Week One: Your Summer Sketchbook
Let's go shopping! Actually, you may already have a sketchbook. But, if not look for one that you like and feel excited about drawing in. I recommend that you have a hard cover book, that way you can have the cover surface as a support and draw anywhere anytime! I also recommend having a sketchbook with mixed media paper some you can experiment with media. But, ultimately, it is your sketchbook, there are no rights or wrongs, so chose what you like and can afford.
Sketchbooks are personal journeys so feel free to draw, paint, write, and even scrapbook inspirational references into your sketchbook. There are no rules except Never tear out pages, you do not want to deny yourself the wonder of your artistic journey and seeing your own growth and progress. Also, you never know when you may revisit themes and ideas!
What to draw? Well, the answer is both easy and hard...draw anything, even if you think you cannot, try, practice makes perfect. I recommend that you explore some on line sketchbook resources like the following:
The 19th century artists of the Impressionist movement would draw and paint everyday life around them. The works of Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh may look exotic to us, but I assure you they were every day to them because that was life in 19th century France. It is important to note that Van Gogh wrote many times to his brother Theo that as he was painting in the beautiful Arles region of the south of France he liked to imagine himself in Japan! Imagine that!
Here are some of my latest works from my sketchbooks. Currently, I am keeping two sketchbooks because I have one for field sketching and the other for references and ideas. That is because I am doing a great deal of biking around where I live and trying to improve my landscape painting skills. That is a personal goal for me this summer...do you have something you would like to focus on? If yes, terrific! Share what it is. If not, that is fine, just draw what inspires you and think about what does inspire you. Remember drawing is both an expressive and reflective process.
One note of caution! Do not compare yourself to me or any other artist just look and learn. That is the great aspect of art, every person's journey is original and your own...practice only makes you better at being you...so keeping being the best you can be and look, think, and draw!
Summer Sketchbook: Week Two
For this week, think about creating two images of the same subject in two different mediums as seen here. Think about what each medium can help you, as the artist, emphasize about the subject. Then ask yourself the next time you go sketching, what element of art (color, line, shape, texture, value, space, form) is most prominent and which medium will help me highlight that. This way you will being to intelligently discern which medium to use when and for what subject.
Week Two: Documenting Your Inspiration