Some thoughts on sketchingSketching has been one of my life’s passions. I have sketched since the age of 13 when my art teacher (Mr Bibby) set us homework. To go out and draw something around our home, in a series of squares. I was living out in the countryside in West Cornwall. So in my squares, there are the hedgerows and gateways around my old house. I just used a biro and remember how much I enjoyed going out, sitting quietly and drawing.
The greatest thing about sketching is that ‘it’s only a sketch’. If you don’t like it – rip it up and throw it in the bin. Don’t expect too much from it!!
However, it might also be a little work of art that you are really pleased with, frame and keep or give to someone.
When to SketchIt doesn’t matter what you sketch when you sketch or how you sketch. Just pick up your materials and get going. Take a little A5 sketchbook in your pocket or set out with an A2 pad tucked under your arm and materials in your rucksack.
How I SketchIt could just be a biro and a scrap of paper. I usually have an A4 bag of Sketching Stuff ready to pick up and put in my rucksack or the car. If I’m backpacking I take an A5 sketch pad, pencil, pen and travelling watercolour set. Or if setting out with the intention of sketching then it’s an A3 – A2 pad and a full set of paints, brushes and a pallet. My usual sketching kit all fits into a bag ready to be picked up and taken out. This is an A4 zipped bag that I bought years ago (a bit like a laptop bag, but before laptops existed!)
Materials ListI often take a range of mediums with me and make my mind up how I’ll sketch when looking at the subject. So here is a list what I would usually take with me. An A4 cartridge pad & A4 Watercolour pad – coloured pastel paper too sometimes. I find this a convenient size to put in my bag. However, if I’m out walking I often only take an A5 pad in a plastic bag with watercolours & pens etc. Pencils – at least 2B in softness, I usually use a 5/6B for sketching and a Graphite Stick. Something to sharpen them with, I usually take a scalpel with the blade taped the handle. So that it doesn’t cut anything unintentionally. Watercolour set For A5 – A4 size pads, I have a pocket set. However, for larger paper sizes I take a full set of watercolours and an A4 pallet. A set of brushes, again dependant on paper sizes. I often take a smaller brush 1-2 (size), medium 5-7 and a larger brush for laying down washes – I have a size 20 round that I like for this. (But they are rather expensive). I generally use round brushes, but that’s up to the individual’s own preference. Tissue/Kitchen Roll – a sheet or two. Sticks of Charcoal. Pastels – Oil or chalk, depending on what you like. Bottle of Black Ink – to use with either a brush or dip pen. Water Jar with lid or Jar & Waterbottle. Selection of pens – whatever you like, drawing pens or a biro. Rubber – if you want one, putty or normal. Clothes peg or two – good for holding the paper of your pad when it’s windy.
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