Be Seated

Just Sketching…..



Artist’s Block? – sketchbook to the rescue

An Illustration for the topic: “Remedy”






To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy” ~ Hippocrates.

Well, it is, and it isn’t. The case can be made for doing something, anything, on the chance that you might stumble upon the remedy.

Healing is not only a matter of time, but also opportunity. Take the case of Artist’s block. Getting out the sketchbook, picking up a pencil, and loosely experimenting with random thoughts, opens up a realm of possibilities. Blank pages, ready for the artist to free-associate, and connect with the pure pleasure of drawing! This raw expression can lead to unexpected tangents and accidental ideas.

Our neighbours’ creative remedy for this season’s abundant choko crop, a richly flavoured, spicy choko chutney, has made it into the sketchbook. A stand-out visually, it deserved a simple label to set off the deep orange colouring, and a sprouted choko which hadn’t made it into the pot, as a sidekick.

After quickly composing the label, I played with pen, pencil, and acrylic paint, watercolour style. I took the outlines into the computer and used Adobe Illustrator to create areas of flat, coloured shape. There may be nowhere to take the idea from here, but the directness and immediacy of this type of unfiltered rough is enough in itself.

Melissa Mackie’s delicate watercolour was my initial inspiration to make this unusual vegetable a sketch-worthy subject.

A note about sketchbooks: For those of us constantly making images, it’s inspirational to be given the opportunity of viewing the visual thinking revealed in the journals of other artists. Sketchbooks may contain the first thoughts of a project as the mind wanders randomly around the outskirts of an idea. Scribbles, experimental chaos, clippings, notations, significant thoughts, structured diagrams….reveal ambitious plans for a concept. Some artists use the blank pages for loosening up before settling down to a more disciplined approach to a more formal project.

I recently came across this impressive website, Book by its Cover, which has a notable sketchbook section. There are many links to travel through in this site, so much to explore in the world of books. To make revisiting this site easy, the link appears on my Blogroll.

Studies of The Wooden Chair

Inspired by Melissa Mackie’s computer chair composition: I’ve made my own wooden computer chair the subject of a sketching session. Maybe we have the same idea – my chair has aesthetic qualities, but is not designed for long sessions in front of the screen. That’s the point. I’m reminded to take regular eyesight breaks.

Lately I’ve been using a soluble marker pen to quickly draw in the basic lines, then applying a wet brush to give a loose, rough look.