Spring: a new Sketchbook film about, well, me

I really enjoy making our little series of Sketchbook Films. With each one we become more ambitious and discover new techniques and gear to use. Last weekend, we decided to make a fairly simple one — no dollies, Winnebagos or helicopters.  I got in front of the camera again and left Jack to man the lens for the action sequences then Jenny covered off my drawing process (the fourth Beetle, Tommy Kane, was off doing something productive and couldn’t join us on this one though he approved the final cut as being Sketchbook Films worthy).

I wanted to show a simple pen and ink drawing, done outside on a gorgeous day. The weather didn’t cooperate and instead of gorgeous we got clouds and rain which meant things got more complicated and technical and we actually had to shoot bits and pieces over the course of four days and in three different parks.

It was still fun to make though horrifying as always to see myself on screen. It may surprise you to know that no aging makeup was used on this production — that’s actually how decrepit I now look.


  1. Lynn

    I like the Alfred Hitchcock style of your walking through the streets of people in the beginning of the film very much! I was mesmerized by the music sounds and ink lines as they hit my ears and eyes! Next add the painting process too please! thanks, such a gift this was to receive today!

    • dannygregory

      Hitchcock? I was going for George Clooney…

      • Nikita

        Danny you are so funny!! :0)) I love the “aging makeup” part! and the “George Clooney” too!!! The video is great. My son is just saying now” he is really good!” (he watched the video with me)
        Thanks a lot for posting.
        Looking forward for more.

    • julie

      I love the transition from city sounds to country gentle sounds. The background music is beautiful. I love watching the drawing come to life. I don’t know what else to say except I absolutely love this film. It has touched my heart and soul! My husband died last year and it has been a difficult journey for me. Your film has brought healing. Thank you!!

  2. Jaye

    Great post and video. You don’t look decrepit. I thought you looked very clean ;-) and relaxed. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ann

    Soooo lovely, Danny!

  4. joyce

    Lovely! I like how your hatching concentrates around and on the baby…even before you colored it, that brought my eye to the focus of the drawing.

  5. juka503

    Thank you Danny for being my everyday inspiration. I really enjoyed the film and hope to see more soon! ;)

  6. Morning Scribe

    Your work has inspired me to take up drawing, and to use sketches in my writings. Thank you for share with me and the world your wonderful art. Terri Joy Holmes

  7. Judy

    Danny, I am a fan! Been recommending your book Everyday Matters to my clients for years now. (I am a psychotherapist) You’ve inspired me too, even took my first cartooning class because of your book (except for the teacher I was the oldest in the class by thirty years.)
    Your touching work inspires on many levels


    Great Job Danny! oddly enough I think i get more inspiration and insight watching the act of sketching, than i do from the final product. Thank you for sharing a snapshot of the process in motion.

  9. Mary Martin

    Beautiful, Danny. Now I’m going back to watch it again……..

  10. Cheryl Razmus

    Enchanting! And don’t be so hard on yourself about your age. By the way, just finished reading “Peanut” and I loved it. (I would have paid more than 99 cents!)

  11. jendy63j

    Lovely! What kind of pen are you using?

  12. Elena

    Dear Danny, could you, please, tell us which inks do you use in that Lamy pen?

  13. Elizabeth

    Super fun

  14. Jan

    Danny, I think you’re very handsome! Thanks so much for these films. I so enjoy them and get excited when I see there’s another ready to view. The sketching is amazing! I would also like to know what inks you use. Thanks again — just GREAT!

  15. Ruth Stone

    Very cool, Danny. You inspire me on a grey day to continue my visual journal. Thanks!!!

  16. annatstudiohyde

    So nice to see the close-up drawing process, and how it grew….good job done by all:)

  17. stevencorrey

    love it – we want more video about people sketching, amazing topic!

  18. Nicky Gilkison

    It’s amazing you can still see to draw, you poor old man! (Haha- I actually think the film and your work are pretty neat.)

  19. Andrea Hawkes

    Wonderful! Thank you!

  20. Annika

    I love your films Danny and Jack!
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    I would love a sketchbook like yours (I already got the Lamy Safari pen)!
    Have a great weekend ;)

  21. PapaSakura

    Wow, you look so… Old… Decrepit… Wow.

    Seriously, you look great, Danny! Always a pleasure to see your work, too. The music was perfect for the scene and the Bambi at the end was really neat to see. Did you take him with you to each of the three parks you shot this in?

    Thanks for sharing your talent with us :)

  22. Diana Giffin

    Another great sketchbook film! It’s always great to see your process in action. I love how different each of your films have been from each other. The fawn was lovely!

  23. Emilie Comaduran

    Love this film Nice work Danny!

  24. Carol

    Been a fan of yours for years. I have a daughter who is finally on her way as a fine artist.
    As for seeing you on film….you look great! I am closing in on 59 and understand completely…..where did my chin line go!

  25. Barbara Daley

    Love this film, Danny.

  26. ChrisF

    I love the film, but I must ask…are there really highly cooperative and bold little deer lying around in NYC parks?

  27. Lorna

    Thanks for this Danny. You are a real oasis of calm amidst all the chaos of life, teaching us to stop and look around regardless of how busy life is. Recently I was feeling overwhelmed with my creative process and losing direction, so I turned to your books again. You inspired me to start journalling again and now I am absolutely addicted (to the point where everything else is being ignored.. housework, paperwork…:-)) and my imagination is just flying to another level through the journal. So thank you for the re-boot.!

