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.