Here is a little sketchbook painting I did last sunday. One of my new years resolutions this year was to sketch more often in a sketchbook. I talk a little more about it here. Sundays are typically the best days for me to do that because they are my laid back days that I take off from my work side of art (i.e. Commissions) and most other responsibilities. I typically wake up early before the rest of the family or do it during quiet time.
If your wondering why I posted a “sketchbook Sunday” video on a thursday it’s because I had originally planed to record and share one of my sunday sketchbook paintings and share it as a bonus video. However, my computer died on Saturday night so I couldn’t edit the video I recorded for my Thursday video and had to change my plans. I ended up recording and editing this video on my phone and pushing it back to my normal Thursday slot.
For this painting I used a fine point Sharpie for the outlining and Gouache for the underpainting. My gouache palette is a mix of both M Graham and Windsor and Newton paints. For the Colored pencil details I used my Prismacolor pencils. I was fun to be able to use them because I don’t use colored pencils very often or do mixed media very often.
This ended up being a fun little exercise that was a nice break for the commissions I have been working on. Its fun to see how I have really started looking forward to these sketchbook sessions when up until a few months ago I had hated working in a sketchbook.
What about you? Do you use a sketchbook? When do you typically work in it? Let me know in the comments below.
Just popping in to share a fun sketchbook portrait I did while taking a break from some commissions I have been working on.
Portraits and figures still make me nervous. If the thought of drawing/painting something makes me nervous it is a sign I need to keep practicing it so I have been painting a lot of portraits and parts of the body to become more familiar with them.
Here is a picture of my latest portrait. I am always drawn to faces with twinkly eyes, lots of wrinkles and facial hair. Most of my charcoal portraits include at a least one of those features but usually two. I decided to practice painting wrinkles and facial hair in watercolor. It took some planning ahead of time to mask and look at the areas I wanted to preserve the highlights in.
Overall, I am really pleased with how it turned out.
One of my new years resolutions has been to get better at regularly drawing in a sketchbook. I often get so busy with commissions and projects that I don’t always have time to work on personal projects or try new techniques. I am hoping that by drawing and painting in a sketchbook regularly will not only improve my skill but also give me a few minutes each day to paint and create something just for the pleasure of creating. As much as I love doing commission (it’s the best job I could have) I need to spend some time creating pieces of work that are personally motivated so I don’t get burned out.
I have owned many sketchbooks over the years and have never actually finished one. I didn’t like having “ugly drawings” stuck in my sketchbook so I would either rip out pages I didn’t like or just hold off from drawing in my sketchbook until I got better as an artist. I think part of me was ashamed of my skill level for not being “good enough.’ It is kind of silly to think about now as a (slightly) more mature artist because the entire purpose of a sketchbook is for it to be a safe place to practice, experiment, and grow as as an artist.
Setting this goal for the year has helped me to FINALLY finish my first sketchbook. It’s far from perfect since I bought it a few months after I got back in to art in 2016. Some sketches have been torn out because I didn’t like them or used them for other projects. But I finally completed the pages that are remaining.
It may seem silly to celebrate such a small and silly thing but when trying to develop a new habit it is always important to celebrate the milestones along the way. It is also a sign of my personal growth as I am now more accepting of my shortcomings as an artist. I always want to improve my skill level but I am no longer ashamed of my journey as an artist.
Another benefit of using a sketch book (and not tearing out the pages) is that I have also been able to see how much I have grown over the years as an artist. Being able to see tangible proof of my progress is so helpful on days when I feel discouraged.
Here are some of my favorite small paintings I have done this fall that I haven’t shared on here yet.
I did a lot of watercolor paintings this fall in an effort to prepare for a highly detailed landscape commission I was working on (more on that later). During this time I would either work on a landscapes or still life paintings. Whatever I decided to paint I would work to add a lot of detail and make it as realistic as possible. I wanted to improve my skill at a technique called glazing (layering transparent layers of paint), painting wet into wet, and looking at details.