I am currently working on an artwork and I thought you might like to see one way I work. First, I get an idea in my head. I try to make a sketch of it in my sketchbook (sometimes I don't get to it soon enough and the idea slips away. But not often.) It truly is a "sketch" I do. It is a thumbnail to help me remember what was in my head.
Some people keep beautiful sketchbooks. They are a work of art in themselves. Maybe they are testing colors to figure out the right ones before jumping into the project. Sometimes they have variations on a theme or are trying a technique. As much as I would love to have something beautiful like that, it's just not the way I work.
My preferred sketchbook size is 5.5" x 8.5" with spiral edge (and preferably made from some recycled content). I do not have one bigger than that, but I did get a smaller one for travel which I am also enjoying. This size is easy to carry around and not so big that I am overwhelmed with a white page when I open it.
Here is a page for the piece I'm working on. I'm sure you won't be able to read my handwriting. The main idea is drawn in the lower middle of the page. Then I drew the top square to show how I wanted the fabric in the center square to be. Next to that, I wrote some ideas on how to make the fabric look like that.
The little square on the bottom right was another idea I had for the central square. There are some notations of colors as I already had a good idea about that. Also, I have some notations as to the number of sections.
On the very top right are a couple of measurements. When I am working on the piece, I sometimes write some measurements or do the math on the sketch. At the top left is the theme that made me think of this idea in the first place. I will explain how that fits in later (as you probably can't tell from this). Stage 2 tomorrow.