This is a continuation of my attempt to summarize the ideas behind using layers in my sketchbooks. Part 1 is here.
I carry my sketchbooks with me everywhere. In a pre-pandemic life they would get more beating than now - but even today the average time I work in one sketchbook is about two months and in that time I am bound to drop it, carry it in the same bag with a bunch of plants, and rocks and will probably step on it a time or two. The result is infuriating: gouaches are smudged and partially transferred onto the facing pages. I tried using only one side of the paper but it just does not work for me. An empty page is just not something I can stand - I always add something to it.
To save the sketches themselves and the opposite pages too I started taping random pieces of paper as page protectors. But sketchbooks very quickly gained so much weight that I had a hard time closing them and had to tear some pages out towards the end to compensate for all the extras. To counter this effect I started using the thinnest paper I could find - translucent tracing paper.
At first writing on it was hard for me - but I kept trying and this endeavor opened up a whole new world of exploration for me. Semi-transparent paper allowed me to take a second look at my sketches, gave some distance, introduced a physical separation between "creating" time and "analyzing" time. In short, it revealed a way for a longer-form communication with my sketchbook. Sometimes I make notes, sometimes I redraw things, correct compositions, make frames. And now I can go back several times.