22 March 2012

Handmade watercolour sketchbook

I have been reading and admiring a lot of handmade sketchbooks that people have been making. This is something I have wanted to try for a long time but felt too intimidated to do. And I was worried it would end up being "too precious" and I would not use it, making it a waste of time and paper.

One of my recent goals has been to work on my watercolours. But I am often reluctant to just do a watercolour sketch, or if I do it is in my normal sketchbook and the watercolours just don't work properly. I had a look on YouTube at several videos that were recommended to me. There is just so much information there, so many different ways of bookbinding. After another couple of weeks procrastination I finally decided to follow Roz's pamphlet style, as shown here. I liked the simplicity of it and that it only took one sheet of paper, which was all I had at the time.

Here are my results. I used an old "painting" experiment as the cover and a sheet of Arches 200 gsm watercolour paper for the signature. Final size is 20 x 15.5 cm. It only took around an hour max to make, including folding and tearing the sheet and sewing together. No time at all.



I have been using my new little sketchbook. I am enjoying using my sketchbook. I do not feel the need to do a finished painting as I always felt compelled with a stretched sheet. And it is proper watercolour paper so I am getting proper practice.

Here are a couple of my watercolour sketches so far. They aren't perfect, but at least I am painting and having a go. Hopefully they will improve the more I do.





I would highly recommend having a go at bookbinding and making your own sketchbook. There is such a great sense of achievement and pride knowing "I made it" and it feels good too. I plan on making a larger hard cover one at a later date.

4 comments:

  1. Great little watercolor sketches Jaquip. I'm too lazy to make my own books, I just buy the
    Strathmore wire bound watercolor sketchbooks.

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  2. Thanks David. My general purpose sketchbooks are wire bound. It was fun and simple to make this design. Looking at all the YouTube videos was a bit intimidating at first with all the bits and pieces and sewing but this one was very basic. You should have a look. After being used to hard cover wire bound sketchbooks it actually feels really nice to hold a soft cover stitched sketchbook. Though I haven't tried a full page spread yet :)

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  3. I'm too lazy to make my own books too, although I've recently thought about making an accordion type for quick sketching trips, just to lighten my sketching load. I like your cover.

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  4. Those accordion ones look very nifty. I hope you give it a go, I'd like to see it.

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