Sketchbook – October 2017

Sketchbook 2017 - Nigel The Orange Cat | Whims And Fancies


Meet Mr. Nigel Forsythe Castleton, proprietor of the Lost Pages Bookstore.  Owing to the bookstore being in a very old stone building, it is very drafty and cold, even on the warmest of days.  Mr. Castleton loves nothing more than to spend his days in the bookstore, but the poor thing is always very cold even though he is made of wool.  Luckily, the bookstore has a wonderfully big fireplace, where he keeps the fire going at all times.  He pours himself a glass of ginger wine and sits by the fireplace, perusing those lost pages.


He is my first foray into making knitted toys.  I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the pattern I originally started following, since it has mistakes.  I ended up making most of Nigel on my own.  He was such a relaxing thing to make.

Since Mr. Castleton loves that fire in his fireplace so much, he makes me think of winter.  Just in time too.

Of course, me being me, I had to make a cat and promptly give him a story.  Lost Pages was the very first painting in this little sketchbook, the last 5 pages of which I get to share with you today.



Sketchbook 2017 - Alien Planet Painting Derwent Metallic Watercolour Pencils & Winsor Newton ink | Whims And Fancies


Alien World


A very Technicolor alien world.  Nothing in this world is shy about its use of colour.


Sketchbook 2017 - Elemental Doorway Painting Sennelier Caput Mortuum Watercolour | Whims And Fancies


Elemental Doorway


The Ancients of this world used a type of white element for their ‘ironwork’ on wood with Caput Mortuum stain.


Sketchbook 2017 - Steampunk Fleur De Lis Painting Marker & Winsor Newton Ink | Whims And Fancies


Steampunk Fleur de Lis


This steam-powered golden Fleur de Lis is floating through time and space.  I love the challenge of figuring out how a steampunk mechanism might work. 


Sketchbook 2017 - Lavender Field Painting Derwent Pastel Pencils | Whims And Fancies


Lavender Field


The stone farmhouse not only has a lovely view, but the heady aroma of lavender makes it an even more inviting place.


Sketchbook 2017 - Solar Eclipse Nebulosity Schmincke Horadam Ivory Black Watercolour | Whims And Fancies


Eclipse Nebulosity


I wanted the sense of nebulosity of the solar corona extending into the background space, as if space itself is made of a black nebula that, like the solar corona, is only visible during an eclipse.


Photographing the eclipse was a special event for me, and I had to make this one my last painting in this sketchbook.  You can follow our journey to capture the solar eclipse on this post.


Sketchbook 2017 - Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks | Whims And Fancies


I am exclusively using Stillman And Birn Beta sketchbooks for these little paintings.  I love to see the side of a finished sketchbook, with its wavy pages and colours peeking out.  I have already started on my next sketchbook, and I can’t wait to see what journey awaits me in that one.


Previous Sketchbook Pages

June 2017

July 2017



Charlie’s Adventure – A little Halloween story


Much to my horror and surprise, I completely missed the mark on Halloween this year.  It was not until a cute little Winnie The Pooh rang the doorbell that I remembered why.  Good thing I wasn’t without candy!

Charlie and the rest us hope you had a good All Hallows Eve, whether or not you celebrate Halloween!




I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them, they are a lot of fun!


30 thoughts on “Sketchbook – October 2017

  • HooksandNeedles November 26, 2017 at 12:22

    Wow, Nigel is such a handsome guy, love his story. Love the paintings and Charlie too. Have a good week. Cathy x

  • Janine November 19, 2017 at 14:05

    I love Mr. Nigel Forsythe Castleton and I very much enjoyed his story. It’s most important to keep warm in a bookstore. Thank you also for sharing your notebook. Your pictures are wonderful :)

  • Tammy November 13, 2017 at 23:17

    Nigel looks to be a very distinguished proprietor. :) Great sketches. I am pants at keeping up with my journaling. :/

  • Cheryl Brickey November 11, 2017 at 18:17

    Nigel is such a cute kitty, he looks like a good watch cat to keep your sketchbook safe. Your art work is beautiful.

  • Ness November 11, 2017 at 15:07

    My favourite sketch has to by of the eclipse as I enjoyed your post of your journey to see it so much.

  • Maureen November 9, 2017 at 17:44

    Love your sketch book, and your wee knitted cat! I think Nigel may need a friend to keep him company – hope you’ll show us who come along next!

  • pienilintu November 8, 2017 at 15:56

    Wow, so great!

  • Linda November 8, 2017 at 13:37

    Oh I do love Nigel, very very cute! Your post made me smile, lovely story! And your sketches area delight! Thanks for sharing with ‘sew stitch snap SHARE’

  • Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 13:00

    Hi Soma, thanks for joining in with my link party. Nigel is wonderful! I love his little face. Your sketchbook art is amazing, wow. You are a very talented artist. I am so impressed. Thank you for sharing.

