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Using Your Sketchbook
June 21, 2008

Last month I gave you some hints on how to acquire quick sketching skills.

When you are using your sketchbook, you can't afford to labor over your drawings. You need to learn how to capture moments.

So, I hope you've gained something from the tips to use contour lines and hatching as your guidelines to quick sketches.

To further my study of using a sketchbook, I went through all of my art books. In some of these, I found that the author provided some examples from their own sketchbook. This is terrific information!

How many times have you heard that you need to copy great artists or the Masters? Well, they don't say that for no reason. When you copy their works, you discover the artist's style and you figure out ways to complete a drawing.

I'm doing the same thing with these sketchbook excerpts that I've found. I study them and I discover great shortcuts that I can use.

All I need to do now, is to copy them over and over. I will eventually learn how to spot those dominating features.

Musings can be messy but you can clearly see what the subject is. It doesn't matter if you don't finish your sketches, you will have the impression. It doesn't have to be accurate. Try to get into the habit of seeing things as you would draw them.

A lot of artists use their sketchbook as a reference basis for paintings in the future.

Just don't be discouraged if you don't get good results immediately. Awkwardness evaporates with consistent practice.

I don't show anyone my sketchbook! I know what's wrong with the sketches and I know it's all a work in progress. I don't want my confidence shattered by any type of criticism.

Tip of the Month

Draw at eye level to reduce the problem of perspective.

Eye level is when you are looking straight ahead. So, if you wanted to draw a cup and you were sitting at the table, you should place the cup on a box to bring it up to your eye level.

This is a great tip to keep in mind if you are just beginning to draw.

Drawing in perspective can be a huge learning curve and it's best to avoid it at the start. Well, I found it helpful to ignore perspective, anyway.

I also find I learn little bits about it as I go along. This is easier than trying to understand it when you are not really ready for it.

You can't afford to be put off by thinking it's too hard and you can't do it. Instead, you should be thinking that you'll do it when you understand more about it. Remember to keep that positive voice in your head.

Thank you,, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this issue.

You can simply reply to this email if you have anything you'd like to share with me.

Please take care,


"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." (Twyla Tharp)

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