May 9th, 2015

U.O.P. Landscape 1

Artist: Salvador Castío, United States
Artist’s statement: I drew this landscape at the beginning of 2014. It was the first thing that I drew in my new Stillman & Birn Alpha Series sketchbook. After 25 years of using the same brand of sketchbook, I discovered Stillman & Birn and changed. Their quality is superb and I now use their sketchbooks exclusively. I live near the University of the Pacific (U.O.P.) and regularly take walks through the campus. The landscaping on campus is very lush and invites one to want to draw. This drawing started as a pencil sketch that was worked on for almost a week. My initial sketches are quick and loose; only general shapes and an indication of shading are noted at first. Once I feel as if I’ve put down all the information that I will need, I proceed to the next phase: inking.

My inking technique is methodical and labor intensive. As I said, I start by establishing shadow shapes. Once those are in place I start building up the values. I go for the darkest values first, this allows me to accurately determine and compare lesser values in the picture. I build up my values line by line using a Rapidograph technical pen. I favor the .35 point since it allows me to add as much fine detail as needed. I’ve used a Rapidograph for 30 years because I like working with real ink. Many of the modern sketch pens offer little in the way of permanence. A drawing such as this normally takes me a few days to finish – as you can imagine, I don’t burn through sketchbooks. In fact, it normally takes me a year to complete a sketchbook.

I’ve been keeping a sketchbook on and off since 1987 and have continuously kept one since 1995. I keep a sketchbook for two reasons. First, I love to draw. Second, I like keeping a journal. I’ve never been interested in keeping a sketchbook to practice my skills as is traditionally done. Instead, I prefer to use it as a place where I can put down my thoughts, ideas, and whatever is going on in my life at the moment. The two people that have had the biggest influence on my sketchbook work are Barron Storey, whom I studied with at The Academy of Art in San Francisco, and underground comics pioneer, Robert Crumb. Although their work is distinctly different, it is very similar in the aspect of the intimate, no holds barred approach that they both take. In my opinion, their sketchbooks are the finest example of the art of graphic journaling.

As an artist, carrying a sketchbook is one of the best things that you can do; I’ve noticed that keeping a sketchbook has become quite a popular thing to do over the past decade and I think that’s great. I believe that a sketchbook should represent who you are as a person. It should contain your thoughts, ideas, and emotions. If you’re not doing that, then what’s the point? If you’d like to see more of my work, you can at:,, and

MEDIA: Pencil, pen and ink
SURFACE: Alpha Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – White – Medium Grain Surface

U.O.P. Landscape I


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