Saturday, August 18, 2012

Doodle 018 - Moleskine, Coats and Shiba Inus

Another work week finished, another doodle and something new.
First: Today's doodle (this will allow you to skip my rambling if you want to).

Costume design doodle - Graphite, mechanical pencil and some ink using a micron pen on plain moleskine notebook. Aprox: 30 mins.

I enjoy drawing outfits, I have been playing with designs of a coat like this for a while. I am not very good at sewing (my biggest achievement so far has been an cute pleated apron), so I doubt I'll ever be able to make something like this.

Shiba Inu - Graphite, mechanical pencil and some ink using micron pens on plain moleskine notebook. Aprox: 20 mins.
 I love Shiba Inu dogs, I will probably turn this one into a vector illustration.

And now, to the rambling: you might have noticed that I use moleskine notebooks a lot for drawing. This doesn't come out of a devotion for the brand or type of notebook, it is actually kind of a silly story.

While in college I would mostly draw on any sketchbook I found on sale, I would go to Michaels and buy a bunch of whichever was "buy one get one free" and then apply a coupon to keep my costs down, (thrifty sketchbook hoarders, unite!).

When you are sketching it really doesn't matter what paper you use, sure, you can have a favorite, maybe you like something more rough that your pencil can grab onto, maybe you like smooth paper to glide over, but in the end, any paper is good when you just need to pour out some ideas. Getting a sketchbook helps keeping your doodles wrangled in one place though, otherwise you end up with a bunch of loose sheets floating about and they get difficult to store and keep track of.

It is also nice to see the drawings in order and figure out where you improved or what needs more work.

All in all, you don't need a fancy notebook to begin with, that said, sometimes a fancy notebook is nice.

I ended up with a rather sizable collection of moleskins when Borders went under. There was a Borders bookstore very close to my office, I used to visit and buy books on time to time during my lunch break, when the "going out of business" sales started I would check stuff out on time to time as the price cuts got deeper each week.

During one of my excursions I noticed and entire moleskine display with a big SALE sign on it. At first the different colors available caught my eye. I just automatically went for the blue and turquoise ones, but as I looked them over and discovered most of them were unruled... I sort of lost it and let my art supply hoarding tendencies take over.

I am sure everybody has a dormant (or not so dormant) magpie like reflex that allows you to hoard stuff, for some it is all about shoes, for others shiny things and jewelry in general, some like purses, others clothes, etc but for me... it is all about art supplies, especially pencils, brushes and acrylic paint colors. I am not kidding, I normally take my husband with me to the art store because he will tell me when I am getting out of control. My eye literally twitches and I have to take several steps back and have a little talk with myself about budget, needs, and space.

Anyway, this time my husband was there as well, but before he could do anything to stop me, I had loaded an entire basket with moleskine notebooks (I will also add, I had never owned one before, so I was def. going out of my gourd), and I was guarding them with Smeagol-like zeal... I might or might not have uttered a "My preciousss" while stroking my loot. I guess we were lucky they didn't have carts available, otherwise I might have just emptied the entire display into one and laughed maniacally all the way down the check-out line and out the door.

Once we got home and dropped the bag filled with notebooks onto the living room's floor I started to figure out the scale of the purchase I had just made. Moleskines are not famous for being cheap, I was lucky and they were on sale, and even if they had been affordable run of the mill notebooks, the sheer amount of bound paper I had just brought into the house would still be ridiculous.
Don't believe me? Ok well, here's a photo of what's left. I have used about 3 other packs of notebooks already.
Behold! Mount Doom Notebook!
 My husband just looked at me and said something along the lines of: "Well, this should get you drawing... right?". Short answer: "No".

The poor notebooks sat on a bookshelf glaring at me for months. I know notebooks can't glare, but to me, it felt as if they were... judging me along the way for not cracking one open already and draw.
Now that I have been drawing again and going through a notebook here and there I can say... I like them!

They are smart-looking, the paper is high quality stuff, my graphite and leads slide on the surface easily and that helps keep my hand from cramping up. The smaller sizes are great to keep on my purse and doing quick sketches, the larger ones are good for more detailed drawing, but I wouldn't recommend it to lay down drawings you intend to develop a lot.

The pages are too thin for really heavy inking, they do work well with some ink, they can wield some watercolor use but wrinkle at the edges. Still, the watercolor won't bleed through to the next page, which I was surprised about. I am probably going to tinker with acrylics and see how they do with those.

Several of my creative friends say they don't buy moleskines just because they are intimidated to doodle on them. They feel pressured to turn every page into a beautiful drawing, and I can totally understand why. When you see what other artists do with theirs, you sort of feel like you have to take advantage of yours and make it amazing. I decided I didn't care, that it was MY notebook and anyway, it was just blank paper, so I dove right in, but that's just me.

Hopefully by the end of the year I'll have a bookshelf's worth of filled-in notebooks to feel proud of, not because every page is an incredible piece of art, but because I kept trying, even when I messed up... and in the end, isn't that with life is all about?


Brooke said...

I have a tendency to hoard fabric and sewing supplies, so I totally understand the art supply hoarding. =)

If you ever want any of your "costume designs" made up, let me know!

Maple Girl said...

Oooh and if you design beaded jewelry I could probably add that in to the mix. (Nothing too complex though - but I am beyond simple stringing.)

I hoard beads, and whatever else art-y has attracted my attention. I am currently in the process of organizing all of my stuff but I wonder if I'll ever have it all organized, or even just tidy.

Anyhoo - love the drawings!

Andrea said...

Ah, yes, Moleskine.... I, too, caved to the siren song of the Borders clearance and bought a few. I kept one in my purse for awhile, intending to doodle in order to keep my drawing skills fresh. However, that only lasted a month or so. I like the Moleskines for graphite drawings, though. I prefer a 4B or softer pencil, and the paper has just the right amount of tooth to grab the graphite without looking too rough. So, sketch on sister! Maybe, I'll put my Moleskine back in my purse and get inspired from you!

Saudade said...

@Brooke: I knew I wasn't alone with the hoarding lol. Oh it would be awesome to get some designs actually IRL. I have done costume design for student thesis films before, I really loved seeing my designs turned into real clothes.

@Maple Girl: I'll keep that in mind, I don't think I have ever designed beaded jewelry, sounds like a cool challenge!

@Andrea: You can do it! Again, glad to know I wasn't the only one that lost it a bit during the Borders insanity hehehe.

Rhissanna said...

Wow, I missed on the Borders sale thing. Bother! They do sound nice, though. The older I get the fussier I am about the paper (I don't draw that often, but hey...)

As for hoarding. if it's just in one room that nobody uses, then that's ok, right? I mean, if I step over stuff I can still reach the sewing machine.

Thank you for showing us your hoard. Keep filling up those pages.

S Ario said...

Now you have to doodle a shelf of stacks of notebooks glaring at you ;D I have VERY little artistic talent and am in awe of your doodles! I found my way here thru Epbot also and wish you all the best in your healing and drawing :) My daughter has drawing talent and have linked your site to her :) Keep the doodles coming! They are utterly fantastic! (oh and about your 'dream job' this site to Disney and get on with them!! :D)