|Cummer Gardens. ink and watercolor pencils by student, Carrie Adamiak|
Keeping a sketchbook has been a tradition of artists for centuries. Through the years, painters and artists have kept sketchbooks to collect ideas, record their surroundings, plan major work, experiment, take notes, doodle, make color notes, work out compositions and make value studies.
In recent years, sketching as a daily habit has taken a back seat to the creation of finished work.
|Learning to draw from comic books, age 6|
As a very young artist, sketching was the way that I taught myself to draw. It was natural to draw as much as possible - it was my favorite thing to do.
I have thousands of drawings that were saved by my doting dad, done between the ages of six and twenty years of age.
The photo to the left is from my very first drawing lesson with my first drawing teacher, my sister, Karen.
The natural inclination to sketch incessantly was stifled as responsibilities of adulthood set in. I fell away from sketching on a daily basis and guess what happened? My skill level went down.
It wasn't until I felt the need to maintain my drawing skills as an adult artist that I began again the daily habit of keeping a sketch book.
The wonderful thing about a daily sketching habit is the effort vs. results ratio. For very little expenditure of time, you get a lot of results: skill level is maintained, self-confidence increases, ideas start to flow and one idea begets another - the momentum that a sketchbook generates is a wonderful thing!
My students are required to keep a sketchpad and work in it daily. I ask only 10-15 minutes per day. Keeping the sketchbook is part of their grade. Students who make sketching a daily habit learn to draw much more easily and quickly than those who choose not to do so.
|FSCJ drawing students in the Cummer Gallery garden|
Field trips to lovely places refresh the art spirit and encourage the habit of drawing on the go.
Do you keep a sketch book? In what ways do you use it?
What is your favorite location or subject?