I have a confession to make. I’ve always wanted to keep a daily sketchbook, but was never able to do it. What got me over the hump was an online class taught by the very talented Scottish artist, Jemma Derbyshire. I have finally met with some satisfying success.
Learning to see through observational drawings, value studies, color studies and explorative mixed media pieces with a playful and inquisitive spirit was the main objective in keeping a sketchbook. The expectation was to create a daily habit, even if for just 10 minutes a day.
I chose my backyard as the subject for my first sketchbook. I chose this theme because I have an emotional connection to it. I’m also inspired by the variety of shapes, colors and light at different times of the day, even when the Texas heat makes it unbearable to be outside.
Many of the pages were collaged first with pieces of paper to break the surface.
Some of the sketches were further developed on large sheets of papers. At first I found this intimidating. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. By cropping a drawing that wasn’t quite working made it suddenly work! I also discovered that changing the color palette can make a dramatic difference. I discovered a few tricks that help me become a better artist.
Now, I intend to paint a new series called In My Own Backyard. I owe this to the inspiration I got from keeping my sketchbook.