At last, I feel that I am getting my mark making to speak back to me. Phew! This has taken quite a few weeks of searching and pushing. It is so hard, at the moment, to work out how we feel, and if is due to the outside world, or the wrong colour paint!
For many days my work felt heavy and laboured, I was putting in many hours, but I wasn’t getting anything back; no excitement, no buzz. Working on a big scale wasn’t helping either, there was a fair bit of bending, stretching and wrestling with unstretched canvas in a small space. So this week I went back to small, 8 inch square pieces on paper, with a limited palette. Oh, a touch of happiness came through! I was in the zone, I could feel the subject/theme.
The urban coastline is always there.
Work in progress
I loved working on these small abstracts – which slowly began to feel like boats. Working with ink and charcoal gives such a range of sensitive and bold marks.
What a week! I launched my new six week online sketchbook course a week ago and I have been blow away with the work and comments.
I wake up thinking about my sketchbook. This came at just the right time as we lockdown again. So much fun – my head is buzzing! My life started to change last Monday, thank you Karen ! It’s like entering a wonderland ! This course makes me sooo happy! I can’t wait to see what is coming next!
Wow! I really underestimated how this course would be received. During these hard times many people have began to ‘feed their soul’ and do what makes them feel good, even just for a few hours a week. I know from my own experience that having an online tutor ‘in my studio’ really inspires me, so I am honoured to be teaching such an enthusiastic group of sketchbook artists.
We artists know that we can be totally absorbed for days and weeks with our mark making, drawing and painting and that when we are in the zone nothing else comes into our heads.
Isn’t that a good place to be?
If you would like to be notified when this course runs again please follow the link https://coursecraft.net/c/Freeupyoursketchbook
Do you need to be able to draw to have a great sketchbook?
No, Non, Ochi, Nien, Nej, Nie, Hayir, Net, No!
I taught for many years in secondary school and 90% of the time I taught sketchbook development. I always found the most exciting books were from the ‘less able’ students, the ones who didn’t care, and were not able, to produce an A* technically beautiful sketchbook.
One of my favourite boys wanted to draw and paint a cockerel (rooster). He had chickens and a cockerel so he knew their character well. He was a reluctant attendee at school and came to art occasionally, I saw it as my job to try and motivate this boy, to find out what he was interested in, to find out about his world. He started to tell me about his cockerel and its character, his eyes lit up and he became animated and alive. I encouraged him to draw in his sketchbook with big bold bright crayons, and then we translated this into acrylic paint. The cockerel in his painting was quirky and squawky, strutting across the page, so full of life. I loved his painting, it reminded me of Picasso’s roosters – and we know that Picasso wanted to draw with the freshness of a child. I do not have the work to show you, so here are the Picasso images that still remind me of my student.
I come from this school of thought – if we have a creative urge, if we can make marks patterns, lines, collage and paint, and this excites us and make us want to do more then we are so lucky. We are on the creative journey and this journey lasts a lifetime!
If we can keep this journey with us, on the move, in a bag on a table – in a sketchbook – this can be the first steps along the path. Over the years my own sketchbooks have become much more about mark making, and responding by developing the image in either a more realistic or more abstract way – and having such fun doing it!
If this resonates with you, and you are ready to move on from ‘How to draw tutorials’ make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter for more information about my next online course.
I also have short sketchbook news on instagram @concertinasketchbooks.
Do you take everything but the kitchen sink when you go sketching outside??
It may look like I have a lot of equipment here, but it all fits in a small rucksack.
If you haven’t joined one of my courses, and would like to know my basic kit for sketching outside, it will be in my next newsletter. Just click here to subscribe