Sketchbooking is a new weekly series to share what I’m working on each week. Part of this is inspiration for you and part accountability for me. Most of all I hope that by being transparent about my work – the process, the pitfalls and the successes – it helps you with your own projects.
Each week on Wednesday, I’ll offer a peek at a raw sketch – maybe two – from my current sketchbook with commentary about discoveries I made while working.
This week’s sketch
I’m obsessed with trees. Aesthetically, I love their structure, texture and intricacies. And I especially love drawing their roots.
Drawing tree trunks is a lot like drawing drapery. We think of trunks as solid cylindrical subjects. But as I render detail I begin to see folds and hollows.
A problem I have is getting overwhelmed by the whole tree and thinking I have to sketch the entire tree from start to finish in one go. It’s stressful, for one thing. I’m not really looking at my subject, for another. And the whole event becomes a race from start to finish.
None of that is drawing.Sure, I start blocking in the basic shapes as a whole, but then go part by part checking value balance along the way. I'll set it aside for a while then come back and look at the whole piece. Click To Tweet
What I’ve learned is to take it in parts. Sure, I start blocking in the basic shapes as a whole, but then go part by part checking value balance along the way. I’ll set it aside for a while then come back and look at the whole piece. Where can I deepen the shadow? Do I need to “lift” out some lights with my eraser? Have I lost the line or is there too much line?
And I’m such a geek about this process – I get a little thrill seeing part of the drawing become something while the rest of it is flat!
Sketching is a process, and the more you sketch, the more you develop your process.
Now tell me, what are you working on in your sketchbook?