Opening your sketchbook: overcoming obstacles

April 25, 2012
It’s difficult to find time to open my sketchbook and draw – that’s nothing new so I really have no excuse. There are two things that help me overcome obstacles to drawing in my sketchbook.
1 – Have a sketchbook with me at all times. 
 This tiny little 3×4 book fits in my preferred little hanging pocket of a purse.
This is my every day working toolkit – sketchbook and pens/pencils.
The slipcover (tutorial here) leaves pockets inside the cover that allow me to carry my 3×5 index cards as well as postcards of my artwork. I give out postcards rather than business cards – they tend to end up on a wall or refrigerator rather than stuffed away in a wallet. 
When I want to really immerse myself in what I’m seeing I take time to not only sketch, but to paint. Sometimes I’ll pull out a larger watercolor sketchbook, but often just carry along a couple of postcard sized pieces of watercolor paper.
2 – Stop thinking it has to be GOOD!
Start thinking of art-making as PLAY rather than WORK.
Over at the Sketchbook Challenge we’re having a LOT of fun with the theme of OPEN.
Pop over there for a minute and check it out.
Here are some of the ways I’ve been playing with OPEN in my sketchbook.
Open the book while waiting for an appointment. Just play around with a pen, or with shape, or with filling in the dark spaces.
Play with leaving space open, with different textures and patterns and lines.
Play with positive and negative space. Play with how much or how little you need to draw in order to define an image. 
What are some of the obstacles that keep you from your sketchbook?
Are they self imposed?
What can you do to overcome them!?
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  • Reply
    April 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I always feel so self-conscience when I pull out a sketchbook and draw in a public area. People are curious and start asking questions and I feel like my art work needs to be "good" to share it with them. Zentangles are helping me with this a bit as I feel they look "good" no matter what I do. Your ideas are very similar with filling in areas with lines and shapes. Great ideas!

  • Reply
    April 26, 2012 at 11:13 am

    You are absolutely right and reading me again 🙂 I say I want and need to play (sketch) but don't take the time to do it. Mainly because those moments when I would, I don't have a sketchbook. I find myself always doodling and sketching while on the phone at work – all I need to do is get a sketchbook and put it next to the phone – no brainer! Also on my daily dog walk in the woods, bring a small sketchbook and take a sit for a couple minutes while abbey is involved in sniffing out a squirrel and just play! I would love to see your postcard business cards, I love that idea. Thank you for inspiring me yet again:-)

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