Sketchbook Smear Relief and Some Doctor Who Fan Art

I wanted practice drawing people. What better way than to combine learning with fan art of Doctor Who?

drawing in pencil and gouache or doctor who wearing a fez and bow tie
Doctor Who with bow tie AND fez. Done with pencil and gouache.

In the past when I've kept a sketch book the pencil would rub off on the adjacent page. This has always frustrated me. Capturing a likeness can be frustrating, why compound frustration with materials issues? I wanted this to be FUN.

I used my little watercolor Moleskine notebook because I liked the thickness of the paper and I could do washes if I wanted. Next I needed something to reduce or stop the smear. My first thought was tracing paper because it's cheap, but it has some tooth so I thought it might pick up some of the graphite. Plus it isn't acid free or pH neutral or "archival". Glassine was my answer. It's smooth and pH netural so it won't contribute much to the deterioration of my notebook paper (the Moleskine paper is acid free, according to their Website).

To keep the little sheets of glassine from slipping out of the notebook I decided to glue them in. I have some pH nuetral glue (used in book binding) lying around so I used that to glue the edge of the glassine into the gutter of my book. I did this between every drawing. Pretty easy.

Moleskine with glassine between pages
I glued the edge of a piece of glassine (cut slightly smaller than the Moleskine) in the gutter of the pages.

Yeah it's kind of an involved solution compared to just spraying the drawings with something, but it solves several things for me.

1. Reduction of pages rubbing together.
The book style binding is tighter than a ring bound book so there's less shifting and rubbing of pages.

2. Keep adjacent drawings from rubbing off on each other. The glassine picks up a little of the graphite but nowhere near the amount of regular paper. What graphite does get picked up doesn't seem to smear the drawing.

3.  It's not a stinky solution. Yes I could have used spray fix, or hair spray (not "archival"), but I hate the smell of both.

4. It makes for a less frustrated Christine who can enjoy drawing more!

doctor who character sketch in watercolor moleskine
This is where I left off. I'm waiting for the new season with bated breath!

P.S. Doctor Who is © BBC