Taking a sketchbook (almost) everywhere


Monster with Soul Patch, graphite pencil on paper, 7 x 5 inches, Cindy Schnackel

The other night, I went to my husband’s recreational hockey game, where I knew there would be about a half hour before the game, and after, for all the changing, showering, etc.  I almost always take something interesting to do, usually a sketchbook and basic pencils or pens. This time, I was in the mood to do some graphite drawing. I like Ebony pencils, they’re very black and soft, though it’s not the only kind I use. Also, I had one of those little rolled paper stomps, to blend small areas.  I had a small eraser to re-pick out some highlights that got smudged.  When I got home I sprayed it with a non aerosol fixative called Spectrafix, which I like because it is far less toxic than most fixatives.

If you like to use wet media, (which I do too),  there are at least two brands of the water pens; mine’s Pentel’s Aquash.  I believe Koi and Niji also make water brushes. I first got one during a Pentel demo at an art supply store awhile back. The brush tip is really nice, and they’re great to use with ink pens that have at least a bit of water solubility to them, or water soluble pencils, (color or graphite). I fill mine with distilled water, because I don’t know if the minerals in tap water might eventually build up.

The easiest thing to take traveling could be a ballpoint pen. You can get multi-color ones and overlap strokes, creating nearly any hue you like.  There is some amazing ballpoint pen work out there. Some people get into photorealism with it but it can be much more. Here’s an article about ball point pen art, albeit  probably not done in a few minutes on the bus: http://www.artnews.com/2014/01/08/great-art-made-with-ballpoint-pens/

On a long trip or long wait somewhere, I’d be lost without some way to create.  Absent drawing tools, I may fold paper, play with my food, arrange dust, or scratch concrete with a rock.   It can be mesmerizing to just get lost in the shading and details, or whatever process you choose, and before you know it, the long boring wait is over.



6 thoughts on “Taking a sketchbook (almost) everywhere

  1. LOL!! Your “Monster with Soul Patch” is wonderful, Cindy!! Those are great tips, too. I have a couple of the Niji water brushes…lots of fun!

  2. I love the monster, too. I can tell he’s a monster because he has a soul patch AND udders! Your work is so alive and distinctive.

  3. Thank You Cindy for liking my Painting !!! 🙂

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