Jenny Keal – Sketchbooks

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Here is just a fraction of David’s many sketchbooks

I recently had an email inquiring about which sketchbooks I recommend. I thought other artists would find this useful too, so I am sharing this information here.

David and I both have a large collections of sketchbooks, The UK ones are dedicated to certain counties, or regions such as Mid Wales, Lake District, Yorkshire etc. and the overseas ones are illustrated daily journals of the trip, with text and drawings and paintings.

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A page from my Egypt sketchbook

We have used a number of different brands over the years, some of which are no longer available but the ones we currently use are Daler Rowney Ebony Hardback Sketchbooks  in either A5 or A4 sizes. Many of the UK ones and all of the overseas ones are in casebound hardback sketchbooks with cartridge paper, either A4 or A5. Casebound books are more durable than ring bound ones and have the advantage that you can write on the spine and then organise them on a bookshelf.

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A page from my Crete sketchbook

 The other advantage of a casebound book is that you can extend the sketch over a double page spread and with an A4 sketchbook that means you have an area A3 in size. The paper weight is also important if you intend to use watercolour in your sketches. I would say that 150 gsm cartridge paper is the minimum weight to look for. There are a number of casebound sketchbooks coming onto the market and not always in art shops, some stationery shops now seem to stock plain cartridge paper casebound books. but check the paper weight carefully before you buy.
David and I strongly believe that sketching out of doors is the best way to improve your artwork, and if you paint in watercolour then sketching in watercolour out of doors is a truly liberating and exciting experience and will almost certainly improve your studio watercolours.
I hope you can discover the pleasure of working out of doors in front of nature.

7 thoughts on “Jenny Keal – Sketchbooks

  1. Hi Norman, I particularly like Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.1 as they have a very fine point and are waterproof and lightfast. I hope that helps. Jenny

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