GWA 30: On Keeping a Sketchbook

Gvaat’s sketchbook

I have been consistently drawing in the same sketchbook and almost all pages are full. Here are some lessons I learned from keeping a large format sketchbook that opens easily with saddle stitch binding. At times when I am very active with sketchbook drawing, sketchbook, and a pencil go with me everywhere. 

Finish what you started

  • A sketchbook has to be completed to the last page. If you are someone who starts a sketchbook and leaves it half-filled, and then moves on to something else, it is time to change that right now. Why? Being consistent in drawing in the same sketchbook until it is done, is a great mental lesson to just sticking with it. And sticking with it is what your mindset will need to really learn to draw well. Consistently going back and doing more, adding to your visual vocabulary, drawing through your mistakes and so on.

Get a sketchbook with larger pages

  • Try to get a sketchbook with larger pages. Why? When you draw something as a sketch on the page and it came out wrong, and the sketch is beyond saving, start drawing it again on the same page. Keep redrawing it until you get to a better place.

Fill it up with value for your future self

  • Most importantly: A sketchbook MUST become a resource for your creativity. Once you fill up a few pages – fill them up with value for the future self, so you can go back and reference the things that you need, those things that matter to you. It can be notes, or drawing the human figure, or thematic visual sketches for your next set of paintings. Whatever it is, it has to be of value to your art, so that you can go back and look it up – looking things up in a sketchbook is super easy, and super rewarding – there is something about pages being sequential in time and being able to flip through them really fast, that we lose when it comes to digital files.

See more of my sketchbook here:

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