Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Art Journal, Tuesday Tips & Art Tips | 0 comments

The past three posts in this sketching series focused on being relaxed, trying different styles and practicing from life. This week’s focus is on:

Tip #4 – Get the Idea

In other words, when you sketch it should be to get a concept down and play with it, not with the goal to make the sketch your finished piece. Sketching is not about looking perfect–it’s more about getting the concept down on paper and figuring out the proportions of what you are sketching.
For example, this is a sketch/drawing I made recently that will hopefully be turning into a painting. It’s definitely not perfect, nor am I finished with it–you can see in the background that I’ve moved a fireplace over and then erased it, not sure if that’s what I want to put on the left hand side or not. The girl is not fully rendered and lots of lines overlap each other. The book and her hand on the left side are little off of what they should be and the end table’s top seems to be slightly tilting down in the front. The right hand background also seems to be flying a little towards the upper right. But this is the kind of sketch/drawing where I can “mess up” and be okay with it.

Once I’m done I’ll either take it into Photoshop and paint on top of it, or transfer an outline of it to another piece of paper and color it in.

Here are a couple exercises to help “get the idea”:

– Set a timer for two minutes and sketch a landscape scene (outside your window, for example) using quick strokes (not little feathery ones) and draw the overall shapes of each object. Add shapes for where the shadows sit and “color” them in with your pencil. Once the timer rings, stop.
– Try staring at a subject for one minute. Look for the shapes within the objects. Close your eyes and try to recall the shapes of what you just saw. Without looking at the objects, draw the shapes on your paper. Once finished, compare your sketch with the real thing.
P.S. I tweeted my first sketch for the challenge (to sketch something from life each week until November 3rd).
What do you like best about sketching? Share your thoughts, tips and ideas in the comments! I’d love to hear them!