|Cutlery Bag I Drew On|
Ink and Watercolor
It wasn't too long after we sat down at the Shrimp Store that I realized I had left my sketchbook on the table next to the couch where I'd been working in it the night before.
Fourth Street Shrimp Store is full of fun wall art, license plates, and lots of old antiques. LOTS of Florida kitsch! There's even some ancient taxidermy sprinkled here and there. It's not a good place to go without a sketchbook in hand.
I immediately started looking for another piece of paper to sketch on—in my purse and on the table. I was even eyeing the waitress' order book.
My eye happened to land on the little bag the restaurant used for the cutlery and I pounced on it. My concern was that it might be covered with a waxy coating, but it wasn't. I was back in business!
Spotting an old paddle that seemed to be the perfect subject matter for my long, narrow bag, I got down to sketching. However, lunch came before I put down very much info, so I put the little bag away to finish it later.
Turns out later was several days later and the paper bag had gotten quite beat up and folded tumbling around in my purse.
I added the logo and shrimp before I added watercolor to the paper. I really wasn't sure how it would take paint, but it worked great. If it had not, I would have used color pencils or left it as black ink.
One I was done with the artwork, I glued the end of the bag into my sketchbook and then folded the rest of the bag in an accordion fold so it would fit in the book. By seizing the bag, I was able to seize the opportunity to sketch!
What To Do When You Don't Have Access To Your Sketchbook
Don't be discouraged by the fact that you left the darn sketchbook at home or you're stuck in some long-winded meeting—where there's a will, there's a way!
Instead, look around for another piece of paper to scribble on. Don't hesitate to ask if you don't have anything useable.
In a restaurant: don't overlook placemats! They're often paper and there is seldom printing on the back. I do recommend staying away from menus unless you ask as the restaurants usually have a limited number on hand. Ask if they have a carryout menu instead.
In a meeting: scribble and draw in the margins or over any part that is irrelevant to you and what you need to know. You can always go prepared to the meeting with extra paper than can be glued into your sketchbook later. I do suggest keeping it out of sight as it can be disconcerting to others when they see you drawing over your handouts or in your day planner. I had to explain more than once that I wasn't goofing off, but actually paying attention. (I always retained more and listened better when I drew!)
Try to use permanent ink as paper that does not qualify as "sketchbook paper." Menus and receipts are usually printed on very, inexpensive paper and will not hold up under a lot of erasing or water. If the ink feathers, try using a ball point pen instead. If the paper doesn't like water at all, use colored pencils if you want to add a touch of color.
|The same little bag glued down to the page in an accordion fold.|
No Name/Brand Sketchbook
Sketching on unexpected and untried surfaces can be a lot of fun and lead to results you would never expect. You may decide it's more fun to sketch on "found" ephemera than in an actual sketchbook. If an experiment doesn't turn out, what have you lost? Probably not as much as you gained!