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Learn to Sketch 1 – Getting started – Acquiring the sketchbook habit

” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”  (Laozi c 604 bc).

egg cup on a white plate pencil sketch

egg cup on a white plate pencil sketch

What an inspired thought. It still applies for all journeys, especially for those people starting out on a journey to acquire valuable skills.

Getting Started : Easy things first, you will need two pencils, (a 2b and 4b preferably) and a cheap sketchbook, I pay £1 at our local garden centre. Aren’t you glad you didn’t choose to learn the violin!

Now you need to start filling up that sketchbook, to get rid of those horrid blank white pages! My motto is

“Little and Often” ie: sketching for 15 minutes a day each day, is much more useful than say one two hour session at the end of the week. You’ll quickly start to enjoy it, even if your sketches are rubbish, it’s very theraputic. Several quick sketches are better than one detailed drawing. – Remember – you don’t need to show anyone else, at this stage, your sketch book is your own personal space. Sketch anything, I mean anything, look at the main shapes and angles, sketch them out, then look at them some more, can you see errors in your first attempt? Good, now have another go! If it is a little better, well done, you are learning to look, look again, and really look again, and check your shapes and angles, again, and have another go. Your neighbours are so glad you didn’t choose that violin!

Sketching with a pen

Sketching with a pen

Remember sketch anything, open your kitchen drawer of cooking utensils, large spoons, nutcrackers, cheese graters, corkscrews, table napkins, mats, trays, napkin rings, and when they are all sketched, try the odds and ends drawer, elastic bands, paper clips, sellotape rolls, scissors, penknife, old phone chargers, electric plugs, then on to saucepans, toasters, staplers, ok, I think you’ve got the message. The worst drawing – is NO drawing! 

How are you doing? Is that first sketchbook full yet. Write the start and finish dates on the covers, and when it is complete, glance back to the beginning, can you see a glimmer of improvement? Don’t fret if you cant yet, it may take a couple more sketchbooks to see real improvements. OK, keep going, by now you know exactly what to do, I never said it would be quick or easy! and don’t believe anyone who does! I know from my own experience, that with application and the will to succeed, everyone is capable of learning to draw well in good time.

sketch of old boots

sketch of old boots

Next time – when you have filled up your first sketchbook, you’ll be ready for some tips and suggestions to help you improve still further.

So for now – Happy Sketching!

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