Sunday, 9 November 2008


If there's anyone out there who would like to work as an illustrator one day, my hot tip is to get yourself a pocket sketchbook. It needs to be small enough to fit into a handbag or pocket, otherwise you tend to leave it at home. You can get them at A6, which is very handy.

The sketch on the left was done in Sheffield's newly refurbished Botanical Gardens. The one below is fishing boats, drawn on holiday in Portugal.

I often show a sketchbook to school children (see Dyslexic Dinosaurs) to prove that I do actually carry one.

It's the very best way to practice. The trick is not to be too precious and draw whatever is in front of you. When there is nothing else about, I have been known to draw my own hand or foot.

Sketchbooks also provide a fascinating visual record of the forgotten corners of your life. I treasure my sketchbooks above all else.

I was inspired to write about sketching by a wonderful blog I came upon recently: Urban Sketchers.

Every single day, the blog features freshly drawn sketches from all over the world. They are all of professional standard, but all very different, both in content and style.

Here are a couple of recent examples to wet your appetite: the one to the left is by Tin Salamunic, working in the US, the sketch below is José Louro in Portugal. The whole blog is a visual feast!

If anybody would like to see more of my sketchbook work, I have just put some animal sketches into my Picture Gallery.


Doda said...

Great advice!

INDIGENE said...

I love your image for IF - Wise! That old bird looks like he has some amazing wisdom to drop! :)

granny grimble said...

Something has just occurred to me whilst reading about your sketch book. I don't think I have ever seen a sketch done by you, of either of the brothers, or Dad and I. How sad is that?

AscenderRisesAbove said...

very nice pen and ink illustrations. you have a excellent feel for perspective and texture. The kitchen scene : I really like it.

Lynne Chapman said...

I'm afraid I cannot take credit for the kitchen illustration - it is to publicise Urban Sketchers and is by Tin Salamunic (there is a credit there - I hope poor Tin doesn't think I'm trying to nick his work!!!)

Lynne Chapman said...

The reason I don't have sketches of people I know, is that it only really works if they don't know I'm doing it.

I hate doing 'portraits' - people don't tend to look natural and there is enormous pressure to get a likeness, which is not what interests me.

I do have sketches of John, but you'll notice they are mostly when he is dozing - not hard since he dozes a lot!

Vita said...

I have to agree- the smaller the sketchbook the more the chances are it will stay in your handbag be there when you need it:)

Buskitten said...

Hi Lynne,
I just discovered your wonderful blog surfing about the good 'ol www! You are so talented, I love your work - your site is also full of great things too, so I will be a regular visitor with my cup of tea! I am not too far away from you, just up the M6 in South West Scotland! (It's great how you meet people from all over the world on the web, isn't it?)
Best Wishes,

Lynne Chapman said...

Hello and welcome to Buskitten and all my new friends!

Yes, it's great the way we suddenly have a means of finding one another. Illustration is such an insular profession, 'blogworld' is a godsend!

josé louro said...

Hi Lynne
Sketcbooks can be life vicious. Whith no side effects...
See you. Great stuff here. Really.