One of my goals for this year is to get back to regular sketching. “Regular” as in putting something in a sketchbook on a daily basis. What finally got me going was a confluence of things:
- I’m strongly feeling a need to provide political commentary in my art in some form or fashion. Sometimes that just isn’t an economically smart idea and my manifestation of “political commentary” just isn’t that sophisticated to the point it is ready for public consumption. But I think a sketchbook can be the perfect place to vent and perhaps develop ideas for paintings that could be publically displayed.
- I haven’t been particularly thrilled with my drawing skills. I need to draw more from life and work on my eye-hand coordination and slow down enough to get the details right (after I get the big shapes and perspective right or at least within the parameters I consider good. Keeping a daily sketchbook will help me with this.
- I lean on photo references a lot. Nothing wrong with that, but photos tend to “flatten” what we see. If I sort out what I’m seeing in a photo by working it out in a sketch first, I can improve paintings made from photo references.
- I keep hearing from both new and experienced artists that they feel they cannot draw. I would like to encourage people to draw and sketch more and I think the best way to do this is by setting a good example and sketch daily.
- I don’t always (read rarely) have time to capture things I see in a plein air painting, but there is a pretty good bet that I can capture a sketch in just a few minutes time; thus saving my traveling companions from some frustration of waiting for me and or me feeling like I’m missing out on capturing a moment.
- Sketching is fun when you just do it. There is normally no pressure in sketching and you don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to.
- Urban Sketching has become “a thing”. I think it’s actually sort of an old thing now… but lots of folks are taking up the habit. I don’t live in an urban area, but I can still sketch things I see.
- Finally, a friend started a Creativity Challenge for the month of August in which those of use who signed up to participate, agreed to do something creative every day in the month of August. I chose to do at least one sketch a day and post it. I’m posting over on her group Facebook Page, but I thought I might also share my work here. I may not post here every day, but I’ll get caught up when I can.
So, I did a little internet searching and found out I had most of the tools I needed to get started back into sketching. I have sketchbooks. Most are spiral bound, but I have a couple of hardbound and sewn books I can use. I have pencils galore. I have pens with permanent ink. I have kneaded erasers. I even have several little watercolor travel sets. I have some small watercolor brushes. I did order some “water brushes” and a couple of books to help get me started again.
And here are the sketches I’ve done so far. Some are just pencil. Some are just ink, some are ink with washes and some have some watercolor added. Some a pretty good. Some sort of suck. But I’m enjoying the process and the challenge.