Thursday, March 19, 2009

A New Sketchbook - A New Beginning!

I love starting a new sketchbook (or a painting, for that matter), but sometimes it can be intimidating. I don't want to mess up the first page in my new sketchbook and be sorry forever...so it's easy to procrastinate...and keep looking at that new sketchbook. What the heck...open the book, write your name, address, and all that good info on the first page...or put it on the inside back cover...but get that info in there. That way, the chances are greater in case you lose your book or leave it laying somewhere...that you'll get it back.

When you are hesitant to start working in a new sketchbook, turn to the first page and make a mark...whatever...but make a mark. Draw something that you're familiar with or is easy for you to draw. Doodle drawings are non threatening and fun. You can do these without even thinking about them.

I taught middle school and high school art. The first thing I would have them do in their sketchbooks was to do a creative name design. They'd write their name in large decorative letters to fill the page...then fill the letters and page with patterns, designs, and colors. They loved it. I did, too. I wish I had an example of one of these designs.



This "inside right cover" image was difficult to scan so it looks right...but this is something else I've done and had my students do. I glue a sheet of black paper to the page on the right side...but only apply the glue close to the binding...like I was adding in another page. I either tear out a hole or cut a flap that can be opened to a drawing underneath. This drawing can be something small and easy for you to draw. I then went back and used gold pens and gold spay paint to decorate the black. This sure makes a "grand entrance" to a new sketchbook...and then you're excited to keep "filling your book".

Something else I like to do to my sketchbooks is to paint the covers with abstract designs using brightly colored acrylic paints...so much fun...and what a beautiful book it makes.

I used to feel the same way about starting a painting on a canvas. I'd set it up, then look at it "forever"...afraid I'd mess it up. I'd want to paint...but just couldn't get started...so I'd keep looking at that blank canvas. I began to realize that once I got started...I got so involved I couldn't quit...or didn't want to. So...as I walked by that canvas...I'd grab a brush, pick up some paint or some medium...and smear it on randomly. Then, it was easy to keep painting.

Once you've started your sketches and drawings...if you "feel" like you've messed it up...put it aside for a few days...then look at it again. Things always look better the next day or a few days later. But...if you're absolutely SURE you've messed it up and you feel like it's going to inhibit you from doing future drawings...then collage something over it. Your art is supposed to be fun, enjoyable, and satisfy that "creative urge" inside you.

6 comments:

fishy_outawater said...

Wow! You guys are amazing. Thanks so much for posting this. It means a lot to me. And you are right. I started a drawing today and I am already addicted. I love all of your ideas and am going to bookmark this page so I can always come back when I feel so intimidated!
Thanks!
Alicia

anniehartigan said...

Carolyn, You left a comment for me so I found your Blog and I am enchanted. Your work is lovely and spirited...and so helpful and informative . I plan to post a link to your site on my page so that I and others will find these pages again

Florence's Art said...

I keep starting journals 2 or 3 pages into the journal. I think of all my journals only one has something on the first page.
Thanks for these ideas. I'm going to work on these tonight.
Florence

seesue said...

Spring green leaves for a fresh spring start. Your ideas are lovely.

PAK ART said...

What a brilliant idea. I understand exactly - I just started sketching and it took me about three days to finally draw something and then I did what was easy for me, two sketches of my dog. Then I personalized the front cover with shiny markers. I just had to make it mine. Now I know from a teacher that I started out right! Thanks.

Margaret Ann said...

Wonderful examples... Love these "new start" pages! :)

I taught middle school too... and had my and did the same sort of thing to break in the new book and erase that element of "fear" It really does work and the books looked fantastic!