One important thing which I learned from my art school experience is to regularly use an artist sketchbook.
At first, it wasn’t easy finding time, and usually I would rather be painting than drawing.
But over the years I grew more fonder of sketching.
Nowadays, I regularly draw and doodle. I still do it for many reasons, and I will list them below.
Ways my Artist Sketchbook Drawing Has Helped Me Grow as an Artist
- It is something that helped me immensely in developing ideas for full scale artworks. Many of my oil paintings, such as Triumph, originated from basic sketches that I developed while watching T.V. or on a road trip. I have learned to make good use of my time in such cases, since it can often be difficult to dedicate adequate amount of time to drawing in my daily routine.
- I have learned the hard way to always have one nearby. I have a hardcover one near my bed, a couple spiral bound sketchbooks in my studio, and a small sketchpad in my car. I also have a healthy supply of drawing pencils, erasers, and pencil sharpeners. There is nothing worse than a great idea springing to mind, and having nothing to record it on. I learned that in such cases, when I finally do get to my sketchbook, the real inspiration is gone.
These days, I try to always have one on hand all the time. There is nothing like the spur of the moment expression that a sketchpad provides.
- I learned how to sketch a picture the right way. I treat my sketchbook like a journal. I write in it, jot notes, draw, and mainly doodle. For me, it is very relaxing to doodle. I often look at them afterwards, and say to myself, “Wow, I did that?”. This is how my main process often originates. I produce a doodle that has a subconscious theme. Actually, the theme is often discovered afterwards by staring at the doodle. I then pattern a detailed drawing or design after the doodle. I have many drawings produced in this way. Some of them have become inspirations for full scale oil paintings!
Here, I will share with you some things I have learned over the years concerning the value of a sketchpad.
Sketchbook Tips and Ideas
- Consistently sketching allows artists to greatly increase their drawing skills. Early on, to hone my drawing skills, if I saw something worthy of recording, I would sketch it!
- A sketchbook is expressive. I have found that by doodling and doing free-form drawings with pencils in my sketchbook, I am expressing particular feelings I am having at the time. Many of my sketches there are completed very fast. Of course these are not meant to be shown publicly, but have often been the basis for many drawings and paintings.
- Drawing a sketch everyday. One thing I learned very early in my art career is to dedicate myself to completing at least one sketch a day. Doing so has resulted in a huge collection of sketchbooks.
- I always try to have at least one large sketchpad available in my studio. This allows for more freedom to draw, and often results in expressive sketches for myself.
- Sketch books are often cheap and affordable. If you cannot afford to buy good quality hardcover or leather bound sketchbooks, do not worry. A cheap sketchbook from a department store like Walmart serves the same purpose.
- I love to look back through my old sketchbooks occasionally. Sometimes I see long forgotten ideas that I have recorded, and am inspired to create a painting or drawing based on it.
One thing is obvious: Sketching software and online drawing will never compete with the value of a good old fashioned sketchbook!
Do you use a sketchbook to record your ideas? How often do you use them?