Looking for a notebook to draw in, I found this one whose contents I post below.  I thought it would be fun to reproduce a notebook, at random, just as is.  This notebook is 11 x 14 inches, Strathmore 400 series drawing paper, 24 sheets, medium texture, 80lb.  The drawings are posted in the order in which they occur.

In almost all the drawings, I used the whole sheet.
























Most of the drawings are made using oil pastel. One is colored pencil. The last drawing above, the sea shell, looks like it’s made using a special drawing pencil whose name escapes me.

Some of the drawings are studies for paintings.  Some were made on the go, made while I was waiting for someone.  Some are experiments, trying out an idea or a new motif (as with the transparent jar head).

I like to draw.  I can guarantee you — regarding all these drawings — I was having fun.


11 thoughts on “random notebook

  1. I was just looking at oil pastels and I forget where our conversation is about the brands, is there a way of researching it to find out where on your blog (or it is mine?)…..after painting today at the river, I got to thinking that I think that I need to get some oil pastels. Love your drawings, I especially love the fish, you inspire me to paint fish. 😀

  2. I don’t recall which post prompted our conversation, but there aren’t really many good brands so it’s easy to keep them straight. Caran d’Ache neopastels are what I use in the drawings that you like. The sticks are very dense in pigment, very painterly. Sennelier is the only other brand I’ve used. Sennelier has a texture somewhat like lipstick. It’s a different formulation and can bleed through paper. One artist I know recommends using gesso to separate the oil pastel from the paper (I’ve never used gesso myself). With Sennelier I have sometimes resorted to using heavier paper or else I use them over the Neopastels.

    Sennelier oil pastels are expensive too. I don’t use them so much partly because of the expense — partly because the oilier formulation causes problems (things need either to be framed right away or otherwise protected against dust). Also I just like the way that Neopastels handle. They are so versatile.

    A third brand was recommended to me by the same artist who recommends using gessoed paper. It’s Holbein — SQUARE sticks not round. The square sticks have a dense pigment load; the round sticks are more of a student brand.

    In my experience all the other brands on the market currently seem to be student brands, and I wouldn’t recommend them. Not enough pigment. Not having a dense pigment load means that the stick looks one way in the box, but when you make a mark on the paper, it just totally wimps out on you. That would cause more frustration than anything else.

    Sometimes student grade materials make sense, but not with oil pastels. Just get the good ones because the student grade makes everything difficult — they’re so unreliable. Even easy things are hard when the materials are so unpredictable.

  3. thank you! I always avoid any student grade art product like the plague, no worries there. 😀 I do have the neopastels, so that’s good, I like bold and strong, wondering if I could start out with what I do have and perhaps get Sennelier colors that I know I’ll want to use for punching up that color.

  4. Sennelier are not any more dense than Caran d’Ache — they just have a different binder (a non-drying oil). They can be greasy in some applications. And, as I was saying, the oil can bleed through the paper. My artist friend believes that in time that oil would disintegrate the paper — and she might be right. I think that Neopastels are wax based. But color wise, the Neopastels are very vibrant. To get effects of punched up color you just apply the crayon in a full way. You can also blend them. You can dilute them into a wash using a solvent and of course the main thing is the color choices. How colors are placed together to get strong color effects.

  5. I don’t know much about the Sennelier pastel but it makes sense. I can’t wait to get some! I might go with Holbein but in the meantime I can use….which now I wonder if they are oil pastels. This is the description on the container: “Caran D’ Ache Neocolor II Adquarelle says that they are water-soluble artists’ crayons”. Are these a whole different animal than the Caran D’ Ache oil pastels that you are talking about?

  6. Neocolors are different. I use those too. But they’re not oil pastels. I have used them sometimes very much as though they were oil pastel — i.e., without water, just pressing very densely on the crayons. They’re fabulous. But the oil pastels have a much softer texture and more rich crayon-like handling — and can be almost paint like — that soft.

    So, yes! Totally different. You’ve seen a large koi drawing that I did on watercolor that I made using the product you have. I love it. But different thing.

  7. oh! then I have to get them…..I like and prefer bold, softer and rich. Oh, I will have to look for that koi painting, I love them….totally. lol that sounded “Valley girl” I am not. I am excited! I love soft pastels but working with them causing numbing and some other symptoms….trying to limit my exposure.

  8. Soft pastels causing symptoms … I don’t understand. I just sent you a link that includes a drawing using the product you have. Btw, Sennelier dry pastels — totally, totally love those — though they are so soft — and the oil pastels are okay. But I really love the Caran D’ache oil pastels (Neopastels).

  9. I get numbing and tingling sensations when I paint with soft pastels in the studio more than 3 or 4 hours. I already have some neurological problems, wondering if it is all connected. I don’t worry about it but trying to limit my exposure. I love the punch of the Sennelier soft pastels, I usually only buy the brilliant white…..my sanded paper can eat those up quick!

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