Each of my annual sketchbooks are a bit of a time capsule. Not in the strictest sense, of course, there’s not much burying involved (that I’m aware of, at least) but there’s an element to each of sealing away just where I was and what my interests were for any given year. Mention a date in the last 15 years and very likely one of my first thoughts will be which sketchbook I released that year.

There’s something about it that helps me keep track of things by structuring my work this way.

Unfortunately for the part of me that likes to keep notes on a calendar, the last couple years has seen me slide off the rails when it comes to my sketchbook collections. 

Between client projects, commissions, and displacement during my new studio construction, I’ve been at loose end with my personal work. But! At long last, the collection begun about this time last year, should be wrapping up by the end of this month.

In effort to keep this series manageable, I limited the number of “main” illustrations in the set. For the last several sketchbooks, I planned out the work like usual but if something occurred to me that touched on the theme, I’d usually find a way to work on that piece and include it. So in some respects, it wasn’t just my own project calendar getting the better of me, it was also how I’d let the collections grow beyond their initial spark of ideas. Not exactly a problem, I think I’ve done my best work in these recent sets, but it has had an effect on the time it all takes.

And so for this one, I’m doing my best to tighten the focus. That said, in the last couple weeks, of course, I’ve been adding a few new portraits here and there (a peek at a few of those at the end of this post). Can’t seem to help myself.

Until I’m ready to show off the new collection in full, I thought we could take a look at the most recent piece for this new sketchbook.

And I was so enjoying this stage that I ended up scanning the drawing in progress.

At last, a look at the finished drawing.

With this last “main” piece now complete, I’m wrapping up a few portraits and other smaller pieces to include in the new set. Should be ready to show off this new sketchbook before the end of the month!