Recently I started a new sketchbook with a new sketchbook philosophy. Here's the idea: time in the sketchbook should be pure unadulterated fun. Michael Jordan couldn't get in the zone if he had to the ref the game at the same time.
John Cleese of Monty Python speaks heavily on this topic in this talk.
When you go to be creative there are two distinct modes, the open mode and the closed mode.
In the open mode the only rule is that you have fun. You enjoy it. You're not trying to make judgements on whether what you are making is good or bad.
Then go into the closed mode, the execution mode. This is where you edit and make judgements.
I suggest you play more in the open mode in your sketchbook. This doodle (above) is an example of experiments in the open mode.
You might just have more success and surprise yourself!
Happy open doodling everyone!
Images from Stephan Hohenthanner’s blog seem more like memories than sketches to me. He makes a habit of sketching the mundane with close attention to all its little details, but the way he captures it on the page is moody and atmospheric. Stephan is an illustrator in Hamburg, so I’m going to assume these are real places in Germany. I’ve never been to Germany, so it’s strange for me to admit that his illustrated scenes make me feel a nostalgic sense of comfort from streets and homes I’m not familiar with at all.See More »
Artists who sketch on location always catch my interest. I love the spontaneous nature of pulling out a pen and paper wherever you are to capture an instance. Paul Heaston makes a habit of drawing every visual detail in his surroundings until his page is full. He sketches his entire field of view, including his own hands and sketchbook. By drawing exactly what he sees, the wide angle perspectives of places around Denver really make me feel like I’m looking at Heaston’s city through his own eyes. If you like his POV style, you will also enjoy one of our entries from last year about The Sketchbook as a Center Point.See More »
There’s something appealing about seeing the skeleton of a drawing, the bare bones version before it has been perfected. It looks like Marjolein Caljouw knows this, because she often takes photographs of her works in process and shows them side-by-side with the completed illustration. With pencil, ink, and paint, she depicts the female body in all its mystery and sensuality. The soft, organic features are charged with human intimacy that is easily palpable even in the rough sketches.
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Amara Strand is an interior designer and 3D artist who is determined not to lose touch with the non-digital side of her creativity. She carries her small sketchbook around Toronto, and brings a little piece of the local architecture and scenery home with her at the end of the day. Her almost pocket-sized urban sketches are made truly special by Strand’s warm watercolors. Strand said, “I love to see colourful watercolour running, seeing the lines go on my sketchbook and never knowing exactly how the sketch will turn out when it is done. This excites me.”
I adore the spontaneity of an artist being surprised by her own finished product. The drawings have a rough sketch quality without meticulous detailing, but it’s a good thing to have when you are drawing places and things right in front of you—you won’t get so lost in perfecting the page that you forget to enjoy your cup of coffee.See More »
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Those lines you just left on paper – are those really just doodles?
Could it be more than just meandering lines that you've mindlessly put together? Mindless not in the way it was created, but mindless in the way how easily our minds shifts from one thought to the next, perplexing, changing, evolving and never the same. Mindless in weight, in troubles and in spirit? A line that solidifies our constant state of flux, by being there – a constant. A reminder. A mark left in time that captures the essence of what makes drawing such a personal affair.
What happens beyond the meandering? At what point does a drawing become art? Or is every doodle a work of art in itself? I'd like to think it’s more the latter, but at the same time, sometimes not all doodles are made equal – sometimes it's nothing more than it is. And yet some are more than they truly show. An image, a still, captured in time. A thought. A fleeting emotion. Raw. Keep reading...See More »