SBS with Andrea Joseph

This week Andrea Joseph is leading the charge for Sketchbook Skool. If you’re not familiar with her work, your eyes will soon be wide open! Her style of teaching is relaxed and calming. At the same time she’s packing in the tips and techniques. Andrea’s forte is drawing with ballpoint pens. This was a real push for me. I was tempted to stick with the Faber-Castell PITT artist pen I’ve grown comfortable with. But darnit, I’m taking a class to learn new things — so I combed the house for every color I could find in ballpoint pens. I came up with black, blue, red and purple. The only interloper in our house is the purple one — a Papermate medium, a gift from a friend and fellow artist (thanks, Heather!).

Andrea thinks of individual drawings in a larger context. She likes to work in themes so designates sketchbooks to one and sticks to it, hence a book completely sketched in blue ink, or brown, or about travel or, well, you get the idea. Her first assignment was to take up a pen and draw items in the house that are the color of the ink. I chose the blue pen — a Bic medium point with Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town printed on the side. After reminiscing about the last time I was there I placed several items on the dining table and began drawing. Here’s my BLUE page. Click on the image for a larger view.

Blue sketchesI had to be true to the blue tea pot — it has a black handle and spout cover — so I switched to a black pen.

The focus then shifted to hand lettering. Andrea does a lot of it on her sketches and she has experimented with styles for many years. I would like to gain skills in hand lettering so I was eager to do the first assignment: Choose any color ballpoint pen and write your name or a quote without lifting the pen from paper. I dove right in using the quote that she had used to demonstrate.

Handlettering with Andrea JosephThe idea was simple and the method meant slowing down quite a bit. Just slowing down meant I did a fair job of the assignment. A second time through the writing emphasized the letters of each word and completed the letters. An unwanted blob on the question mark was turned into a flower.

Pleased with this outcome I as emboldened to go back to the blackbird sketch I did last week. I actually wanted to do some hand writing on it when I sketched it, but I decided it would probably take away from the image I was pleased with. Here is the sketch updated with the wording I wanted.

Blackbird updateI’m really jazzed about the final assignment: Draw a collection. Here is what I came up with in my studio

Button collection for sketchThe shapes! The sizes! The designs! Oh my! I can’t wait. Stay tuned for the fun.


2 replies
  1. gurligregersen
    gurligregersen says:

    Haven’t you used writing a lot already? I like the idea experimenting and ought to try as I don’t do much handwriting. Though I like working with iPad, PC etc. it means you don’t train your handwriting. You have a very beautiful handwriting.

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      Thanks Gurli. I have used handwriting on earlier sketches but I’m not very fond of my skills in that area. Andrea had us use a simple technique that really came off nicely and has made me relax more about it.

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