Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way: Sketch, Paint, and Doodle Through One Creative Year by Jennifer Orkin Lewis2
November 18, 2016 by I SNIFF BOOKS - Beth
Why wait until the New Year to begin your daily creative habit? Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way by Jennifer Orkin Lewis let’s you begin today! The entries are not dated so you can begin the sketchbook anytime and start in any section you want. The sketchbook is divided into monthly themes so that the 365 days are broken up into 12 mini challenges.
Each month begins with a charmingly illustrated title page announcing the theme and coloring materials. Next is a double-page spread with the left page featuring an illustration of the coloring materials and the right page featuring a tutorial. Then comes the drawing pages featuring one, two, or four creative prompts. Each month ends with a Reflections page with two questions: (1) What did you enjoy the most about this section? and (2) What was challenging? I really like the journaling page — it gives the sketchbook a bit of a cozy, intimate feel, like a diary.
The tutorial pages (12 in all) are are quite lovely to look at but the instructions IMHO are brief and seem to assume that whoever has the journal in his/her hands already has a background in drawing and just needs a quick brush-up on some “fancy” or advanced drawing techniques and styles. I would have preferred two-page tutorials — especially since the pages with illustrations of the coloring materials seem a bit unnecessary. This isn’t quite a criticism as I did not expect Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way to teach me how to draw but since tutorials are included I do wish that the tutorials were a bit more informative or perhaps a bit more accessible to persons like me who still draw like they are in grade-school — not that there’s anything wrong with that, I am *very good* at embracing my inner child 🙂
Below is a list of all twelve monthly themes along with the art supplies and paper type for each month — all paper is smooth and medium-weight unless otherwise noted.
a month of nature | markers and black pen | white paper
a month of food | colored pencil and black pen | ivory paper
a month of your favorite things | white and gold gel pens | black paper
a month around town | pencil and black pen | white paper
a month around the house | gold gel pen and black pen | white paper
a month of world travel | black + white pencil and black pen | brown kraft paper
a month of characters | ballpoint pens red blue black | white paper
a month of clothes | patterned paper, markers, black pen | white paper
a month of prints and patterns | markers, stamps, and pen | white grid paper
a month of animals | gouache or watercolor | white heavy-weight paper
a month of sea life | gouache or watercolor and black pen | white heavy-weight paper
a month of your choice | use your favorite materials | white paper
I tested some of the recommended art materials and some other coloring mediums of my own choosing on the white medium-weight paper as this is the paper type that appears most in the book. Here’s what I tested: Staedtler Triplus markers and fineliners, Color LUXE Fine Tip Gel Pens, Sakura Pigma Micron 05, Crayola fine line markers, and Stabilo Point 68 pens. None of the water-based inks bled through the paper (bleeding can still occur with water-based inks if paper quality is poor) but there was some very slight shadowing — you really do have to look hard to see it but it is noticeable with the Staedtler Triplus markers and fineliners. The Color LUXE gel pens left indentations on the reverse side of the page. The Sakura Pigma Micron 05, Crayola fine line markers, and Stabilo point 68 pens did not shadow.
The sketchbook has lay-flat binding so it will lay perfectly flat while open and you’ll be able to color right up to (and even over) the book’s gutter (center spine) if you desire. The sketchbook also has an exposed binding — when you remove the dustjacket you can see all the signatures (middle photo) and feel a light coating of glue — the glue is not sticky to the touch yet when the book has its dustjacket on, the the book does make “crackle-y” sounds when you touch the spine or open/close the book. Not a criticism, just an observation. The reverse sides of the front and back covers + endleaves are covered with doodles and are completely colorable.
I love the concept for Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way and very much look forward to beginning my daily creative habit by setting aside 30 minutes each day to work on a creative prompt. And I look forward to (hopefully!) seeing my drawing skills improve over the year.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary book from the publisher. I was not required nor obligated to write a review. The opinions are my own.
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