Saturday, January 21, 2012

Is this a Sketchery or a Diartry?

I have begun a fun new sketch journal which is a sort of sketching diary.  I read about the idea first from Gwen Diehn who blogs at 'Real Life Journals' here;  (be sure to browse her blog for lots of other great journal ideas, including tutorials to make your own journals!)

I fell in love with the idea in her post on 'Square-a-Day Journals', and had the perfect sketchbook to dedicate to this.  Last year, I picked up this lovely handmade journal from Hobby Lobby, with a rich textured brown cover, and hand made paper... which it turned out was very soft and absorbent.  Too soft and absorbent... a wet wash will quickly bleed through the thick but soft paper, but it takes pen, pencil and very light washes okay.  Not sure how to work on the pages I'd set the pretty journal aside for others with stronger cold-press paper.  Gwen's sketch diary is composed of 1 inch squares, which felt a bit too tiny for me, so I've opted for rectangles of varying sizes shown here... (I may play with the layout but for now I like the mix and match sizes which roughly run appx. 2.75" x 3.5")  I have a weeks worth of rectangles on each page.  The book has 96 pages, so more than enough to cover a year.  Maybe I'll throw in a full page sketch on special occasions or on a whim!

(click on the photo to view it larger, if you'd like)

I've already gridded off and painted the backgrounds for the next 2 weeks, like so...

(the left side's mottled look was actually from 'bleed through' spots from the other side, painted months ago while testing the journal.  I added some dry brush strokes for texture/mood)  

I like the gentle pressure of a small sketch to accomplish daily, and as Gwen put it... 'make a quick sketch and write a few words to highlight or summarize the day.'  I think this will be a fun way to document the coming year.  I have already decided I was too wordy and not sketchy enough on the first spread.  I will definitely work on that this coming week.  More art with a short key phrase or word.  ;)

I'd love to see how others' might adapt this idea to create a daily, weekly, or whatever strikes you type of journal.  Please comment and share if you give it a try.


  1. I love the way you expanded on my idea! Very cool! I'm trying to loosen up this year, and your varying -sized rectangles are showing me some ways to do that.

    1. Thanks for your comment Gwen, and again for the wonderful inspiration to try this type of journal. :)