  28. Steven

    I was just in Manhattan in May. It’s a fantastic time to visit. I enjoy all of your films. I wish you continued success. I’ll be on the lookout for a man wandering through the woods with sketchbook the next time I visit. Toronto has forests too, you could come film yourself wandering around up here.

  29. jenpedwards

    Simply lovely…beautifully done, Danny & Jack!

  30. Michelle

    Beautiful film! Very sweet with the fawn and inspiring as always. More please!,:) and thanks for giving the link for the Fabriano book!

  31. Cris, In Oregon

    This was WONDERFUL!!!!

  32. Corinne Korda

    Hello Danny,

    just had to tell you how much I like your work in general (I own several of your books and have “contaminated” my sister and some friends as well…) and how inspiring it is. I especially love your films (congratulations and big compliment to your son, too), not only because of its content, but also because of the very beautiful images – great camera work!
    Please continue…

  33. Debbie

    So peaceful. You are a master of the trade. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us to draw.

  34. Bj

    Love the film. . . beautiful drawing. Can you tell me what type of ink you used in your Lamy pen? I know the regular Lamy ink is very water soluble as is most fountain pen ink, but in the color version, yours did not seem to run. Thank you!

  35. Sofia

    You are awesome. I’m buying little by little all your books :) Hugs from a Colombian fan.

  36. Helen

    Lovely video. Love both the black and white and the colored one.

  37. violet

    dear danny, your film is either fine to watch in the morning and peaceful to end up a busy day, even an inspiring start of a dream at midnight. as i see so many people inspired by you, so do i. keep going, danny.

  38. Sofia

    Hi Danny, just a quick question, what kind of ink do you use in Lamy fountain pens?

  39. Donna Jeanne Koepp

    Fabulous. I love the videos!

  40. Carrol

    Danny, we enjoy your sketch films so much especially when the sketching is so prominent. Was the fawn truly there in Manhattan? What a lovely way to capture a mood!

  41. EvelineTimeless

    Another lovely film, but it made me wonder.. did you cheat and drag one of your taxidermy pieces into the park with you? Bambi looks so peaceful there….

  42. Jacob Gonzales

    Wow Danny, that was great!
    I’ve seen the rest of your Sketchbook films, and I have to say, this one fits in with the rest of them. I love the way the picture looked after you finished watercoloring it. Great Job!

  43. lisa cox

    loved it.

  44. Andrea thompson

    I have loved all the sketchbook films so far, this one is perfect! Watched it a few times. I’m still also a little bit unsure how you got the fawn in it to stay so quiet and still, you must have fooled us there, i can’t get close even out in the country here where I am. I can’t wait for the next film!

  45. Tam

    What a fun peek into one of your outings. You and your son work very well together… it’s almost like you’re not being filmed, you’re just “being.” That’s the mark of a great… uh, filmer, for lack of enough coffee for a better word just yet. I love how you just “out with it” with straight ink, no pencil lines or eraser. Another great film!

  46. JaneLaFazio

    LOVEd this! was I the ONLY one surprised to see you were drawing fawn?? I had to watch it a second time, and then saw the not so subtle hints, that indeed, you were drawing a deer. (sort of like the ending to the movie 6th sense..) I adore your films and look forward to a full on film festival with speakers and sketchers and panels! that would be sooo fun.

    • dannygregory

      “I ….draw… dead animals.” (Creepy stare)

    • dannygregory

      I love your idea of a Sketchbook FIlms Festoval. I have a fantasy that one day we’ll make a full-length feature about people who draw in books. Maybe if I get fired or retire or something.

  47. Terri Morse

    Hi Danny! I just got three of your books and I read Everyday Matters yesterday. I loved it-it inspired me at so many levels. I enjoyed your video…how much did you pay the fawn to lay that still? :) The music you chose for the video is beautiful and I loved the contrast between the chaotic streets of New York and the tranquility of the park. And of course, I liked your drawing. I featured you on my blog and provided links to your website. I hope many more people will find encouragement and inspiration from your work.

  48. Matthias

    Dear Danny, I’m a fan from Germany (south). I love your Sketch Book Films, it’s lovely,
    seems to be from another (better) world, but it’s THIS world, seen with other eyes, isn’t it?
    I got your book “The Creative Licens” in January 2012 and it’s very inspiring for me –
    thank you!
    Meanwhile I’m sketching – almost – every day and it helps a lot in every way! :-)

    It still takes a little time and I’am able to show some sketches of mine in a blog…

    Best wishes from Germany

  49. Sofia

    Please, Could somebody tell me what kind of ink should I use with Lamy safari pens? Lamy ink is not permanent (waterproof) :( Thanks a lot.

  50. Darlene K Campbell

    You look great and I love the video…want to see the painting too. Is that a Lamy pen? I may have to go outdoors tomorrow and sketch. You make it look so lovely.

  51. Dede Warren

    Love, love, love watching you work! Both for the view of you (absolutely nothing decrepit) and to see your talent pour onto the page. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us all!

  52. Suzanne Cabrera

    Thank you so much for this. With twin 13-month-olds, its sadly been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to go sit in a park, soak in the sights, and draw. Seeing you do it was the next best thing to being there myself. Such a wonderful, peaceful film.

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