Making Art Books – Sketching Scotland & Brush Mileage

Brush Mileage and Sketching Scotland books

Today I want to share a little about making my art books: Sketching Scotland and Brush Mileage.

The kickstarter is now live, and I’m hopeful we can reach the goal during November!

First of all, you can view the trailer here:

It all started with a simple idea: compile some images and stories from my time painting in Scotland over the last five years. As I began to gather content, the book grew bigger and bigger. I also thought it would be nice to include more of my backstory, telling people how I became a full time artist. And then I started adding advice about running an art business. And it all just snowballed into a really huge project.

At one point, I had a 150 page book. And..that would have been OK. Except I also knew that when I am shopping for art books, sometimes I just want to stare at the pretty pictures. I don’t want to hunt through tons of text to find them.

So on a whim, I decided to split the book into two. When I did this, everything fell into place.

Suddenly I had two 100 page books, each one with it’s own focus. Brush Mileage was more about my personal journey, my business, and my chronological journey as an artist. Half of the book showcases my artwork over the years, with the final chapter being full pages of painting and photography.

Sketching Scotland is full of travel, stories about painting outside, and TONS of imagery from my years in Scotland. It does offer some advice about plein air painting and the tools I use, but the focus is definitely on the art. Combined, both books show my evolution as an artist over five years, which I think is kind of cool.

My sincere hope is that this resonates with others, and whenever they need a boost of inspiration, they can pick up either book and be transported to the Highlands.

Designing a book is relatively easy – I use InDesign which allows me to customize every single aspect. However just because I have the technical skills, doesn’t meant the design came easy. I struggled over the design for months. The layout probably changed 100 times! After my first proof print, I made changes to every single page. It was a lot of hours at the computer. But little by little, things started looking how I imagined it.

I will be compiling lots of footage from making my art books over the last month into a VLOG, so if you’re interested in that, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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I'm an independent artist living in Scotland. Always chasing the light, and painting the beautiful highlands.

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