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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sketch Journals

Drawing is the basis for all painting. If you can't draw, it's hard to paint. Everyone who aspires to be a good painter needs to know how to draw. The best way to learn to draw besides reading all you can find on technique, is to do a drawing a day. Get yourself a sketch journal. Take it with you. Find something in the day that you might want to record on paper. Do a quick sketch or spend time to make it a work of art.

Sketch journals are great when you travel. I find if I take a photo, I soon forget the details I saw, however, if I draw the same scene, I remember the details for a long time to come.  Sketch journals are a great way of recording memories too. Mine is a 3x5" black moleskin.

When I went to Italy in 2008 I used my sketch journal obviously to sketch but also to record things that were said to me or just little snippets of something like a sound or my impression of a situation or place. Mind you, my sketch travel journal is not meant for works of's just meant to be quick sketches to record my memories. Most of the time I just have a couple of minutes to put something on paper before I'm moving long to some other place.   It's hard to see the image on this page but on the left is the view from our room Beneath it, it says, "coo coo"...the sounds of the birds outside our window. There is an arrow pointing to St. Francis Bascillica. On the right is the date 3/29/08 and under the sketch is written Assisi Center Square Fountain.

I like also to verbally record  impressions in my journals. Like when I first went to Rome. I have a note beside a drawing "on the street: oranges, lemons, gas stations on the curb, recycling bins, trash, cafes, banco mat, palm trees, scooters, tiny cars, no speed limits." Or when I went to St. Peter's early in the morning for Mass in the crypt. I wrote: "Sense of God's prescense overwhelming emotions at visiting JPII grave. How quiet in the early morning."

So pick up a sketch journal at the store or if you have a spare small sketch book, take it with you on your next outting or keep it handy to do a sketch a day. It's great fun.~~Joann Y Wheeler,


Marlene said...

Great post, I do not have a journal yet but do have good intentions of getting one.

Paper Moon Delights said...

Trouble with me, I would lose it. :) Seth has one, he hasn't used it in awhile though. Need to encourage him to get back at it.

Pam of Always Artistic said...

Great idea Joann!