Recently I’ve been chatting with fellow art blogger, Yovy, from Teaching Myself to Draw: The Atelier Method. I was reminiscing about my earliest attempts at drawing. Today, I dug out my old sketchbooks again and spent a wonderful morning going through the pages, smiling at a few childish scribbles, cringing at others. For me, learning the basics of drawing was a challenge, but it was worth it. I’m seeking now to improve upon my skills as I study anatomical drawing, figure drawing, and portrait drawing. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but I know, these studies, too, will be worthwhile.
It was with great pleasure that I turned the pages in my very first sketchbook, and I want to say again how very important it is that we have our sketchbooks, that we keep them, and that we look through them now and then.
I remember how hesitant I was to buy my first sketchbook. I had no idea what I would do with it — other than make a lot of drawing mistakes — but I soon learned how valuable those mistakes were. My sketchbooks are a visual record of my journey, showing me not only the bumps in the road, but the progress I’ve made in the last eighteen months.
For the first 6-9 months of my drawing experience, I worked almost entirely in black and white. I began with graphite then learned charcoal, as well. The first sketchbook is all in graphite…with only a few exceptions. Now and then, when I was particularly pleased with a drawing, I would take out those beautiful Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, and despite not knowing how to really use them properly, I would “colorize” one of my drawings, such as this drawing of leaves:
If you look closely, you can see through the pages to a few of my other pencil scribbles, including one of my very first attempts at drawing a dog. It wasn’t pretty. Oh, but I loved these leaves.
Every artist — and every aspiring artist — should have a sketchbook. Although it might seem like an insignificant little thing, it’s one of the most important tools in our art arsenal. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I cherish my sketchbooks.