I have a confession to make. I have never been the type to maintain a proper sketchbook. More or less all my sketches are done directly on the canvas or the paper that will eventually end up being the final artwork. But lately I have realized that sketchbooks are a great way for artists to practice and fine tune their art. The sketches and doodles you create in your sketchbook are essentially the seeds of your creative thoughts and ideas that will ultimately sprout and grow into your masterpieces.
The alliance between an artist and his or her sketchbook can take a number of forms — a daily log of inspiration, a blueprint for an upcoming artwork, or an outlet for expressing his or her thoughts. No matter what form it takes, it will have a definitive impact on the artist’s creative process. This creative process plays an important role in an artist’s attempts to successfully execute a concept. Essentially, your sketchbook can be your verbal and or visual medium of expression.
Benefits of a Sketchbook
Maintaining a sketchbook has a lot of benefits.If you ever feel uninspired or want to track your progress, you can glance back at your old sketchbooks to see how you have evolved. You can also refer to them to determine your style. It can help you preserve your ideas for posterity. It is a handy way of recording all your observations and learning from real life. Keeping a sketchbook is a great way to explore new avenues and venture into seemingly unchartered territories.
Being a storehouse of inspiration, sketchbooks keep motivating us to hone our skills every time we glance through them. The more we practice the better results we get and the further we move along in our creative journey.
How to get the most out of your Sketchbook
- Log the date every time you start working in a sketchbook so that you can monitor your progress. This can be extremely motivating especially when you have an artist’s block.
- Carry a compact sketchbook whenever you are out and about so that you can document your ideas as soon as you come across something that inspires you. Sometimes great ideas are easily forgotten once the inspiration is out of sight. So having them safely recorded in your sketchbook makes them available for the future.
- There is a sketchbook for every medium, whether it is oils, watercolors, gouache, pencil, pen and ink or mixed media. All you need to do is get hold of the right one.
- Jot down notes and self critic your work about the subject, concept and technique for the artwork at hand. This will contribute greatly to your growth as an artist.
- Don’t try to be perfect.
Your sketchbook is a place for you to explore and learn. It’s your personal space where you are free to mess around. After all, great art comes out of a mess! Just relax and enjoy the process!
I have come to realize that a sketchbook is even more important than the final piece as it displays all the work you have put in to get to where you are today. It also made me realize that sometimes working directly onto the canvas doesn’t necessarily get you the outcome you expect.
Since this realization has dawned upon me, I have tried to make a conscious effort to fill up that sketchbook of mine that has been lying in a state of neglect for years. There was a time when I used to sketch in it before I got down to working on my canvas but over time I seem to have overlooked this step. These simple pencil sketches they made me aware of my evolution as an artist and thus motivated me to pick up the habit once again.
So now it will be my constant endeavor to document my ideas first and foremost in my precious sketchbook before I execute them onto the canvas or the final surface. I may even go one step ahead and explore new techniques and mediums within the sketchbook itself. Even though my sketchbook is still work in progress and my personal space, I wouldn’t mind giving you all a peek into it. So here are a few glimpses of some scribblings and doodles from the past. Hope you enjoy them!