As with other crafts, sketching, like most other artistic expression, can be made more advanced or more simplified depending on what comes to your mind. But whatever the purpose of the art itself, there is a right way to go about it. Sketching, unlike conventional project-based artwork, is deliberately meant to be loosely planned and, in a few instances, even works best when practiced precisely as those spontaneous little sketches do seem to come to life. Nevertheless, little to no planned preparation should be involved in your sketching process and the way you do it will greatly affect the results.
When you sketch, you want to capture everything. Why? Think about how you would plan your watercolor paintings or oil paintings if you didn’t know anything about drawing. Would you put in just the right amount of color, sketch a design and then drop it into a sketch pad? Or would you draw it over until it looks completely blended? Obviously not, which is why sketch journaling is so important!
When you sketch, you are working with your entire natural imagination and you will naturally include portions of it when you draw. This is not to say that you shouldn’t incorporate elements of reality in your sketches; you should. For instance, one of the reasons I like working with watercolor is because I am able to more accurately capture a lighter or darker shade by seeing it as a series of varying hues. Because sketching is a process of observation rather than a series of predetermined directions, this makes your drawings more interesting as you see how each hue interacts with every other. Sketch journaling can also allow you to develop your own signature style.
The best way I always start my sketching sessions is with a pencil and a notebook. I begin with a solid black sketchbook or sketch journaling book, then fill it with a variety of colors that I like to sketch with. I always keep my sketchbook with me at all times and refer to it whenever I need inspiration for new designs.
If you are not yet using a sketch journaling page or pencil set, I highly recommend that you get one immediately. It is much cheaper than buying a sketchbook and you will be able to use pencils of different sizes and different hardness. This allows you to experiment with various drawing styles and even different mediums without worrying about damaging or scratching your expensive supplies. Of course, there is nothing wrong with using a sketchbook and regular pencils for some sketches. It all depends on your style and preference.
Once you start sketching with watercolors or other mediums, you will quickly notice that sketching is much more fun and enjoyable. You can become a vibrant painter much faster using sketch journaling techniques. When I first started out, I didn’t know how to do this but I found many different resources that helped me along. Many of the books I looked into were geared toward students who wanted to learn how to sketch more easily. Others were geared toward artists who wanted to create unique watercolor paintings or other types of art.
If you don’t feel like learning about sketching as much as you should, there is no reason to stop doing it. Even if you only sketch in your free time, you are still painting and so are constantly adding new techniques, new creative ideas and learning about new mediums. What is the point of stopping when you are right in the middle of a painting session? Sometimes I like to sketch while I am driving because I can see what I am creating much clearer in my head. Plus, you never really know when you are going to strike gold when it comes to sketching because life is funny and anything can happen at any moment!
Sketching is something that can help you connect to yourself and to others more deeply. If you haven’t been journaling your sketches before, I highly recommend giving it a shot. You will be glad you did.
Lisa is a lifestyle article writer for a local newspaper. Aside from that, she is part-time English teacher on a high school. She also speaks at seminars and workshops. She is currently living with her husband and two kids.