Sunday 2 March 2008

Happy Sketching- Part One.

A good sketchbook's an important tool to the fledgling or experienced artist. It's a way to improve drawing abilities and to 'keep your hand in'. It can also act as a visual diary.
Don't be tempted to buy a cheap one-there's no sense of occasion in a glued or spiral-bound book, neither do they open to use the whole spread if needed. Glued books fall apart, holes distract visually, ink bleeds on cheap paper. Treat yourself- you deserve it!
Size matters, as it's best to carry your book round with you. A6 to A5 .
To go with this I take a waterproof pen, white gouache, tiny box of watercolour pans or children's gouache.
Buying a sketchbook's a pleasurable experience.....filling one is another matter!
I find the first page quite daunting- so I usually start on the second! And if even that strikes a note of dread (why are we so afraid of 'spoiling' something?) you can always work on a couple of loose sheets and then stick 'em in. If you really despise one of your pictures, remember you can paste something over it, and collaged bits of scrap paper can really add something to a page.
I find that a good idea is to impose a time limit - say, a month or two to complete the book- you can work out how many sketches on average a day. Being a lazy person myself this method has been tested to the full and shown to work. Er..usually!

My own sketchbooks span a long time, and I have a couple of diaries where the entries correspond to drawings eg. March 1966... 'Fantastic time at Folk Club- greeted by the climber I drew last time, he called me the Second Modigliani... he asked how I got my Levis that colour... the one with glasses kissed my hand." !!!

Images are.. birds in Manchester Museum, Preston folk club folk, sketchbooks from four decades.

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