I have grown to accept the bad pages and I don’t glue them together any more. I like your idea of using them as backgrounds. Do you actually cut the pages out of the book? I am curious.

      • Delphine says:

        I come from a strict Parisian culture : everything has to be perfect to the smallest detail. It’s nice and it helped me a lot in my career (CG special effects, video games, and then book designer and Art Director) …but there’s a LOT to say about embracing a bit of chance, a bit of errors. As you say: ” let the paint do its thing”. It’s terribly difficult for me, and vastly liberating too. So yes, I keep those pages in the book, and add collaged elements on top, and sometimes draw over it.
        There’s less and less pages in my books with tickets and bits.
        Either I’m progressing, or I learned to be more happy with myself!

  13. […] how sketchbooks work because they don’t count and  what Shari Blaukopf  wrote about starting a new sketchbook, well, I just took the plunge and decided not to worry so much about how well things turn […]

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