(Joyce) #1


HELEN OH demonstrates how to
SKETCHBOOK SEASON curate an unbound sketchbook.

An unbound sketchbook can help
you feel more free to experiment with
diff erent compositional formats,
types of paper and painting methods.

Among the pleasures of sketching in
watercolors is the plethora of beauti-
fully bound sketchbooks available for
this purpose. While I find these books
useful, I inevitably end up with a few
pages that either don’t fit in with
other paintings in the book or other-
wise fall short of my expectations.
So instead, I prefer working on loose
sheets of watercolor paper, which
frees me from the pressure of produc-
ing a perfect work every time.

Once I’ve accumulated a good
number of sketches in various
themes, I wire-bind the leaves at
a neighborhood copy center to create
a sketchbook. Until then, I keep
the loose sheets in a 9x12 Cachet
Earthbound Portfolio with flaps. I call
it “my unbound sketchbook.” One of
the greatest benefits of the unbound
sketchbook is that I’m not afraid of
ruining a page in a prebound book, so
I can push myself to experiment. I’m

not limited to painting only familiar
subjects and methods.
I believe this approach offers art-
ists a chance to curate their work,
have fun arranging and editing their
pieces, and even experiment by mix-
ing different paper types into a set.
Artwork can be produced in unusual
dimensions or formats, such as a long
landscape or the golden ratio. It also
allows the chance to add a narrative
element to the collection.

20 Artists Magazine June 2020

Free download pdf