The Importance of a Sketchbook

Let’s call this your “Key to Success” for learning to draw. A sketchbook. It’s ready for your marks and your ideas. Ready for that fully fledged, fully completed drawing that you have been dying to put down on paper. You are ready to make a perfect drawing for every page.

sketchbook
Plain sketchbook

Let’s now move away from the notion that everything you are going to put in this sketchbook is going to be perfect in every way and you are still going to be in love with these sketches in the next 3-5 years.

Instead, I want you to view sketchbooks as a tool for learning, Because that is what this is, a tool. Nothing you put in this sketchbook matters in the long run except that you are actually drawing and developing your skill. Sketchbooks are for sketches and ideas. A place where you can get marks down quickly and not care about a final finished product. Very little you put in this book should be tight and finished. View this book as a stepping stone for your ideas. Keep everything loose (not tight and detailed), get your ideas out quickly, and turn the page.

This is the way I have come to look at sketchbooks. To me they are bound folio’s of developmental drawings that can be discarded at any time or that can then be moved to Photoshop or a bigger sheet of better paper to be developed into a more complete drawing.

So I encourage you, Use a¬†sketchbook to it’s full potential. Sketchbooks are as cheap as buying copy paper and having it bound at an office supply store or getting more fancy and purchasing moleskin. No matter the size, texture, or price, a sketchbook is meant to be filled with both loose and a limited amount of tighter drawings. A sketchbook is not meant to be a procrastination tool that you only use to sketch perfect drawings.

Use a sketchbook to study and grow. Use reference or go outside and draw objects and people, it doesn’t have to be perfect and should be. Draw a little, draw a lot, but the point is, you are not worried about what is filling your sketchbook because instead you are filling your sketchbook and growing in the process.

Once you have finished several sketchbooks, take your best drawings out of each and scan them into your computer. Have the drawings reprinted and bound. Or have the originals bound as is. This will allow you to have that “perfect sketches” sketchbook.

Live, Draw, Paint. Fill up that sketchbook, you owe it to yourself.

-Tommy

 

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