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End of Tablecloth Journal Self Portrait

End of Journal Self Portrait, colored pencils, 7x5"
End of Journal Self Portrait, colored pencils, 7x5"

As I complete each journal I draw a self-portrait for the last page. I really liked the ink drawing I made for this one but then totally messed it up when I was painting it and tried to “fix” something. The more I tried, the worse it became. So I scanned the sketch and used Photoshop to remove all the color, leaving me with just the original line drawing below.

Line drawing for self portrait
Line drawing for self-portrait scanned from bad watercolor sketch

From Photoshop I printed the line drawing onto a piece of the same watercolor paper I use in my journals. Since the ink from my inkjet printer is water-soluble (darn) I couldn’t add watercolor. I used Faber-Castell POLYCHROMOS colored pencils instead and tried to keep a light touch after having overworked the original.

I cut out the sketch to fit into the journal (and cover the yucky sketch), and glued it down with a glue stick. The completed journal is pictured below, covered with a piece of an old tablecloth that lost its “oil cloth” coating when I washed it years ago.

Newly bound journal; cover from old tablecloth
Completed tablecloth-covered journal

It’s so interesting to me how these end of journal sketches turn out. I’d had a rare and unusually good night’s sleep and was in a good mood when I drew this one. What they say about beauty sleep seems to be true, even in sketches — I definitely look more youthful and pretty in this sketch than some of the others I did under less optimal circumstances.

You can see previous end of journal self portraits at this link.

10 replies on “End of Tablecloth Journal Self Portrait”

Hi Jana (from FL) I am a sporadic follower of your wonderful blog. Not that I would not come oftener but I am on dial up (arrrrrr…gh) in the north woods in summer time and no browsing blogs allowed that way! I went back aways today and read some I’ve missed. I am so impressed with your lovely journal covers. No way I would invest the time in making journals but I could see perhaps making some covers. I may just be inspired! Thanks so much for all the helpful links.


Hi Ginny, It was so nice to hear from you. Wow, that’s hard to believe there’s still only dial up in some areas. That’s an interesting idea to make your own covers for storebought journals. Why not!? PVA glue used in bookbinding is great stuff, dries quickly and very strong. It is a bit time-consuming making my own journals, but it’s so nice to have just the size and paper I like and that will also lay flat on the scanner. I’ve gotten it down to about 3-4 hours total to make one, and I can waste that much time going to the art supply store and noodling around. But I do tend to be more conscious of not “wasting” pages with scribbly stuff than I might be with an inexpensive store bought journal. There’s always trade-offs! Jana


Thanks for the nice mention and link. I think your sketch makes you look like an attractive and really nice and fun person. I think the important thing is to capture something of your mood and personality in the self portraits. But I know what you mean about not being able to fix things with pens…and the more I try the worse it gets! I must also give credit to the person I got the end of journal portrait from: Louise Stanley. Her journals are AMAZING. I’ve seen them in person. Her website is:



Hahahaha! When I was reading this post, I remembered the day I was in my elementary grade. I never had a great drawing of a man. I always tried to give my best shot but still – my drawings are always ending on a stick man. I don’t know what’s on my hand that I couldn’t even draw or paint a simple head of a woman. But you showed here how to be very creative by sharing your ideas. Thanks… I had fun…


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