their work and words, interviews, blogs, images, hints, tips, websites
and more...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Montage pages to capture a day

I like to capture a day or special occasion on a spread, like this...things just kind of squeeze onto the page, one by one, tucking things in where there's room or where I have time.  The little yellow Piper Cub came first--I'd found a comfortable place in the shade and out of the way!  Then I added the helicopter in ink, because it was just taking off and that was my only chance.

Lunch beckoned...I knew  they were planning to stop serving at two, and it smelled SO good...so I sketched the lunch patrons in the hangar as I ate.  Then the little triplane, a 3/4 size model built by the owner, showed up and everyone was wowed by it...that's the distance shot with the guys gathered around, and the mom and her little girl watching from the hangar. 

I REALLY needed a closer sketch, so walked out onto the field and did the triplane in the small spot left on that side...using my bent nib pen and splashing in quick color before the plane took off again.

Then since we still had time, I did the more careful sketch of the hangars, office, and air traffic control in upper left, just fitting it in as I could.  Joseph had picked up the sticker from 3EX, people hoping to lease and rehab the airport, so I stuck in in place too!

I don't really design a page ahead of time, to begin with...they just kind of grow, organically.  Sometimes I consciously add a touch of color here or there to unify, like the green you see here...

And oh yes, I added the pencil drawing of the WWI style helmet the triplane's pilot wore later, from the photo I shot of him as he was taking off!

So how do YOU work?  Comments welcome!


  1. Thanks for walking us through the progression here! I like how it just develops as you go along. I very seldom give any thought to organizing elements in a sketch, though I admire those like Liz who are so good at it.

  2. Hi really like your page - good to understand how it grew ! And to see how your mix in the colour elements with the black & white sketches ! I have been trying some sketching when I visited the lovely gardens in Tresco on the Scilly Islands last week & watercolour painting when I got back - inspired by your book. All a bit cluncky compared to your lovely work but better than never having a go ! Thanks for sharing & inspiring ! Ali x

  3. I agree, Cathy. Most of my "montage" pages evolve organically. It's only later, with some elements already in place, that I might give some thought to how to unify the composition. Often, though, I let that thought slip right past, and keep on fitting stuff in willy-nilly 'til I run out of space. :)


  4. Sometimes I just do a sketch that does not fill a page, then later go back and add related [or not] sketches to fill out the page. I used to obsess about date progression, but am less concerned about that now. Other times, I montage all in one sitting as Cathy described...

  5. Thanks all! It's so interesting to see how others work! One of the most popular things in the poll in our sidebar has been designing pages, and as you can see, that designing can be pretty organic, for me!

    Rose, sometimes I add things days later, too...I'm working on a page of my cats that just kind of happened.

  6. Hi Cathy, thanks for these very interesting explanations. As you do, i use to draw many things on the same page, with many comors, but I prefer a large sized A4 sketchbook for this kind of work.. I'd be curious to know the size of yours?

  7. It's more or less 7 x 8-ish! I make my own, and this size allows me to work across the gutter for a good sized spread.


We'd love your feedback...please share your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...