10 Ways To Tackle Your New Sketchbook

So you come home with a new sketchbook!

sketchbook25

It’s such a wonderful feeling. The crisp, new, unspoiled paper. You may even be a book sniffer and be able to smell how fresh it is.
Then the ‘new sketchbook’ block happens, you want the first drawing to be perfect and set the stage and standard for every other drawing to come

I am deeply sorry to inform you that it’s a sketchbook and that’s just not the way it usually happens. Sketchbooks are for practice and experiment, but here are 10 ideas to help you on your way

1 Start with what you are good at!

There may be things your are better at than others such as cartoons or observational drawing. Start with one or two things that you have confidence with and let it flow on from there. Just don’t forget to try new things once the ball is rolling!

2 Do a front title page

It might sound like I’m telling you to go back to primary school but title pages can be a really helpful way to just get into your sketchbook! Start with words from a quote, your name or even just “Sketchbook 2016” then doodle design  and colour like a champ!

3 Do some swatches and colour wheels

These can be so handy at the start or back of your book where you can flick to easily. Swatches allow you to plan ahead and know the colours and textured marks that are in your arsenal.

4 Try a new medium

Get excited and out of your normal art routines and pick up a new medium to work with. new paints, pens, chalk, coloured card, pastels, inks, coloured pencil, collage, resist techniques (water based over oil) the choices are endless! Pick something new to do, maybe something you have always wanted to try!

5 Do a senseless scribble with the pen in your mouth!

Scribble senselessly and try the ‘loose association‘ technique I showed you guys! Take breath and just dive into your sketchbook Rambo style!

6 Do a collage

I want to bring special attention to something already vaguely mentioned. Collage is a good way to just get images into that first page. It’s easy to cut stuff out and creatively arrange them with some glue and tape. maybe adding stickers and some marker here and there.

7 Start in the middle

You don’t have to start on the first page. If its just the first page holding you back, dive into the middle. You can always stick something over it later if it turns out that offensive. Though I do recommend keeping all your drawings, even the crappy ones because you can use them to get better and observe your improvement over time.

8 Scroll through Pinterest or Tumblr for inspiration

Find stuff that inspires you! mash your favorite features together or try an recreate a work of art you like. Studies on other peoples work will help you understand their techniques and clarify what it actually is that you like about their work and how it was made.

9 Doodling, mandala’s or zentangles

These styles of work are great when you don’t know what to draw because you don’t have to have a clear direction. Play around with texture shapes and patterns in a simple meditation like style.

10 Draw a self portrait

Don’t forget, you always have yourself to draw! Use a mirror and practice the age old art of the self portrait. It’s a great way your sketchbook can introduce the viewer to the piece of yourself that is your sketchbook!

 

 

 

 

 

The World As Inspiration Part Two: Where To Find The Great Ideas!

Not everyone wants to stay at home and search online for ideas, and although you can with all the following resources, to some degree, they will be more effective to check out in person. Some of these are continual, some are events and need to be marked in your calender…or Filofax 😉

Public Resource Centers.
Not only does your local library stock many fantastic books to borrow, but often they hold events and clubs for all sorts of topics. From talks to challenges and competitions. This also goes for museums and art gallery’s! Often which, include films and documentary’s being screened and fresh and changing exhibitions. These places also have information and public notice boards which can turn up some awesome stuff too!

museum s
L
ike here, in the space of 13 days there are 10 really cool things on and that is just the art gallery!

News and newspapers!
In paying special attention to local papers and smaller news groups in the deeper internet I noticed the wealth of cool things sprouting out. Community projects, Local or weird artists, more events and silly little things that people do that turns heads. Keep an eye also on the public notices, they’re full of surprises. From corn field mazes you didn’t existed, to discovering extra little museums you didn’t even know you had. I found in just this weeks smaller paper at least 20 or so things that would be fun to work with.
I’ll also put radio stations in this section. There a range of talk radio stations that have fantastic content. One of which I listen to often is the “Dark Matter Radio” The have a range of shows, some better used for sparking your imagination than anything else but they do have great physic shows. When I say better used for imagination, many shows are conspiracy and paranormal based. But the content is fantastic! It can be a little like a radio version of ‘Fringe’ at times and some of it even has me fearing the black eyed children that may come knocking my door at night. Either way, have a Google search around at the many radio stations around the world!

Cool events, holidays and observances!
Bubble-bath day anyone? What about beer can appreciation day? Peculiar People Day, Rubber Duckie Day, Felt Hat Day, Floral Design Day… The list is huge! That doesn’t include special event celebrations in your town or city! I just found out today I missed out on a free breakfast for bikers on a “bike to work” day I believe. In that alone I remembered I wanted to bike around my country with a sketchbook or two and document my journey. Events will be something you’ll have to Google yourself for your area but below are some websites listing observance by date 😉 You may have notice in the sketchbook project that I like to use these as drawing prompts as well as project ideas.
holidayscalendar.com
Wiki un-offical obervances.
HolidayInsignts.com

Free courses and Education tools

That’s right free! and not just that, vast topic ranges and quality education! My favorites so far are Coursera which has courses from many prestigious university’s and TED, probably the most popular.
Coursera
TED
TED-X
edX
Alison.com
Open Culture
KHAN Academy
OEDb
There is NO excuse to not find something with this list! There will be thousands and thousands of great courses to choose from. I don’t really do full courses personally, I just love the access to the lectures and pod casts!

Still have free time to sit and say “I don’t know what to do? I have no ideas or inspiration!”? Private message me so we can meet up and I can slap you with a dead fish 😀

fishslap