with Salgood Sam at Syn Studiosalgood@gmail.com

Sketchbooking!

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You’ll notice in my posts here, and in class, I keep stressing practice, repetition, doing many interactions, drawing a lot. One can never stress enough the single biggest “secret” to drawing well is drawing often.

You also need to know how to study, and have a reason to do all this other than ‘it would be cool’. It takes lot of work to draw well so if the only reason someone is trying to draw well is to appear cool, they will find its probably not worth it.

Don’t get me wrong, if you love drawing, its the kind of work most of us feel funny about calling “hard”. If your passion is for making art and you enjoy the process of learning you’ll have no problems really, other than being patient and allowing for the time it takes to get better at something.

And again, drawing a lot, and often, is what will make that time go faster. Sketchbooks are a great way to facilitate that. Have one on you, always! Along with something to draw with. I seldom go anywhere without a pack of pencils and pens and one of my many sketchbooks.

You can make a specific project out of it if it helps. Plan to fill every page with say, a single character drawing or something like that. But don’t stress perfection. Draw freely, experiment, use your sketchbook to explore things.

Don’t try to make it pretty and perfect. If it’s perfect, too nice, you’re probably not stretching yourself.

Themed sketchbooks have become fashionable. But for me they are working notebooks. Everything goes into mine. Drawings, studies, life studies, ideas, doodles, experiments, notes for stories, photographs, clippings. You name it.

Another artist who posts some great examples of hist sketchbooks on youtube is Will Terrell. After watching the ones I post below you can check his out here!

Along with some good observations about process, he also talks a lot about motivation and having a passion for drawing. I’ll add a player with his series at the bottom of the page.

For our course, I’m going to want you to draw every day in your sketchbooks, and show me the results.

Along with the exercises i’m assigning you, if you don’t draw regularly, anything I teach you in class will have minimal impact. it’s all just ideas unless you put into practice.

By way of example, i’m posting some clips of flips through some of my own sketchbooks below. Along with these clips, I have old galleries of my sketching online here.

You’ll see they are unorganized, messy, not all crafted presentation pieces. I don’t really care how they look as objects, in terms of impressing anyone else.

In my sketchbooks I only care about doing the work; capturing the ideas. And having something to draw in when I need to. I decorate them at times for my own pleasure but it’s really not critical. My portable ones are often plane. Pocket or bag size.

I do like to buy nicer sketchbooks sometimes, makes me want to draw in them more. But you can get a cheaper one, it’s also not critical. In the end the only part that I think can make a difference, is the paper quality and binding. Really rough cheep paper is just never great to draw on, the lines never look as good. Look for smother paper unless the texture is something you want.

And you want a book that can open and lay flat. So look for something with nice paper that can do that.

And have one that fits in your pocket. So you can draw on transit, in parks. Anyplace you find yourself with a few minutes to kill. Don’t go to your phone, go to your sketchbook and draw!

Make it your habit.



OK, i’ll be adding more of mine over time, but here’s Will Terrell’s “Old Sketchbooks” series, really worth watching all of it and listen to what he has to say!

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