Watercolor Wednesday: Sketching from Life

There's something I've wanted to do for as long as I've been journaling (over 13 years) and that's to keep a journal made up entirely of pen & watercolor sketches of the world around me.  However, I've always been very intimidated by artists who work this way and for far too long I've let fear rule.  Well, in the last week or so, I've had a major breakthrough and I have pledged to do exactly the thing that terrifies me the most.  In fact, all the parts of my new watercolor journal will be bound together right after I finish writing this post.  There is a world to be documented and I cannot wait!   

The most important thing to remember when sketching from life is that the imperfections are what make the work so authentic and lively.  Throw out silly notions of perfect proportions and uber-realistic perspective.  Try simply to capture the essence of what you are witnessing. 
These sketches of everyday objects around the studio fill me with a joy you cannot imagine.  I took a leap and instead of falling, I flew!  It is an exhilarating experience!  I put something in front of me, sketch lightly with pencil, ink with a Micron and then paint.  Easy-peasy!

If you are interested in giving this a try, I highly recommend the following books:

How to make a Journal of Your Life by Daniel Price

Artist's Journal Workshop: Creating Your Life in Words and Pictures by Cathy Johnson

One Drawing a Day by Veronica Lawlor

An illustrated Life by Danny Gregory

The Creative License also by Danny Gregory

and finally, The Art of Urban Sketching by Gabriel Campanario 

Happy sketching!


Kate Robertson said…
Oh your pages are lovely. I recently started a sketchbook using ink. I haven't added watercolor yet but you are inspiring me to do so.
I'm trying to force myself to sketch everyday. I just finished a series of classes in life drawing and I know the only way to draw better is to draw often. I have trouble seeing single objects, I need to work on that because I love what you've done with the things you use everyday.
laurie said…
I love the idea of this and am anxious to check out the resources you mentioned in this post. thanks for sharing this journal with us and all the encouragement you have offered.
Monique said…
What a great idea, to just sketch something every day. It looks like so much fun.
Cate Rose said…
Can't imagine why YOU would be intimidated -- you draw far better than most!
Rian said…
Just found your blog via another's. Your watercolor journal is something I think is fabulous and I have tried on numerous occasions to start one also. Years ago I started a watercolor recipe book for my daughter... but never finished it. I may begin again thanks to your inspiration.
Mary W said…
Just came from Julie's blog. LOVE your journal idea and the clean way you layout your page. Simply and beautifully so that I could do this without a LOT of work gluing borders, doodling, etc. There is a place for that and it is fun but your book is very exciting to look at also. Thanks for sharing.
Eden said…
You are really good at these watercolor sketches of Art supplies!! I haven't tried that yet...don't know why, I'm always fascinated when I see this type of work. Very fun!! And I know it's not that easy :D