This is Part 2 in a series on sketchbooks, which will continue every now and then. Read Part 1 here.
Sketchbooks can be used for many types of arts. I’ve had books purely for calligraphy and other books to storyboard longer stories. I typically do my final illustrations in sketchbooks, as I prefer the portability and paper stock to fancier materials. My last book, Devotion, was done entirely in one sketchbook.
Probably the most common use for a sketchbook is to sketch. Ironically, this is probably what I do least in them. So when I got three sketchbooks for my birthday in December, I took that as an opportunity to get loose. My main problem as an illustrator is a tightness. I have a tendency to draw too tightly and exacting and I miss out on a lot of the magic that happens with looser strokes and more spontaneous work.
To that end, I decided the first book I’d get through would be dedicated entirely to drawing quickly from life. This change of pace has been a revelation for me. Not only do I get to play with new techniques and ink, I have almost no attachment to the work. Working on sketches as opposed to finishes is incredibly liberating. Although the work produced is nothing I’d show outside of here, I am having a good time and learning quickly. I should be finishing up in a couple days. Here is some of the work so far: