A few weeks ago, I read a magazine article about an artist. In the article, the artist says to the interviewer, ” I’m not one of those artists who can create an image in their minds and just sketch it and begin to work. I work from my photographs.”
You know what I said to myself ? “I can so relate”. Because until recently, it could have been me saying those very words about my figurative and representational work. Previously, I only created my abstract work abstractly (non-objectively). Everything else, I needed to work from an inspiration photograph/image.
However, a couple of months ago, I started a daily sketching practice. What I did was to purchase a small sketchbook that could fit in my pocketbook so I could carry it with me everywhere. I got a 3.5″ x 5.5″ sketchbook. Initially, I felt constrained by the small size. I couldn’t imagine creating complete compositions in that small space but before long I didn’t notice the size any longer.
I started by sketching whatever I thought about. Sometimes I created the composition entirely in my mind and then I sketched it. Other times when I looked at a photograph I begin to sketch the composition of the photograph instead of how I did it previously. That is to bring the photo to Kinkos, make a copy and then create a template to use. The outstanding thing for me is that now I can arrange objects on a table and instead of thinking to pick up my camera to photograph the composition, I’ll just begin to sketch it. Or I can see a scene and begin to sketch before thinking to photograph.
I’ve noticed four things from my sketching practice:
I’ve gained more artistic freedom to move the elements in my compositions around without giving it a second thought. Before when working from a photograph I used to more or less stick to the placement of objects in my scenes.
- I’ve gained more artistic freedom to move the elements in my compositions around without giving it a second thought. Before when working from a photograph I used to more or less stick to the placement of objects in my photos.
- I’ve gained more confidence in my abilities to create or recreate any composition.
- My drawing has substantially improved in a short period of time
- I’m learning the skill of economy – not to include every detail of a scene in my compositions
Since I started my sketching practice, I’ve already created a representational piece (which is novel for me) from my own original sketch; directly from my sketchbook to a finished piece of artwork. I consider that to be pretty awesome!
Here are a few of my compositions from my sketchbook.
That’s what I’ve been up to. What have you been up to? Share your comments below.
That’s actually pretty incredible!!! Shows talent undoubtedly. How long does it take you to complete a,”sketch”?
That’s a great question, Aretha. I too was curious to know how long it took me to finish a sketch so I began timing myself. I’ve noticed it takes anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour depending on the details I include in the sketch.
Can anyone do you think sketch. I usually use a photograph but I would love to draw. In school I was told to drop art because I could not draw and at 62 am still intimidated despite being a creative apprentice who loves to play with colour shape and texture.
Clara Nartey says
Sue, yes I think anyone can sketch. However, I don’t think everyone will be extraordinary at sketching. But sometimes all we need is to be able to get something done to a level that facilitates the work we’re doing. Being able to find alternative ways around a challenge to achieve what you’ve always wanted is what creativity is all about.