Sunday, 6 March 2011

Sketchbook practice - a look inside my sketchbooks

Recently I have been expanding my use of sketchbooks, looking for ways to improve the amount of useful information I include. All too often over a number of years I have felt unable to work from a sketchbook page because the memory is not complete on the page before me.
The following two pages would be good examples of this:

Both made very pleasing sketches but they stayed as that. The positive from both was that I had included some notes about the day. The first one reads 'Midday quiet, grass seeded dog' and the second says 'Tall grasses, insects, hot sun at 7.30pm' The comments certainly add to the information and help to fix the day a little stronger in my minds eye.

Another method I have used is to spend longer on a sketchbook page, but working outdoors does require some kindness in the weather, and its not there yet.
These are some drawings done at the end of last summer:

The visual information on these pages have been much more useful, and of course spending so much more time with the view helps makes the memory of the place and the day very much stronger. Looking at these pages I feel I am right back there.

In making the etchings this year I have needed different types of visual information. I found I needed to know more about surface textures and the contours of the view in front of me. This has led to some sketchbook work which provides very interesting and unusual images, with great potential:

The last page combines all the elements and has informed my other work very successfully. I have made more notes, I have the structural information I need and the image is very strongly fixed.
I wonder how other people have developed their sketchbook practice?

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I've just found you from Sue Brown's blog. I love to nosey in other artist's sketchbooks and these are a treat.