Sketchbooks – Just pretty or really useful for artistic development.

FB link to sketchbook video

I didn’t used to ‘do’ sketchbooks, but I find them such a great way to store ideas and experiments now that I always have a few on the go.

  • Drawing practice
  • Larger one for collages from outdoor sketches
  • printing experiments & notes
  • I currently I have one storing my 100days project too

How useful are they really ?

  1. Resources for future finished work. When I’m starting a new painting or print perhaps, I can flick through my sketchbooks to find an image or even a few images that I want to use as a starting point.
  2. I find them really useful as reminders of ideas I had previously and now forgotten so that if desired they can be reincorporated into new work. It’s amazing how many good ideas are forgotten if not documented. You don’t even need to write it up in great detail, as just some elements of it will serve to bring the whole of it back.
  3. Reflecting and reviewing where I’ve been and where I’m going is such a useful process that I’ve only recently discovered the benefits of. It helps to see your own progress and also find links between what might appear very different work. These can be great clues to pointing to underlying themes or characteristics of my work that I might want to really dig into as a way of finding my own artistic voice. Using as a reviewing tool with another, mentor, teacher, fellow artist, is also an excellent process, often identifying properties you’d not noticed in your work.
  4. Using a sketchbook which has been the resource for a series of paintings helps me to talk and explain my work with potential buyers, followers. This is really important when connecting with people new to my work so that they can really quickly appreciate where it’s coming from. It’s a great idea to take them to exhibitions. I know I really love to see the ‘internal workings’ of an artist through their sketchbooks and can significantly change my appreciation of their work.
  5. But yes they can also be great to look at aesthetically and why not. Mine often cheer me up when I’m feeling negative about my abilities, and it’s lovely to share them with likeminded folk.😉

Leave a Reply