Sketchbook challenge update

Earlier this year I began to challenge myself to draw more, make more time for my art and generally to feed my creative soul. This may well be somewhat indulgent but if you want to get better at something you have to practice! One of the things I have been doing to assist this challenge is following the blog called the Sketchbook Challenge 2012.

Each month a new theme is set and blogs are posted on a regular basis to prompt and inspire creative genius. I love having this assistance and I really love seeing the work of other artists.

This month the theme is Circles. How fabulous. A theme so open ended it appeals to those who love to draw from real life and yet also can inspire those of us who like to work in a more abstract manner. I fall into the latter category. I have had great fun collaging, doodling and painting circles.

I am really pleased with this sketchbook page. I played around with Sennelier metallic oil pastels, white paint pen, charcoal pencil, fine liner and collage. The best bit was being able to use some copies of other drawings I have done as the basis for the collage in this page. The trick was to use my understanding of the media to layer the page in the most successful way. There is no point trying to use a Pitt artist pen over an oil pastel – the pitt pen will stop working and really just make a bit of a mess of the oil pastel work.

The other great reason for working with such a theme in a sketchbook is to deepen an understanding of composition. Balancing large components with smaller ones to create a pleasing result. Making places of intricate detail that contrast places of simple shapes. Using colour in a way that balances the work and yet provides interest to the viewer. All these things assist the artist in producing a work that has rhythm and unity.

Who knows, perhaps there may be an artwork that comes of this serendipitous scribbling?

How would you use the theme of circles? What’s been going on in your sketchbook this week? I have set my students a sketchbook challenge this week. Cant wait to see what they’ve been doing. Will keep you posted! JP

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