Importance of Daily Sketching

I had a chat with a friend of mine the other day about sketching and a few things stuck in my head after the call. Beyond the fact that I (and other artists) sketch daily for pure pleasure, there are many benefits from a habitual routine of daily sketching.

The most obvious reason is to get better at what we do as artists. If you practice something long enough it becomes second nature and your skills refine. Beyond the obvious, it's a great way to focus on areas that need particular work. For example, if I have a problem drawing ears, I'll focus on that in my daily sketches until they become second nature. The added bonus is I can usually draw the problem subject(s) without reference after a few good daily sketch sessions.

I often find that going back through my sketchbook(s) I find interesting sketches and ideas to expand on and some become finished pieces.

The Egg-Timer Effect - Focus on Form and Value, Not Detail

Take 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes a day to put pencil to paper. Daily sketches should not be about how long it takes you to draw the chosen subject. Just taking the time to do it, you should be applauded. So why an egg timer? For my purposes, timing myself does a few things:

  1. An egg-timer forces me to think more about the subjects form and values and less about detail.
  2. An egg-timer trains me for the projects where I'm doing a lot of thumbnail sketches. Thumbnails are not meant to be completed, detailed drawings. They are usually studies in composition and/or value.
  3. I personally think it helps an artist become less critical about their sketchbook and focus on the ideas/studies being stored in them.

Set the egg-timer for whatever length of time you choose, then try to accomplish your goal in that time.

Footnotes and Supplies

I often post my daily sketches on the Studio Instgram account so give it a follow if you'd like.

Some supplies I use for daily sketches and studies:

  1. Cachet Earthbound Sketch Books 8 1/2 in. x 11 in. - Toned paper
  2. Faber-Castell Mix & Match Pitt Pastel Pencils 4/Pkg Neutrals
  3. Daler-Rowney Canford Cut Paper & Card Sheets paper dreadnought gray 8 1/2 in. x 11 in. [PACK OF 20 ]

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