  • Emily Bailey November 8, 2017 at 12:50

    Beautiful work in your sketchbook.

  • Kelleyn Rothaermel November 8, 2017 at 09:47

    I love the sketch with the lavender fields something I truly want to see some day. I love the stuffed cat and who would like the real one too. Have a wonderful week. Thanks for sharing!

  • A ShutterBug Explores November 6, 2017 at 09:19

    Wonderfully creative sketchbook post ~ lovely work ~ thanks, ^_^

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  • Kaja November 6, 2017 at 07:09

    It’s always fun to see what you’ve been up to in your sketchbook!

  • Jesh StG November 6, 2017 at 00:56

    Many thanks Soma for linking your lovely art to All Seasons! have a lovely week:)

  • Su-sieee! Mac November 5, 2017 at 16:57

    Mr. Nigel is cute and his story is wonderful. Your paintings inspire me. :-)

  • Anne November 5, 2017 at 04:30

    You are so talented, I love your artwork and your cat is adorable.

  • Lady Fi November 4, 2017 at 00:08

    You are very talented!

  • BillieBee November 3, 2017 at 17:24

    Hello Mr. Nigel!

  • jeah stg November 3, 2017 at 13:37

    Handmade is still popular! It seems everyone reacted to Mr. Nigel. Was thinking,may be you could use a knitted toy as a kind of an icon or representation of part of your art? The fleur de lis and the eclipse are my favorite pages:) Your post makes me want to return to the little cute, fancy, handmade things:)

  • nrs November 3, 2017 at 09:35

    Ooh, how cute. You are an amazing and talented artist. I don’t think there are anything you have tried and not be successful. I looked through your site and I want to be able to draw and paint like you. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jayne November 3, 2017 at 06:07

    I love your stories and love Nigel! Some how I missed your Eclipse pictures the first time around and could wait to take a look at them now. Just gorgeous…you captured it perfectly!

  • Carol S. November 3, 2017 at 05:43

    I can’t even begin to wrap my head around knitting/crocheting so you’ve totally impressed me with Nigel. Thank you for sharing your sketchbook of beautiful art and I have to say that I love looking at the edges too. Sweet!

  • Mascha November 2, 2017 at 23:24

    Oh, wanna have a little chitchat with Nigel! A bookstore is my most beloved place…
    And I like your sketches :)
    What are the dimensions of these book-sites? I don’t know Stillman And Birn Beta here in Germany.
    By the way: I often visit a wonderful inspiring linkparty
    Have a great weekend

  • Wendy @ September Violets November 2, 2017 at 16:03

    Nigel looks quite regal and just the type of fellow who could disappear into books for hours at a time. You did well with him! I’ve tried a few knitted toys too, but they are usually of the teeny tiny nature.
    The sketchbook entries are great! Love the doorway and the eclipse. I’ve done a couple of nature sketches in mine, but still to shy to share ;)
    Good thing you had candy!!

  • Kim Sharman November 2, 2017 at 13:35

    I would love to sit with Mr. Nigel Forsythe Castleton for a little while in the Lost Pages Bookstore and enjoy a glass of ginger wine in front of the fireplace. He is very sweet. Well done you for making it up as you go! Your sketches, as alway,s are filled with delight. The Steampunk Fleur de Lis is my favourite; love the night sky. Though in saying this, the Elemental Doorway is very cool; love the effect on the door and the effect of the Eclipse Nebulosity is way too clever. So……I suppose ALL are my faves. =)

  • Dixie November 2, 2017 at 11:21

    Mr. Castleton does look very distinguished and, not to knock a chip off his dignity, sweet, too.
    Very creative sketchbook paintings. I love the steampunk Fleur de Lis and the Eclipse Nebulosity.
    xo to beautiful Charlie.

  • krislovesfabric November 2, 2017 at 10:00

    What a sweet little bookstore owner, of course your Nigel kitty cat is so cute! You did so well matching his scarf to his eyes. The colors are just perfect. I imagine he would mind those books very well. What a fun thing to do with your talent :) Your sketches are all wonderful as well. I agree that looking at the edges of the pages is very enticing! And where to begin with Charlie? He’s a great Halloween ambassador with his pumpkin!

  • Mary November 2, 2017 at 08:53

    Your knitted cat turned out so cute. I’m glad he is watching over your sketchbook. I always love seeing your work, Soma. The colors are so enchanting throughout. I love the Eclipse Nebulosity and it captures your journey so well.

  • Susie November 2, 2017 at 08:39

    I am so enjoying your sketchbook artwork!! I especially love your Lavender Fields and Eclipse Nebulosity !! The Eclipse looks like a photograph!! How cool to look at the page edges….

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