Have you heard about The Sketchbook Project? It’s a giant collaboration where artists all around the world fill in provided Moleskine sketchbooks however they please, send them to the good folks at the Project headquarters in Brooklyn to work their organizing magic, and then sigh in contentment knowing that their books are being sent on tour to art galleries and museums around the US. This year over 28,000 artists participated! I heard about it in November, and since it sounded so incredibly cool, decided to join in on the fun.
I knew my work time would be very short, since I had to have it postmarked by January 15 and we would be traveling during the majority my remaining time. In order to lighten my load, I removed the books pages and sewed in my own watercolor paper pages, which are quite thick and therefore require fewer pages (I ended up with 24 pages).
When you sign up for the project, they assign you a theme for your book. My theme was “Under the Surface.” I decided to go with the quite literal idea of being under the sea looking up toward the water’s surface.
I colored the pages with watercolor washes, making a gradient of dark to light pages. Then I cut holes in the pages (strategically leaving even less space for sketching), with each page’s hole slightly smaller than the one before in order to show the gradation of color throughout the pages. Then I finally got to the sketching, and drew in different sea creatures for each page spread.
The book the way the sent it to me… way too many pages for this time-crunch.
my front cover
Excerpts from within/underneath. The top left image is of the first page, showing all the page layers through to the back.