I HATE SKETCHBOOKS. Hate them. I've never been able to work with the spine flexed and the pages kinda bowed, trying to draw while holding the book open at the same time. Couple that with the fact that the paper really sucks most of the time and the pressure of knowing that if you screw it up the book is ruined, either by the shitty art or the missing page you had to razor out. It's a truly miserable experience for me and I avoid them at all costs.
Now, take everything I just said and picture a beautifully hand crafted, leather bound, 100% rag papered, embossed, metal clasped sketchbook that looks every bit like the Necronomicon. NOW, picture it filled with art by the likes of Mark Schultz and Frank Frazetta (!) among many other master artists and then try to imagine the intimidation factor when you stupidly agree to put something in the book. Like I did. My buddy, master sculptor Clayburn Moore presented me with this ridiculously magnificent tome and I just couldn't say no to him. I was just so flattered to be asked into the company of such incredible talent! Until I got home with the book and froze. And froze. And froze. The longer I waited the more I psyched myself out. Finally after the book had been in my possession for over a year (!!!!!) with Clay's understanding wearing thin I just said "Fuck it!" and dove into it. I took the easy way out and did stuff I know I'm good at and finished it in about 8 hours. It's not a finished painting, but more of a tight color prelim and a helluva lot more than a sketch to make up for the offensively long time I had the book. The original is an acrylic wash painting with very little opaques and it's painted at the size presented here, about 7.5"x11" For a sketchbook illo I'm happy with it. I hope he is, too. I still friggin' HATE sketchbooks, though I'm thinking this may make a cool finished painting and may paint a full scale version at some point.