sketching – it’s all about the practice

toni burt graphite hand drawn sketches of girls with ears and horns mystical fantasy practice sketches

There’s a sort of liberation and feeling of freedom when you sketch on little scraps of paper.  My scraps are squares of torn tracing paper.  It’s the smoothness, the lightness and the translucent quality that makes it feel kind of decadent, yet transitory all at once.

Because of the nature of the paper you can let yourself go and try new styles of drawing, doodling and scratching with the pencil, because you know you are not “wasting” good paper.  How funny is it that as artists we feel like the paper is so sacred and not to be wasted.  And I suppose it is in a way, it’s where we put down all our soulful whims, yearnings, and our mindless scribbles.

I find that I can really explore my creativity on those cheap little bits of paper, without any pressure.

I do little 2 minute sketches, as well as longer 10-15 minute drawings.  Often then I will scan them into my computer and print them out on “proper” good quality watercolour paper to play with and add colour, which is also a freeing experience, because you know you can always print another if you “muck it up”.

I highly recommend this practice if you are just starting out with drawing, or if you are stuck, or just not sure where you want to go with your art.

My latest set of about 30-40 sketches turned into a lovely set of portraits, I’ve added a few below, done in a loose sketchy style, with bold watercolours.

Try sketch practice yourself, and see how much you grow, and your skills develop from these “little quick sketches”.