New Black Paper Sketch Book

I always wanted to try a black paper sketch book. They are great for metallic drawing media, white gel pens, and select other media in very bright colors. Below is one of the small sections I used to test different colors and media. I will post more information about this particular sketchbook and the media used on each piece at the end for anyone interesting in the technical aspects of the paper, etc.

So this is what I refer to as a ‘themed’ sketchbook. Basically, I work in one theme or have some sort of overall plan. If you have seen my posts on the Gees Bend paper quilt sketchbook, that is another example of a ‘themed’ sketchbook for me. What inspired the works in this book, other than the black paper, was a book I saw at the library in the Waterworks Visual Arts Center on Arthur Dove. I have always enjoyed the work of Arthur Dove, the organic shapes, the color schemes. What particularly attracted me to the book I was looking at was that everything in it was very small: average of 3″ x 4″ give or take. They were sketches he made while vacationing, and I imagine the book he used was not much bigger than the one I used for my project. So with Mr. Dove’s sketchbook in mind, I decided to make all the images in this book small. Each image is labeled and number: Small Drawing #1 (or whatever the number is) and then the date. The actual subject matter and materials used to make each piece vary. The common denominator is the size and how the image looks on black paper. So I present to you, Small Drawings 1 through 6 below (#5 is sort of not done yet so it is not pictured).

Technical information on each image and book:

Small Drawing #1: made with Pentel Milky Gel Pens

Small Drawing #2: made with Kuretake Graphite watercolors, collage material, gold gel pen

Small Drawing #3: Pilot Juice Up metalic gel pens, size .04

Small Drawing #4: White Gel pens by Signo and Gellyroll, assorted sizes – I also included the spiral binding and the label at the bottom on this image so you can see those aspects of the sketchbook.

Small Drawing #6 POSCA acrylic paint pens, various gel pens

The book I am working in is small, 5″ x 7″ and the name of the book/manufacturer is Papier Imperial Etranger di Costarica which, from what I can see, is a Japanese company even though the name seems French. But as I do not really understand either French or Japanese, I will have to leave you to explore that further if you are curious about such things. It is really an attractive book but the reason I am not photographing it is because the cover is clear and picks up a lot of glare. It is double spiral bound and the rings are white, which is a nice contrast to the velvety dark paper. The paper is lightweight, what I would call drawing weight, but can take a light wash with minor puckering. Because of the puckering, I decided to work only on the right side of the book and leave the left side blank. My book, and many of my supplies, come from JetPens who specialize in Japanese stationary items and it has, no doubt, opened up a whole new world of artmaking to me. (Thanks Claudia for the head up!)

6 thoughts on “New Black Paper Sketch Book

  1. Thanks. We took a workshop on Saturday and the instructor had some black paper also that I always wanted to try. It is much thicker. But I love this little book.


  2. These are very you images. Makes me think of when I first knew you and the small works you did in colored pencils. How much I liked those. Interesting about using black paper. I’ve only ever used white paper I covered in India ink, I was afraid of fading. I’ll be interested in how you find it as you go along.

    Liked by 1 person

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