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My study book is an essential part of my art-making process. It’s not a sketchbook; “sketch” implies a quick glance and a fast drawing. My study book is where I go slow and deep with each treasure I find, learning about its structure and studying the forms that compose it. I draw it carefully from several angles. Sometimes I get out a magnifying glass to get a closer look, or even the microscope.
I use it as a reference work for my finished drawings and paintings, and occasionally extract drawings from it to use in digital work. The book itself is hardbound, 8.5 by 11.5 inches, with acid-free drawing paper in it. The drawings are primarily pen and ink with colored pencil. I have been using a calligraphy pen for the titles recently, in a medieval uncial hand (Shaeffer medium nib). Sometimes I add written notes or observations to the pages.
Shown here is the page I have been working on about wild strawberries. You can see the flower, buds, developing strawberries, and careful drawings of the leaves and plants. The drawing of the whole plant at the bottom of the page was my preliminary study for the graphite drawing I just finished.