Driving Through the Garden State

I had some journaling templates tucked into my messenger bag on the way home from Maryland. By the time I finished my Maryland Montage, we'd crossed into New Jersey, and I wanted to do something different for the next page spread. I used the templates as stencils for the rectangular shapes -- about the only way to draw straight lines in a moving car! Then I did these little scene captures in ink and watercolor while driving through the state. The page background color and border had been previously painted with diluted acrylic.

This sketchbook is now finished! I have a couple of test pages that I haven't shown yet, but I'll be showing those soon, along with a couple of wrap-up review segments about this Stillman & Birn Alpha hardbound sketchbook.


  1. I just love that you were sketching while in a moving car! I have tried it and it is even more difficult than sketching on a moving train. These are great. I admire your dedication!!! Love the painting of the wedding lovely! Great hint about breaking in the S&B bound book. I do have one that Michael sent me and I haven't used it yet. You really started off the new year well!

  2. Joan, thank you so much. It's funny that I finished up this book right at the start of the year, instead of at the end of 2011! I'm pretty sad about wrapping this one up, and I've never felt that way before. Strange. Usually I can't wait to jump into a new one.

    Be sure to break in your new one before you use it. I went out today with a new one that I went through the break-in process with first, and it does make a huge difference. I didn't even need to clip it down to a board. It made the sketchbook so easy to use.


  3. Can't wait to read your review of the S&B bound books, since I want to try them... but I'll definitely be using some wc washes and want to know the paper will hold up to that, with minimal buckling and no bleed through. Got my fingers crossed. :)

  4. Katie, I've done four parts of the S&B Alpha review so far. You can start from this one: . Each one will give you a link to the next installment. (Two more installments coming over the next few days.....) With regard to washes, etc., it really depends on how you work, which varies so much from person to person. Those who use lots of water, many layers, and scrubbing the paper, will have a much different experience than I do. You can always write to the company via their website and ask for paper samples so you can choose what will work best for you.