Tuesday, May 06, 2014

make time to sketch

Once in a while I like to pull out all of my sketchbooks and take inventory of everything that I have created over time and I am always reminded how important the process of sketching is in my life. Each and every drawing, doodle, colors and images all represent a day, a moment and a time in my life that has been documented and preserved in the pages of a sketchbook- some people scrapbook...I sketch. And while I love to take time to sketch, if I am being honest, it can be challenging to carve out time. After years of sketching, juggling work and a kid, I have figured out simple ways to fit sketching into my schedule every day. Today I thought it would be fun to share a few of my tips!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Sketching is not for everyone- it is a process that involves LOTS of discipline, it is not always easy and can be down right challenging BUT... if you stick with it, sketching can be wonderful way to document the world around you!

This the the best advice I can give! Often fitting in time to sketch everyday means doing it at strange times so it is really handy to have a sketching kit that can go anywhere with you. I typically have a pencil pouch filled with my favorite supplies (you can read about my favorite supplies HERE) and a sketchbook that can be tossed into my purse. Because inspiration can strike at any moment I take it a step further and keep sketchbooks in different places- one in the car, one in my purse, one in the kitchen, etc. this way I always have a place to draw when the mood strikes!

As much as I love to spend hours sketching, these days I just don't have lots of time so the best way I can use my time is to double up. I try to look for time and things in my schedule that I could fit sketching into. Obviously Lucy sleeping is an ideal time for sketching but other things like waiting at the DMV, doctors office, lunch breaks, riding in the car or public transportation (as a passenger) or sports practice all make great opportunities for sketching.

In my dream world I would love to have 1.5-2 hours a day for sketching but these days I am juggling too many things. Once in a while I will clear out lots of time for a sketching project or will stay up late while everyone is sleeping but in my daily schedule I've had to learn how to be ok creating in small chunks of time. Ten minutes here while I wait for dinner to cook, 15 minutes drawing while Lucy draws, 20 minutes while watching t.v., another 10 minutes before I go to bed all adds up over the course of a day or a week. 

As much as I love drawing things that push me, I don't always have the time or patience to capture subject matter that is challenging. Over time I have accepted the fact that doodling, mark making, pattern, documenting color, going abstract and capturing shapes are all simple ways that I can quickly fill a page. When I take the pressure off myself to create a "masterpiece page"(which takes lots of time), I am able to much more relaxed, inspired and happy with sketching with limited time.

To read more about my sketching process you can visit:

 For more details and sketching techniques- check out my online classesSketchbook Delight and Sketchbook Delight Part 2 and Watercolor Bliss they all cover most of the process and techniques that I use in my sketching.


Lauren Douglas Creative said...

I needed this; thank you!

I remember that you used to have a sub-blog... is that still active? Can you send me the link?

studioGypsy said...

you are beautiful. this has helped me immensely in my ruts of time and in taking the pressure off of making art work.. thank you for always inspiring and encouraging... you are truly a gem in the world. xoxo

Audrey said...

I so often forget that I can just draw shapes and lines and add color and texture and make a beautiful piece that doesn't look like the Mona Lisa recreated. Thanks for always reminding me to take my sketching back to basics. It stretches me and makes me a better artist for those moments when it's time for realism!

Natty said...

Wow! You are so talented :)

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing! I am trying to start painting again- took a break when my son was around 8 months and teething alot- now 17months and it has been hard finding time! But this is great to see how a few minutes here and there can really add up, and I realize how important it is to keep creating!

Sofia said...

very inspiring! I love to see other people's sketchbooks to keep motivated. That's why I collect such images on my Pinterest board.

Lisa Ullrich said...

When did the world get so busy?? It is hard to find time to put aside for sketching, but small chunks works out great. I'm trying to remember that for a lot of things.

JackieP Neal said...

Alissa! You are the queen of beautiful flower making in my book!! Happy Mother's Day to you! ")


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