Why I Keep a Sketchbook

If you are an avid artist, I would seriously recommend you keep a sketchbook and treat it as a much-loved piece of drawing material. Jot down ideas or draw things from our everyday life. Doodle and draw ideas which may become a great project idea for you in the future.

Why keep a sketchbook

A sketchbook acts as an extension of thoughts, ideas that have been dwelling in our minds. If you are a visual person like me, the sketchbook is really like your personal diary but of course, it is filled with drawings mainly. It is also a capture of what you see whether you are in a park sketching people jogging or by the beach drawing a sunset, or in an art museum trying to get ideas for your next artwork!

Why I Keep a Sketchbook


I love my sketchbook because it is an avenue of my expression and experiment with different kinds of drawing materials from graphite pencils to colored pencils, charcoal to marker pens. I can draw without feeling the need for everything to look perfect. No sketchbook page needs to be a work of art in itself; what a sketchbook needs to be is to be a record of your art as an artist.

What size of a sketchbook should I use

My choice of sketchbook size is a 5.5 x 8.5-inch, ringbound and unruled, heavyweight paper that fits easily into the bag. But, of course, sketchbooks sizes come in all sizes and formats (square, landscape, portrait, and even concertina versions). Buy a good-quality sketchbook, which preferably fits your personality. It should be an extension of your creativity and a platform to translate your ideas to a more polished artwork possibly later on.

How to use a sketchbook

There is no right or wrong way to use a sketchbook. I use whatever medium like a pencil or pen or marker on my sketchbook. I use a page or span across pages to draw out my ideas. In fact, there is no reason to handle the page in a conventional way. If your drawing goes over the center or off the page, so be it. As mentioned earlier, sketchbooks are used as notebooks and scrapbooks. Many artists stick in photos, notes, cards, collages, or cuttings to aid their drawing work. You can write accompanying notes with your sketches. Sometimes it is just random musings – an interesting sight at your convenience store or library, or a scene.

Favorite locations that I take my sketchbook to:

  1. Around the home or school
    Interesting subjects can present itself, including at home. As you draw more, you’ll start to notice more; beauty can appear in the most mundane of places.
  2. On a busy street
    I love to just sit and spend a couple of hours in the evening to observe people walking by on a busy street or a busy park. If something catches my eye, I get it on my sketchbook immediately and it becomes my record for that special moment. It trains me to draw fast as well.
  3. On visits to galleries and museums
    There are opportunities to sit down on visits to galleries and museums. Carry your sketchbook and pen to capture ideas.
  4. On vacations
    Instead of taking a photograph on your phone or camera, why not sketch or draw the scene or people or your family and friends in front of you.

Taking care of your sketchbook

If you are using wet materials, let them dry before shutting your sketchbook. Always fix charcoal or pastel work with fixative or layer tissue between the paper sheets, so your work does not spoil.

The main idea is to enjoy using and developing your sketchbooks. They will become an ever more interesting record of your artistic progression.

Originally posted 2020-05-24 09:52:16.

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