Sketches in journal from imagination - Pigment liner & Schmincke watercolour
I have painted many portraits for many clients but always using a reference and always being rather a slave to that reference, this year I wanted to practice sketching from life, refining my skills and getting as much practice in as possible so that I may one day be able to place those all important features in correct/believable positions when sketching from my mind alone.
I hoped that this would, in time, lead to me being able to capture a true likeness of a person within just a short sitting.
September 2007 sketchbook entries from imagination.
It was back in September when I sketched the facial compositions above after realising the difficulties I experienced drawing features from imagination rather than references. I remember having to think very hard about the whole process, checking off basic rules in my mind as I sketched.
This whole year has been motivated around sketchbook after sketchbook, I am currently averaging a new sketchbook on a monthly basis, approx 50-90 pages a month.
I have enjoyed every moment, it has felt so freeing and my confidence as an artist has multiplied in ways I never imagined it could. I am now able to manipulate an image or scene in a believable way, invent my own characters, add design and it would seem from the top sketch on this entry....Place features from my imagination, quite quickly, directly in ink, with very little thought at all!
Frequent visits to Posemaniacs website has helped to be able to do the same with figures. Of course 'watching' has been a major tool too, I try to spend as much time as I can simply studying with my eyes, drawing with my mind rather than my hands.
Today was the first time I noticed this improvement, my goal long forgotten in all the excitement of filling pages day after day.
While vision obviously remains the most important tool to an artist, in my opinion, I have no doubt that the artist's sketchbook ranks right up there in second place.
Related link: A Work In Progress - Posted May 25th 2007