So you come home with a new sketchbook!
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!