Behind the scene. Sketchbook by Tanja Russita

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tanja is a fine artist. You can see her previous guest post where she was showing how she has created a custom book here.
Have you ever wondered how does an artist's sketchbook look like? Tanja will show you hers!


I've finally fallen in love with the sketchbooks and often carry a few of them at a time and sketch everything I see in them. This made me wonder how some artists manage to publish their sketchbooks in their web-sites, that are just scanned and only slightly retouched. My attempts to fill a sketchbook with the drawings worthy to be shown in the Internet keep failing. 

I've scanned a few pages from one of my sketchbooks to show what I mean. I took a couple of sketchbooks to our trip to Alikante and filled one and a half of them with the sketches, that was 60 pages. I can show only 17 of them as other 43 are not worthy showing at all.
Let's start with the most decent and complete sketch. It is an imprint of my hand that I sketched at the beach. It is drawn very thoughtfully and carefully, because my son Jasha was sleeping on my laps and I had nothing better to do at that moment:

Now I will show a few pages in order. First of all, if I sketch what I see, it will probably be a portrait of Sasha with Kindle in a position like this one:

This is because I am most likely to do any sketching when we are sitting at a restaurant and waiting for our order while our kids are busy somewhere else or sleeping or sitting next to us (in this case I usually need to place myself in a not so comfortable position if I'm trying to sketch them). I am also likely to use the same page for the notes on the discussed subjects at that time. 

I also can do some sketching when we are at a playground. I love sketching ears and noses (Sasha is my usual model for these sketches). The ears are my fetish, but I am rarely happy with how they turn out in my drawings. I usually try again and again... This does not help me to achieve my goal to create a beautiful sketchbook for showing it in my web-site! ...and the architectural elements with their right corners are not helping either... and that fish is not working out right away also...

Playground is also be a good place to sketch kids. They even turned out well, but I had just a pencil and I used the same page to sketch a piece of olive bark before that (too late to go back now!)

Here is the whole olive tree. It is very beautiful and even colored with a juice of an olive that was laying beside it:

There are also other children at the playground. They are good sketching objects too with their scooters! I managed to sketch one before they were gone. Somehow this page got filled with some ladies and some legs in the meantime:

Suddenly, a notebook is taken over by my daughter. Well, I cannot really reject her when she is having a creative moment!

Sometimes I would draw a few dramatic guys in a tram, then my kids would come and take over the sketchbook again:

The most usual situation is when one successful sketch of some old man counterweights by four unsuccessful ones:

Here is another typical page that is full of not so great sketches. I am happy with only one little sketch (that face of a person who was passing by). Should I show the whole page in this case?

The same is here! There is one successful tiny sketch and a portrait that is detailed, but not that great. There is also a note here:

I went on a drawing trip to sketch these ficus trees. Are they successful or not?

Speaking of men, here is Sasha's father. By the way, he is quite recognizable:

Immediately a profile of some castle is wedged right in. Why is it here? It is just a simple sketch that and I do not consider necessary giving the whole page to! It would be just a waste...

Here are two pictures on this page that need to be looked both ways at. You look at one picture, then you would need to turn it upside down to look at another picture. It is sleeping Jasha's hand and some guy resting on a bench.

Well, here are a few pigeons in the end. One of them maybe is worth keeping:

How do other artists manage to create a masterpiece blog post out of their sketchbooks?!

Tanja's web-site:
Books in English and Russian that Tanja sells on Amazon:
Eight books in Russian:

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