100 Days of Sketchbook Play

For this year's 100 day project I needed to choose a theme that wasn't too demanding as I was already in the middle of a 365 day challenge and whilst creative challenges are useful they can eat up a lot of your studio time if you let them.

At the beginning of the year I had already decided that in order to find a direction for my work that felt more innate I essentially needed to give myself permission to spend a few months just exploring with no expectations so this sketchbook project was really just an extension of that.

I thought it would be nice to have the whole project in one sketchbook but couldn't find a spiral bound 100 page sketchbook with thick kraft pages so I ended up with a 40 leaf one, adding 10 leaves (what a faff) to make 50 and using both sides of the leaves. I like the effect you get when working on kraft paper pages and if you can find a sketchbook where they are reasonably thick pages as well they can take a fair amount of punishment which is great if you're working with mixed media.

I incorporated some sort of collage element in a lot of the pages, either using it as a jumping off point like in the little process video above or adding a collage element towards the end.

Other materials I often used were watercolour pencils, acrylic paint, matt medium, pencils, soluble graphite, lumocolor, my own hand carved stamps, coloured pencils and ultra matt gel.

Most of the collage paper I used was my own created from gelli monotyping. I also used a selection of found vintage papers as well.

There was a lot of abstract work in this book but I did also spend some time exploring hares as I'm very interested in blurring the lines between figurative work and abstract. I don't think a painting has to be one or the other but combining them can sometimes be tricky so having a play in my sketchbook with various ideas is really helpful.

All in all I found this project to be enjoyable and definitely worthwhile. I've opened up quite a few interesting avenues to explore and didn't feel any pressure from the daily challenge aspect because whatever else I was doing I always looked forward to having a play.

If you'd like to see the entire sketchbook cover to cover, I made a little video that you can watch over on Youtube.





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