Saturday, July 2, 2022

How I Label My Sketchbooks

I have a bunch of sketchbooks types and sizes, but these are the 5 x 8 inch watercolor books.

I write the title of the sketchbook and the date range on the spine of the book and I number them to keep them in order.

I also paint a fancy title on the front cover of the book using sign-painter enamel. The title is whatever phrase you find on the first page of the book.
This photo appears in the next issue (#146 Aug/Sept) of International Artist Magazine. The article is called "The Artist as Archivist," and it includes top tips on taking care of your original artwork for future generations, conserving it, organizing it, and connecting each painting with key information to help future family members, customers, or curators understand what you've created.


nuum said...

How many illustrations are in each one, James?
A treasure.

VirginiaFhinn said...

Juicy! 2012 looks like it was a prolific sketchbook year - is there a reason for that or does time away from the home studio naturally result in more sketchbook time?
I think I have FOMO about my painting - when I’m in a sketchbook I always feel like I should be making a finished oil painting, or vice versa. I recently saw an artist say that they were taking a break from social media because they felt like their art was being dictated by “likes” and the desire for feedback… which in the long run might not be relevant, if it’s just being pushed by social media algorithms. What do you think about this? Do you ever find yourself in the feedback loop, or does your experience put you past it?
Thanks! Hope you’re having a great summer!

Marcelo Briseño said...

This is amazing my James, thanks for sharing. I am starting my own sketchbooks too

Monika Baum said...

This post made me pull out my own sketchbooks to see if I could date and label them.
Wow. My oldest non-watercolour moleskine sketchbook is from 2009. At some point around 2012 I permanently switched to the watercolour one. I can tell from the sketchbook contents at which point I started reading your blog and watching your videos. This whole exercise of revisiting my old sketches really makes me want to continue on and be more consistent. I had a gap in between and I never want that to happen again.

Thank you for your consistency in creating art and sharing all about it on this blog and on youtube!