the dreaded first page in a new sketchbook

Canson watercolour sketchbook - first page

A few weeks ago I went to an artists talk where he showed his sketchbooks - I love sketchbooks as you may have noticed :>)

He often used Canson watercolour sketchbooks 12ins wide x 9in high and I really liked them and the proportion/size of the book (his work was interesting too!) . I ordered one from Great Art and it came yesterday, it's lovely, a smart red fabric cover with black trim, smooth watercolour paper and lots of pages.

To break that First Page thing of feeling that whatever you do first needs to be a 'good' one to start off well .......... or don't you worry like that? I decided to try out watercolour, neocolor II, Inktense, watercolours pencils, normal coloured pencils and mix of any or all to see how they behave.

I like it :>) it worked well with all of them. It's only a 'play' but it now has a page with work on and so I'll feel happy to carry on working in it at the coast now.

Do you find that first page intimidating? or have expectations of it?


Annie said…
Oh, you bet, Vivien!
I start at the last page, sometimes,
though not much is going to keep me
from that awful feeling of intimidation until I do more work on a daily basis. I think color studies ARE a good way to go and I just broke in my studies workbook (almost a scrapbook)this way.
I find every new piece intimidating. I want everything to be good. I will keep working on it until it is. I never give up on a piece.
Lovely first page - another book??
laura said…
I love your first page; what a great idea--wish I'd thought of it. Each strip is interesting.
I always leave the first couple of pages of a new sketchbook blank; then I may go back and use them when I'm not so self-conscious.
Robyn said…
Great start, Vivien! And best wishes for a wonderful sketching holiday.

I am, however, astonished that you suffer from 'first page syndrome' - I would never have thought it. Empty sketchbooks surround me. I've taken to sketching on scrap paper in order to escape the stress. You must be aware of the stress, too associated with those unfinished half-pages in the Flying Pictures Books. Eeeeek!
vivien said…
Colour studies are a good idea for you Annie - it's only the first new page that's so scary, after that I don't mind messy pages and things stuck in - anything goes ...

Shirley - This book is for taking to the coast - maybe another book in time - who knows?

Laura I've done that too :>) leaving the page blank and going back to it when I'm tuned in!

Robyn I so agree about those scary half pages in the FPP exchange! it's the fear of ruining someone else's work and putting something awful there! I don't like what I've done in the current one and it's going to be totally reworked and freed up before the book travels on. Liked your work in the last one on the site :>) and love your garden

It's only paper .....
Lor Lor said…
Yes, the first page of a sketch book scares me skinny too. I try out all the media I'm likely to use on the last page, then I start a few pages in. This book looks great.
Rose Welty said…
Hee hee Vivien, I so agree. I use the "leave a few pages blank" trick all the time! I can't understand why I take it so seriously, but it happens.
harrybell said…
I certainly do. Trouble is, if the first page turns out well, I worry that the second page might spoil the book, and so on and on. Perfectionism and worry, hand in hand.
vivien said…
Harry, Rose and Lorraine - I'm so glad I'm not alone in this!

and yes Harry - the angst does carry on a bit but I don't mind pages where I'm simply thinking through or jotting down ideas so it doesn't have to be perfect, just worthwhile
Jeanette said…
I used to dread the first page of a new sketchbook, but it seems to have passed for some reason that I can't explain.

I know that every page won't be to my liking but some will. Its funny how we want to set up our sketchbooks so that the first page heralds what is inside. I guess its a bit like reading the first page of a book. If page one hooks us, then we continue reading. We want that in our sketchbooks too.
The only time I was ever intimidated by a sketchbook was when I had to make my first marks in Lor Lor's moley.
When it's my own sketchbooks I am fearless - the sooner they are marked the better regardless of what I do. Then I can get on with filling them up!
vivien said…
Fearless David :>) very brave! yes, working in other people's books is scarier for sure

'Setting it up' is right Jeanette, that's exactly it.
dinahmow said…
As the Queen of Muck-Ups I can honestly say my own pages don't bother me. But if I'm adding to someone else's pages I get terrible jitters. Daft, I know, especially when we all say it's meant to be fun.
And I always have more than one "on the go" so perhaps that helps.
vivien said…
oh me too - I have sketchbooks that I keep for the coast, my waterways project, flowers etc and then general ones and all in different sizes - so lots on the go!

and after the first page I don't mind much ups - there's just something about the first page ....

sad and strange!
Tina Mammoser said…
What a strange lot we artists are. ;) My first page always ends up being awful because I'm excited about my new sketchbook but then do something just to christen it on the that first page - rather than sketching something because I need to.
vivien said…
Hi Tina :>D - yes very strange!

I suddenly realise when my non-painting colleagues are looking at me in amazement for something I thought was normal!

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