Friday, March 29, 2013

This Week's Sketchbook Work

I was able to do a few sketches this week. It is always a challenge to carve out a few minutes during the rigors of the day to make a drawing, and many times the best opportunities are while waiting. In these cases: waiting to pick up my son, and waiting for my car to get washed (on two separate occasions). That's why I am rarely without my sketchbook. 

For my portable studio these days I am using a vintage Art Bin, a throwback to my days in art school. This one is perfect: it has ample room for brushes, paints, my Holbein folding metal palette, pans, pencils and everything else I need.


  1. Hi Joseph,
    I really enjoy your blog, its one of the few blogs to which I subscribe.
    Please, I gotta ask, it's been bugging me for some time.....why do you put grid lines on your sketches?
    Do you put them on the paper before starting? If you work from real life, can you 'see' better from the scene to your paper with them? Can you 'see' grid lines on the scene when you look up?
    I hope you understand what I'm asking, any explanation from you would be most helpful....
    Thanks so much,

  2. Hello Susie. That is a very good question. There are two answers: 1) I divide my paper into nine segments using two vertical and two horizontal lines that are slightly closer in the center than at the sides and top. They help me remember that something important should be happening where those lines intersect. If left to my own devices, I might put the important subject right in the center, which might throw off the composition and leave the sketch static and uninteresting. 2) Making some marks on the page first, lessens the intimidation of starting to draw on a pure white, untouched surface. It reminds me to stay loose and messy and to relax. It helps me to take chances and to not worry about the final result as it is only a piece of paper. I am flattered that you subscribe to my posts. It encourages me to keep at it. Good luck to you! Kind Regards, Joseph.

  3. Hello, Joseph,
    Thank you for your reply, it's really helpful. Especially about lessening the intimidation of the white paper. AND reminding yourself (myself now, too) not to put the important stuff smack-dab in the center...
    I printed it off to tuck in my copy of your book! I just got one for my mom, too, it's a gem.
    Thanks again,