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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sketchbook Sunday ...Learning to Love Sketching

'Drink Man'     ink and watercolor sketch
The basket was overflowing. I was amazed at the number of unfinished or unopened sketchbooks I had collected over the years. All with good intentions of starting a sketching habit. None ever finished and some never even opened. 

That had to change! I know the importance of improving drawing skills and having a regular sketching habit. Not only does it help with being a better draftsman it helps you become a more sensitive observer. Being able to see better in turn helps you make better paintings. I wanted to make a sketchbook commitment. I envied artists who had years of beautiful sketchbooks. But I just couldn't seem to keep a sketchbook going.

My very portable sketch kit
I think I discovered why. I wasn't making sketching fun. All I had was a sketchbook and a pencil or pen. There is nothing wrong with that of course but for me once I added in a few other supplies, a whole new world seemed to open up. Different pens and pencils and watercolor and ink and water soluble pencils and watercolor pencils....all of these tools added a new dimension of excitement to sketching.

I am proud to say I have one completed sketchbook and I am about to start my next one. Soon I will have a shelf full of them....all completed. That is my goal. To help keep me accountable I will dedicate Sunday's blog post to the art of the sketchbook. I will share my discoveries and latest sketches. Feel free to join me and start your own sketchbook. A whole new world is waiting for you!

Here are a few sketches from my recent Art Cruise. I used a few different black pens, watercolor. inktense pencils, watercolor pencils and water soluble graphite.


robertsloan2art said...

WOW! What a lively sketchbook! You're using a Moleskine, one that I love and have finished more than once. Heh, I know that feeling.

I moved back here and found sketchbooks I started and moved away from or they got buried in other supplies and forgotten. The little 3 x 5" Strathmore Visual Journal that I'm using was started in 2011 around the same time of year - and then left behind for all the years I was in San Francisco.

Pen and watercolor makes a huge difference, so does pen. Pen sketching invites mistakes you can't erase, it's a good way to get used to sketches not being perfect. It also photographs, scans or copies easily. Pencil sketching doesn't copy well. Colored pencil does, and watercolor pencil is just fun.

It really helps to have a variety of mark making tools to keep sketching fun. My motto for it is simple though: Sketches Don't Need To Be Perfect.

When I keep that in mind, sometimes they are, becoming as breathtaking as that one spectacular landscape in this lineup or as gorgeously stylized as some of your rows of figures. Beautiful sketchbook!

robertsloan2art said...

Oh wow, closer look that isn't a Moleskine, it's a different panoramic book. I like my pocket Moleskine best but that one looks awesome too.

Also, I recognize that little Winsor & Newton Sketchers Box, I had one of those years ago before I got the Field Kit with its water bottle. Very, very handy! W&N Cotman watercolors are really great, had them for many years.

Sewing Up A Storm said...

Over the years I have carried around sketching supplies but never do much and not on a regular basis. In a few weeks I am going on a cruise and your post about the cruise sketching got me to go to the art supply store and I got pastels and some small paper. I also already have watercolor and got some small papers for that as well..........I am gonna try to do one per day...........and more if I am inspired.........hey for me it has to be baby steps! Thanks for all your great posts and inspirations!!!!

Sheri Trepina said...

Thanks Karen...I have the same collection of books and supply containers...I needed to hear these encouraging words ☺

Lori Welch said...

I'll second what Sheri said - it feels good to know we're not alone in collecting empthy sketchbooks - just the inspiration I needed! On an unrelated note, I was out on the Cost Plus World Market site looking for something to use my $10 coupon and I saw your Misty Moors Diptych paintings that are now for sale!! How exciting is that? Congrats!

Adele said...

So much fun to see these! I try to keep a journal with sketches when we're on vacation, but it's much harder to do in my normal routine. Have to get back to a 5-minute doodle, as inspired by "Art Before Breakfast".

Ruth Weiss said...

So glad that you too have dozens of unfilled sketch books on your shelves. You have inspired me to made a dent in some of mine. It was good to see how free you were with your sketches. I, like many (most?) other artists tend to be too judgmental. After all they're just sketches