Today a few friends went out, and Dianne and I decided to practice our new discipline of working in our sketch books.
Doing this has been suggested by every instructor I have taken workshops and classes from in the past. Many even provided sketchbooks to aid in developing the discipling of drawing daily, and doing quick sketches. I think the aha moment for me was in Iain Stewart's workshop. I saw a work start out as a sketchbook pencil sketch, get turned into a quick watercolor sketchbook study, then get transferred into a final work on high grade watercolor paper.
Watching Iain go through that process, understanding how it started him on a path deciding what to include, what to omit, what edges would be hard, which ones soft. He held his final work up to his pencil sketch and you could see he made very few changes in the final work. He truly was a man with a plan, before he ever picked up his brush.
So not there yet, but here are a couple of quick sketches I did in my new, Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook. If you tape corners down to binding, it really does hold up to watercolors. He recommended that like your Amex - "never leave home without it".