Hello everyone! It's Megan from Makewells here again and today I'm excited to share a glimpse into my personal sketchbook!
I'm currently working through a very daunting 365 project - meaning, every day for 365 days I complete and post (to instagram) a page in my sketchbook. This project has been so rewarding so far, and as I write this, I'm currently on day 150!
Today I'm going to share some of the approaches I take to filling up a new page with art each day. These aren't process and supply tips, as much as they are just little clues into how my brain works each day when I work through a page.
One thing I love to do, is layer materials.
I often get asked what materials I use, and to be honest, I tend to use everything. Really, I use a lot of different supplies.
Some of my favorite supplies are: Uniball Signo Gel Pens, Dr. Ph Martin's Watercolors, Holbein Acryla Gouache paints, Golden Fluid acrylics and high flow acrylics, Prismacolor colored pencils, micron pens, sharpies, and lot's of awesome, cheap acrylic craft paints.
There is no better way to figure out how a material will work on top of (or beneath) another than by just experimenting. For me, it's always trial and error. A lot of times, when a page has a lot of layers, it's actually because there were a lot of "errors" that came before! Happy accidents are my way of saying "Eww, I don't like that" and painting over it.
By experimenting with the materials, I'm able to discover things first hand and treat each page in my sketchbook as a chance to learn something new.
Another approach I often take is to really experiment with color:
Some days pick random colors (as well as black and white) and challenge myself to make them work together. Or, I'll put unexpected colors in a subject matter (below: the green in the pug's face and violet in the cat's fur). Other days I think of colors that contrast each other and use those.
Just like my first approach, it's all about trying things when it comes to my sketchbook. It's a place to explore and discover!
I also love exploring similar themes in my book:
If I stumble on a design or floral pattern that I love, I may repeat that for a few days, trying different colors and materials.
Often times, when I'm "stuck" getting started on that day's page, I'll flip through my own book for inspiration. The similar themes building in my daily pages are : abstract floral designs, animals, fun phrases, and... more flowers :)
Some days I try something and it just doesn't work. But I use that for future reference. It's good to push yourself to try new things, but if a subject matter or material isn't enjoyable to you, then don't force it!
Another approach I take is to incorporate patterns:
Polka dots, dashes, plus signs, and any other little bit of repeated mark. Sometimes I add patterns in the background only,
while other times I let them appear in my subject matter.
And lastly, I try to take risks.
A self portrait? Why not. That crazy flamingo (above) was a huge step away from what I had been doing previously in my book. But it led to a few more pages of experimenting with that style, using the bold black lines and messy brush strokes.
I hope this helps give a little insight into how I approach my sketchbook and inspires you to see your own sketchbook as a place to experiment and play! If I had to sum it up in one way, it'd be this: