Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sketching Tips: Part I

Dear Friends,

I have always been an In-Class-Sketcher or Doodler. It just helps me to focus. I can't sit and only listen.Yesterday I was struggling to stay awake as our Jane Austen class discussed the film Bride and Prejudice until 10 PM. So I sketched some of my fellow classmates from behind. Is that creepy?

I thought I would share some of the things I have learned about sketching form life in class or another public setting. First I'll show you yesterday's work and then I'll give you my tips.

Here they are my sketches:

Here are some tips for sketching in class or on the train:

1. Be Quick: If you are sketching people you have to be speedy, because they are always moving. It is very frustrating, but just don't be afraid to make mistakes or draw over a line if they shift positions. 

2. Don't Be a Perfectionist: If you are too picky about the way your drawing looks, then you will not be able to sketch. Try to loosen up your expectations from a sketch. As you can seek from mine they are not perfect. They are pretty well, sketchy!

3. Don't Be Shy: People will look over your shoulder as you sketch. It is inevitable. Don't let them derail the work you are doing. If they make suggestions for how to sketch that can be irritating. Ignore it and smile and nod. Basically, just give short answers to any questions and be pleasant, but don't stop working. When they see you are intent on your work they will quiet down. But you need to expect that you can't sketch anywhere in public without getting comments or curiosity. Everyone will want to see what you are making!

4. Don't Be Afraid of Your Sketchbook: Your sketchbook is a tool. It is not "The Perfect Diary of Every Amazing Drawing Lucy Rose Has Made". It is there so that you can experiment and scratch things out and draw over things. If a sketch is discouraging you and you want to quit: turn the page! It's OK to have flub sketches in your sketchbook. They don't poison all the good ones. 

5. Keep On: It can get discouraging. You may get annoying comments, you may beat yourself up about being a stinky artist. But please keep trying. The only way you will get better is by practice. It really is a muscle which you can train, just like a sport or a musical instrument. I can attest to the fact that it takes me about 3-4 sketches before I feel "warmed up". I can also attest to the fact that it took me a long time to get to a point where I was speedy. 

Ok. All of this advice is basically the same, come to think of it. I guess that is because I have met a lot of people who have issues concerning fear when it comes to drawing. Don't let that fear stop you from a practice which is so great for building you up as an artist and as an observant and thoughtful person. 

Lucy Rose

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