I’d like to introduce you to a new art habit I’m attempting to develop. A weekly sketch along.
And I invite you to join me!
How it all Began
This idea has been a long time coming, and I didn’t think of it on my own; I had help. A lot of help.
I don’t know if you’re aware of it or not, but John Middick started a weekly colored pencil podcast several years ago. He and a variety of guests talk about all things colored pencil.
I listen as often as possible, but usually as time allows. When I heard the topic for this podcast, I knew I had to MAKE time to listen.
The truth is that I’ve had a terrible time making time for art for the last year and half. It took six months to finish a portrait that should have take three, and the last two pieces I started (both early this year) are still unfinished.
I enjoy drawing once I start, and that portrait was the best portrait I’ve ever done, but it was still a struggle to make myself go to the easel. Goals weren’t working. Self-talks weren’t working. Even the disappointment of getting through another day (or another week) without picking up a pencil didn’t help.
I had no idea why.
But something told me I needed to hear this podcast. So when I got notice that the early version was available to Monthly Sharpener members, I sat down on Saturday and listened.
I’m glad I did.
Afterward, I decided to stop trying to make everything I do a “finished piece.” Instead, I grabbed pencils and paper, sat on my front porch, and dashed off five 4×6 inch sketches of one of my favorite things. Tree branches! It was great.
And they all turned out! That was even better.
The Weekly Sketch Along
Because of that, I changed my weekly art goal from three hours of drawing a week to six 4×6 sketches a week. That may seem like a small thing, but I can tell you it made a difference. The first week, I missed sketching only one day and I still ended up with fifteen sketches. (That doesn’t include an illustration I made for one of this past week’s blog posts.)
It turned out so well, I decided to sketch on a regular basis.
I also decided to sketch from life as much as possible, and to make a personal art challenge.
Here’s the collection of sketches from the first week.
My Weekly Sketch Along Sketches
Is a Weekly Sketch Along for You?
What I’ve found from sketching and life drawing is that it’s easier to loosen up and just draw what I see, then let it go and move on. Limiting myself to one color or to a limited number of colors has also helped.
If you’re having trouble getting motivated to draw, maybe this is the solution.
Would you like to join me in this weekly sketch along? I hope so.
Your sketches can be any size you like. They don’t have to be finished or perfect, but I suggest you not work on a sketch more than one work session. I refrained from working on one or two two days in a row, though I really wanted to. The idea is to start and finish without fretting over perfection.
You don’t have to post anything if you prefer not to, but I’d be delighted to see your sketch (or sketches) for the week.