Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My New Project for 2011

"Like a musician, an artist needs to practice every day and a sketchbook is an ideal place to work on your observational and drawing skills. In time you will learn to select and simplify so that you can encapsulate an attitude, a pose or a movement in a few lines. Sketching regularly also improves visual memory and manaul dexterity, enabling you to make accurate and rapid records of the subjects that interest you." Albany Wiseman, The Artist's Sketchbook

I know the benefits of keeping a sketchbook and drawing more and every year I resolve to start a sketchbook. One year I did about 10 sketches, one year I had a calendar with big areas for each day...a perfect place for a daily sketch...I got to Day 5 and stopped. This year my goal is to stick with it and sketch every day. I paint just about every day but I don't make time to do a quick sketch. I decided that by posting my daily drawing to a blog I would be held accountable to my goal. So welcome to my new blog! Here's the twist... I want you to join me. I know you are aware of the benefits of sketching more and I know you want to....so why not join me! I intend to make it fun with weekly challenges, themes, new techniques, inspiring information. I'll invite you to share your progress on the blog as well. So what are you waiting for? Get a new sketchbook and some pencils and get ready to sketch! We will start on January 1st.

Keeping a Sketchbook ....Getting Started

I googled 'Keeping a Sketchbook' and all kinds of information is available. It was a bit overwhelming. What kind of sketchbook? What mediums? What do I put in the sketchbook? Just drawings or can I put in notes and thoughts and clipping? I decided it would be best if I kept it simple. Use a blank a sketchbook that I already have and just draw in it everyday. I will draw one of the 10,000 things around me. If I want to add notes, add a clipping, use something other than a pencil, I am free to do so. In other words...NO RULES! The only thing I will require of myself is to pick up the sketchbook every day and draw something....a doodle, a serious sketch...it doesn't matter. Just draw something and of course post it to this blog.
I will need to choose a sketchbook portable enough to take with me yet large enough to draw freely. I considered the small moleskines because I love the idea of having a box of moleskines filled with my sketches. But I think they would be too small and I want soemthing to lay flat. I decided to start with a canson hardcover spiral sketchbook 6x6. We'll see how this works out.

So if you would like to join me in this project go ahead and choose your sketchbook and get ready. The project begins on January 1st. I'd love to see your comments and your sketchbook choices!

Sample sketch from last year...a Value Study

I thought I'd share a sample sketch I did last year in preparation for a painting. I consider this a Value Study and I do these often before starting a painting. I like to do them with markers in three values of gray. I prefer the TomBow markers. I have a sketchbook that I uses for all of my value studies but I think I will now do them in my 'project sketchbook'. It would also be a good idea to add some notes about the painting I am planning.
This is just one idea for the sketchbook. I do plan to do more involved drawings. I can't wait to start!