Do you draw on both sides of your sketchbook paper?

Posted on Sep 8, 2016

Another artist posed the question:

Do you draw on both sides of the paper?

My response:

If you are using pencil or some similar dry media and do on both sides, there is a potential for images to rub against one another when the book is closed, thus causing smudging & such. Also, it might make scans and/or photos of the page show a hint of the sketch on the underside (if done dark enough and the paper isn’t thick enough).

Though I tend to just use “white” paper since my sketches are more for “play”, I have loved the sketching work of Kevin Keele, who does on browns & grays. On one of his Instagram posts, he said, “The process I take when sketching an image: I start by doing a rough, light drawing with a ball point pen ( zebra f-301s are my favorites). Then I fill in the shadows with a 50% grey Prismacolor marker. Next I go back to the ball point, fill in all the dark details. Last, I use a white gellyroll pen to add the highlights.”

A couple of links on Keele:

Oh also, Jake Parker has a list of his tools on his site:

See more articles at and see the work of Scott Monaco at