In this instructable I will discuss the process I use for making my notebook art. I enjoy making notebook art because it's nice to add a personal touch to my schooling and it's cool to carry something around in my day to day that I made.
Step 1: Conceptualize
Personally I wait till I think of something that I think will be fun to draw and will look good till I start working. Usually if I wait long enough something will come but sometimes some insperation is needed. When this happens I like to turn to http://www.deviantart.com. You can browse through lots of works without becoming a member and is a great place for artists.
Step 2: Materials for Drawing
1) Mechanical Pencil and or Number two pencil
2) Recomended: A pencil with a softer lead that makes a darker mark without
as much effort
3) Fine Point pen
4) Colored Markers, can be sharpies, Prismapens or any other type of colored
5) Notebook: I use an Environotes notebook, but any notebook that you can
draw and color on will work
Step 3: Begin Drawing
Once I have an idea of what I am going to be drawing I start with pencil to define the characteristics of the subject I am drawing. For this work I am going to be drawing a cow. I use the mechanical pencil for the lighter areas and then the pencil with softer lead for places that I want a little darker. I do this for two reasons, when erasing (something I do alot of) it is easiest to erase softer strokes and the combination of these two pencils allows me to add a lot of definition without hard strokes. Secondly, If i was using too hard of a stroke erasing would take more effort and likely ruin my notebook, which can happen very easily.
Step 4: Adding Shading/ Color
A very important part of making ur drawing look more dynamic and well drawn is by adding shading. This can be done in several ways. I start by visualizing where the colors are going to be lighter and starting with those colors. When using colored pens you can always make colors darker but not lighter, this is why I start with the light colors. Another benifit to starting with a light color is that when a darker color is added over it is makes the shading blend together better and therefore look better.
Step 5: Finishing the Piece
Here you can see I added a background color I chose a blue because I thought it matched with the brown quite nicely.
Step 6: Examples
I've experimented with several different shading and coloring methods to make these pieces. In some I decided to use the fine point pen too define my drawings. I find that this gives the overall piece a more cartoon like look. You can see this technique below were I haven't started coloring. In my cow piece I used the soft lead pencil to define my shading to give it more character. I think the most important part of this is having fun with it, GO NUTS! The more work you put into each piece the better it will look so go out and make your life more colorful.