Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Another New Departure...

I'm reading a fascinating book (below), which looks into the sketchbooks of
various artists, who talk about how and why they keep them, what their particular hang-ups are, and any personal 'rules' they impose.

Pretty much everyone agrees it's 'against the rules' to tear a page out, no matter how appalling the sketch. Another common rule is that books must be filled to the last page. Personally, once I get near the end, I worry I'll run out of pages over the day, so take a fresh one out instead. I always start a new book for any new trip too, often finishing only part way through, so I generally have 3 or 4 half-filled ones on the go, which I add to randomly.

Another factor several people mention, is the stifling effect of success: the better you get, the more obsessed you can become with the need for every new drawing to be a thing of great beauty. If you are not careful, this can be crippling.

In recent months, since I've been posting my sketches here and on Urban Sketchers, I have noticed myself starting down that route. Not good!! So, in my new spirit of experimentation, and in an attempt to return to sketches focused less on results, I have set aside my pencil for a while.

Instead, I have bought myself a pen. Ink is a medium I've never used for sketching. This means I am allowed fairly low expectations for a while, which is very liberating. I tried it out over the weekend. The results were rather washed out, so I tinted them with watercolour and waxy pencils. The ink wasn't waterproof, so I sometimes got in a bit of a mess, but had fun playing around, bringing the drawings back from the dead, and was noticeable less uptight about whether it ultimately worked or not.

I am feeling the need to write more alongside the drawings too, another sign I'm feeling less precious.

I have bought some waterproof ink too, so I'll see if that's less messy!


raena said...

I'm so glad you said this; it came to me at just the right time. I've just started my blog and I haven't been posting much because, well, I've only been posting the stuff I'm satisfied with! I've drawn tons more than I've let anyone see!

Liz Steel said...

all the best for your adventures with ink... I love working in ink!!! Can't wait to see what you get up to!

Ellis Nadler said...

i've got that book too...quite interesting. i like about half the artists in it.

Lynne Chapman said...

Yes, but I've found even the ones whose work isn't my thing are still really interesting to read about.