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