Ever wanted to do something artistic, but did not know where to start? Are you in a creative rut? Did you draw a lot as a child, but have you now drifted away from this pleasure? Maybe it is time to try journaling!
Oh yes I know it may sound frivolous to talk about keeping a journal. You know it sounds like a talk-show affirmation: I will keep a journal next to my bed and ... But take a look on Pinterest at the example of artist's journals and you will see how big this trend has become. The quality of work in some cases is jaw-dropping, but do not let that intimidate you. Art journals are for anyone slightly interested in drawing.
Artist's journals are part drawing, painting, illustration and writing. They can be free form or follow a specific theme. Keep them in notebooks, loose leaf pages or napkins. You can write in them daily, on specific events like holiday travels or for a weekly recap on your life. Whatever works for you.
How to get started? Keep it simple is always best. A few water resistant pens. A notebook with unlined paper. Perhaps some watercolor pencils or a small pan of watercolor pigments if color is important to you. Then start drawing. Add some notes on what inspired your drawing. Let the mood take you.
My sketching kit is simple indeed. A pencil roll-up containing water resistant pens (05 and 08 Pigma micron) a selection of Staedtler watercolor pencils, a watercolor brush and an A5 Eco journal. If I want to I may use a watercolor palette, but that is mostly for studio work. I may add to this kit, but I enjoy the spartan nature of it compared to the baggage that goes with an oil painting kit.
Whatever catches my eye is a worthy subject. A bottle of beer, a box of matches, the family dog sitting nearby - whatever grabs my attention. Another plus is that it makes outdoor work very easy for the introverts (like me). Sketch at the coffee shop, park, beach or bench at the mall. It is plein air without the stress.
If the bug bites then look for inspiration from other sketchers. Look at urbansketchres.org and marvel at the beautiful journals. When ready start your own blog and post pictures now and then of your work. Who knows where it may lead?
There are many sketchers online to inspire you too. For example Tommy Kane has a fun blog full of stories and drawings. While visiting the urban sketchers blog I came across a correspondent for Africa. In fact the only correspondent for Africa is a South African namely Cathy Gatland. I am sure we can increase that number! Anyone volunteering? You can follow this link if you are keen to join.
I hope that inspired you to give sketching a go. Please send me a note of your progress if you like.
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