Sketchbook last minute things


I am finishing up the book. Again. I already finished it in the last post having drawn the last portrait. Then I finished it up the second time by going over every page, cleaning up, restoring lost contrast, applying fixatif, and in some cases doing some serious revamping. Like I completely changed the original self portrait on the intro page to this one. Several other earlier portraits got changed fairly dramatically as well. Then I finished the book for the third time writing titles for each portrait, signing and dating everything. I have significantly underestimated the amount of finishing work I had to do. Besides I am a little tired of the whole thing by now – it is time to really finish it one of these days. Now the only thing left to do is the cover. I hope to have the book sent off to the Art House by the end of the week.


  1. debbieadamart January 5, 2011

    Excellent likeness of you, not that I’ve seen you before, but your so good at what you do I just know your got yourself right on the money.
    I checked out the link to the previous version and like this one much better.
    Your on the home stretch now to finishing up, so don’t loose site now. Keep up the good work and get that book published. I will take a signs copy please. lol.

    • Alex Zonis January 5, 2011

      Thank you, Debbie! I think it looks fairly like me :). I hope it was OK to make changes like this, I was worried about preserving the integrity of the sequence, but most likely I am overthinking the issue. I did learn quite a bit about portrait drawing while working on this project, you liking the new version better re-affirms it for me. Thank you so much for that!

  2. debra January 5, 2011

    Hi Alex, great portrait I like this one more than the other, but would be happy if I could draw portraits half as well.
    I know what you mean about finishing off, although I think the painted ones have less cleaning. I’m trying hard not to re-vamp (well only a couple) and it will be in the post today
    Thanks for your lovely comments, I feel honoured you want to look at mine. One day I’ll get to the U.S. to see them

    • Alex Zonis January 6, 2011

      I am so happy my work here made you think of doing portraits, Debra! The project was meant as a portraiture practice for me, I am very proud my idea, especially since I learned so much. The finishing work is a pain though, I will be changing my process if I decide to do this again.

      I am so glad I met you through this project! Love your work and think you are an accomplished artist! I’ve been studying your sketchbook to figure out how you use color.

  3. lesliepaints January 5, 2011

    O’kay, perfectionist, 🙂 No more touch ups. It’s beautiful.
    Have some fun with the cover.

    • Alex Zonis January 6, 2011

      Leslie, your comment was a comment #1000 on my blog! How neat and special is that :D! And you are right, of course, I’ve trying to let go of my perfectionist’s tendencies, but sometimes they get the better of me. I will leave the book alone now…

  4. Carol King January 5, 2011

    You industrious little bee! You took a good portrait and made it great! And I’m sure the rest of your book also looks even more amazing than before.

    I still have tons of pages to finish, so it will be what it is. I’ll do what I can until next week and then send it off.

    • Alex Zonis January 6, 2011

      I think this must be separation anxiety manifesting itself :roll:, Carol! The time is coming closer to release the book into the world and I am discovering that I grew attached to it and am inventing things that still need to get done in order to delay the moment. Enough! I am finishing the cover and off it goes!

      Good for you to persevere and finish to whatever level possible! I can’t wait to hold your book in person when it will come to Chicago in July!

  5. asmalltowndad January 6, 2011

    What an amazing book of personalities captured by your talent. I agree with Leslie, they are beautiful, don’t touch a thing!

    • Alex Zonis January 6, 2011

      I hear you, Ryan! Not touching anything anymore, just putting together a simple cover :). Thank you for the kind word on the collection of personalities in the book – I am rather proud of them!

  6. eldy January 6, 2011

    Hi Alex. When I compare your original self portrait to the revamped version I can see how much further you have developed your wonderful portraiture skills over the course of completing your Sketchbood Project. The difference shows a richness of detail that is exciting, delightful and very inspiring!!!

    • Alex Zonis January 7, 2011

      Thank you, Eldy! I thought I should make the intro page more interesting if I want a viewer to look at the rest of the pages. If the first page would show a somewhat mediocre quality, people would not look any further. At least that was my justification. I am glad you liked the change.

    • Debbie Adams January 7, 2011

      I’ll second that, eldy!

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