Sketching is a HUGE part of my life, it is the way that I practice, the way that I brainstorm ideas and even a way that I able to process and get my emotions out. I've spent years drawing, sketching and doodling and what I've found is that making time everyday for a sketching routine has made me more inspired, more creative and a better artist.
Today I thought I would share a few ways to begin your own sketching routine!
GATHER THOSE SUPPLIES:
While I don't believe in spending lots of money on supplies, my materials are a really important part of my drawing process. The inspiration to sketch can hit at any time and I like to have all of my supplies on hand. There is nothing worse than wanting to draw but not having the right materials available. Before I purchase anything new, I always hunt for supplies that I already own and take time to explore them.
I dig through my junk drawers, look around my studio and collect everything that can be used for drawing or doodling. I toss all these supplies into a big pouch and keep it next to my sketchbooks so I can grab everything I need to get busy drawing.
GET COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR SUPPLIES
I like to take my supply gathering process a step further and explore everything that I have. I am always surprised at what I am able to find in my studio- supplies that I have forgotten about, supplies that are dried up or even ruined but still useable. Taking time to "reacquaint" myself with these supplies actually inspires me. I typically use a few blank pages and scribble, shade and make marks to remind myself what I can do with my materials.
- Don't throw away dried out pens. You can use them in for adding light shading and subtle details to those drawings!
- Dried out paint brushes the ones that don't get rinsed are a great tool for dipping in ink or acrylic paint. The stiff bristles are a wonderful way to add unique texture to an ink drawing.
- White out pens and correction ink work great for drawing on black paper.
- White colored pencils and crayons can be used to create a resist if you paint over the top of them.
MAKE TIME TO SKETCH
The best thing you can do to begin a sketching, drawing or doodling routine is to commit time everyday to DOING IT! Sketching is just like any other practice and has always reminded me of exercise- it requires work, it can be painful in the beginning but after your get into a routine, the benefits FAR outweigh the the discomfort. Making time everyday, even if it's only 10 minutes, will set you on your way to getting better and more comfortable with the process.
USE SMALL CHUNKS OF TIME
In my dream world I would love to have 2 hours a day for sketching but these days I am juggling too many things. Once in a while I will clear out my schedule for a sketching project or will stay up late while everyone is sleeping but in my daily life 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. I think that smaller chunks of time are manageable and less intimidating when it comes to a sketching routine.
- Try to look for small chunks of time in your schedule- like 15-20 minutes.
- Ask yourself where in your schedule can you fit in 20 minutes to draw. Try drawing during those 20 minutes everyday for a week and see how it feels!
- Double up on you time- try to identify different things in your schedule (like waiting for dinner to cook, waiting for a doctors appointment, drinking coffee, watching t.v.) that can be used for sketching.
OPEN YOUR EYES TO INSPIRATION
Inspiration and seeking ideas that are authentic, is one of the most important ways that I keep my work fresh. Sometimes the hardest part of the drawing process is facing a blank page and coming up with new ideas. For me it is necessary to stay off the computer and be present in my life and my surroundings. My secret is looking at my schedule, my routine and the things in my life as potential inspiration for for my drawing process. I rely on the everyday moments and things as subject matter and fuel for my drawing.
- Begin looking at your life (even the boring stuff) as potential for inspiration.
- Forget about creating drawings that anyone will see. Instead, accept that drawing can be just like keeping a private diary or journal.
- Find things in your everyday life to record visually. Meals, your clothing, pets, the plants in your garden, houses in your neighborhood are all great subject matter for sketching.
TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF
Lets face it, starting any kind of new routine can feel stressful and be filled with the pressure to succeed right away. To top off that pressure, inspiration doesn't always strike when you have free time. I've found that giving myself 10-15 minutes a day just to draw ANYTHING (even scribbles and shapes) really helps take the pressure off. Once you stop thinking you need to draw something beautiful, perfect or complete, you are better able to relax into the process.
- Instead of coming up with big grand ideas, I like to look around me and draw the things that I see- supplies on my desk, my grocery list, my outfit, my art supplies, the things in my purse, etc. Once you see potential in the everyday things around you, there is so much to draw and use as inspiration.
- When all else fails...scribble! I know this sounds weird but there are days when I just don't feel like like drawing but I make myself pull out my drawing supplies and fill a couple of pages. On days like this, I scribble and make expressive marks and lines. Even though it's simple, this process always makes me feel creative and inspired!