October 11

Binding a Hardcover Book (Pop-Up Version)

This tutorial covers the basics of creating a cover and binding a pop-up book, modified from a previous tutorial I had done on the full creation of a hardcover book. These changes have been made to make the cover creation more specific to binding pop-up books, as requested by instructor Michael McGinnis of Santa Rosa Junior College for his Art 5/3-Dimensional Design course.

Notice: While this tutorial is for binding pop-up books, photos will depict a book block featuring sewn signatures rather than a pop-up page block. This is simply because this is what I had available at the time. The process remains mostly the same.

Version 1 Notes: While all instructions are present, I am currently missing photographic examples of a couple of steps (namely the measuring of cover boards). Will add as soon as possible.

Materials Needed

  1. Scissors and Craft/X-Acto knife with sharp blade
  2. Cover Material (Decorative paper, the cover material provided in class, or fabric*)
  3. Cover Board (Heavy chip board, “Bookbinder’s Board”, or scrap framing mat**)
  4. Ruler/Straightedge (something long enough to measure your whole book) and a pencil for marking
  5. Glue***
  6. Foam Brush or piece of scrap mat board/chip board (for spreading glue)
  7. Bone Folder for rubbing air bubbles out of glued surfaces and creasing folds.
  8. Optional: Binding jig (for ensuring your pages are perfectly aligned when gluing them together. This part will not be covered, as I do not have access to one at home. There is one available for use in class.)
  9. Optional: Several of those heavy old-edition math and science books you can’t sell back because publishers keep bringing out new ones ;) These will be used to apply pressure to things while glue is drying.

* If you opt for fabric, use a heavy cotton that has been treated on one side (so glue doesn’t seep through) OR fabric made specifically for binding books. Bookbinding fabric can be found online or at Riley Street Art Supply.

** Chip board comes in various thicknesses/sizes and is basically super-compressed cardboard; very similar to “Bookbinder’s Board”. Chip board can be found online or in craft stores such as Joann, Michael’s, and Beverly Fabrics, either by the sheet or in larger packs. Bookbinder’s Board can be found online and at Riley Street Art Supply. DO NOT USE CORRUGATED CARDBOARD. It’s not made to withstand repeated stress and your cover will eventually get floppy and fall apart.

*** If you want your book to last, I highly suggest using a bookbinding glue such as the PH Neutral PVA glue from Books By Hand (found online and at Riley Street). It is archival quality and remains flexible after it dries. This is the glue used in this tutorial. The “Elmer’s Glue-All” we use in class will work fine, but I can’t attest to its longevity. DO NOT USE “ELMER’S WHITE (SCHOOL) GLUE”. It is not meant for this purpose and not only is it not flexible when it dries, it will eventually yellow and crack, causing your book to fall apart.

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August 7

Drawing-a-day roundup #1

I lost the mojo to photograph and post all of my stuff from my classes … whoops.

Anyway, I decided to challenge myself to draw something every day, or at least work on a project. Daily photos are posted to my Tumblr account, and I’ll be posting weekly roundups here.

Day 1: Lettering (Acrylic + Copic on Mixed Media paper)
Day 2: Flowers (Prismacolor pencil on 140lb Strathmore cold press watercolor paper)
Day 3: Doodle/Lettering (India ink with various dip pen nibs on Strathmore smooth bristol)
Day 4: Takiya Genji from CROWS Zero (Faber-Castell 9000 Jumbo graphite pencils on 70lb sketch paper)
Day 5: Terri’s Chikkie (.05 mechanical pencil in sketchbook)
Day 6: More Flowers {WIP} (Prismacolor watercolor pencils on Fluid 140lb cold press watercolor paper)
Day 7: Princess Natsumi {WIP} (Copic Multiliner on Canson XL vellum bristol)

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September 15

[Art 12] Drawing Pad Roundup #1

On average we do roughly 20 pieces per 3-hour session in this class, but I will only be posting about half of the drawings from each session. This is part one of my first paper pad (100 sheets), and the first of probably 3 posts for this pad.

Our focus in these sessions was creating armatures, using the “cone” formula, and various methods of mark-making to create volume. We start with 5-10 3-to-5 minute gesture warmups, followed by two or three longer 10-15 minute drawings where we’re to try the methods shown to us, and usually end the class with two 15-20 minute “freestyle” pieces (using whatever methods we want).

So without further adieu, the semester’s first two models.

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September 15

[Art 3] Week 2: Characteristics of Shape

For this project we were set loose on campus for 20-30 minutes at a time to do ink thumbnails of various architecture we liked around the school. The idea for the final piece was to take parts of our four architectural thumbnails and combine them with elements of our week 1 project in order to create an Architectural Improvisational piece, combining “real” images with “unreal” lines, shapes, and textures. The piece must provide a sense of depth and balance in its use of line to create value and space.

Much like last week’s project, I had a lot of fun with this one because I didn’t have to stick to using only one thing–I was able to take inspiration from real places and combine them with simply doodled lines and fantastical shapes.

Though I must say in some way I accidentally created an image of my mother’s initials…

Week 02 Thumbnail

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September 10

[Art 3] Week 1: Characteristics of Line; Intro to Distal Cues; Cropping & Balance; Line Dynamics

I’ll have to apologize in advance for photo quality, as I’m presently limited to using an iphone and I don’t have the most steady of hands to get halfway decent shots (may need to rig up a workable tripod…). Also Photoshop for contrast/color balance, because otherwise everything is yellow thanks to having walls that are antique white.

Week 01 Thumbnail

For this project we were to be focusing on line dynamics; that is, the weight of lines, diagonals/horizontals, curves, and placement in order to define a space and to create depth and texture. We were to draw at least 9 thumbnails in our sketchbooks, and expand/take inspiration from four of them to make 2 symmetrical designs, and two asymmetrical designs.

I had a lot of fun with this project because it gave me a chance to use both my inner doodler and my inner perfectionist (THOSE LINES MUST BE FREAKING STRAIGHT). Also stippling. I enjoy stippling.
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September 10


(a year and a half later!)

After a nearly 3-year hiatus from school, I’m back to classes again and actually…drawing…things… again. I plan on using this blog to catalogue the works I do as part of my class curriculum, as well as select pages from my sketchbooks and miscellaneous other pieces I end up doing. At some point I will be going through a lot of my old work from previous years in school and posting select works (spoilers: I am one of those people who takes their “Intro” classes 4 years after they should’ve…).

As an aside, Art 3 artwork will be posted roughly once a week as projects are finished/returned from grading, and Art 12 every few weeks (whenever I start a new drawing pad and bring the old one home from school).

Let’s get this show on the road!

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March 28

Hello world!

Hello there!

This is mainly a placeholder post while I get my sketchblog (finally) set up. I’m hoping that once it’s properly set up it will motivate me to start drawing more, and I’m hoping to have something to post at least once a week.

We’ll see how that goes.