A few months ago, I went to a class on urban sketching. At this class, a new iPhone app was suggested. It is call Sktchy. Users post photos they would like for you to draw or paint and post along with the photo for others to see. I signed up, but was apprehensive because I have never been successful in keeping a sketchbook on any regular basis. I've long loved travel watercolor journals both with and without ink linework.
It just so happens that soon after joining the Sktchy community, I needed to purchase a sketchbook for a workshop. I ended up buy four in different sizes and shapes. My favorite is the 6" X 8" Beta Series book from Stillman & Birn. It is large enough to do a nice sketch or painting, but small enough to stick into my purse or backpack. (I wish I had gotten the bound version rather than the spiral one.)
For two months straight, I drew or painted in my sketchbook. It was life-changing! Why?
Because I made a commitment to myself not to tear out any pages (either because they are bad or because good enough to sell), I finally took to heart what a sketchbook is about... practice and experimentation. It's an opportunity to do a quick series or to paint from a scene or photo that you want to capture but not pressure yourself to perfect.
I want to be a better portrait artist, but I've done very little. It was too serious an endeavor to paint a "real" portrait. My first sketchbook portraits are only around two inches square.
I began to make progress in capturing a likeness, so I decided to go a little larger:
Then, I did a painting where I unintentionally elongated a portrait...
Which led to these, which I intentionally elongated:
Lest you think my sketchbook is ALL portraits, there is a smattering of other subjects too...
Somehow, amidst a busy Memorial Day weekend, a commission and another huge household project a few weeks back I fell off the daily sketch habit. I'm missing it. I think it's time to finish the last three pages in that book and order the next one! Follow me on Sktchy as nmdartist or Instagram as @nancysketchedthis to see what's next!