Sketchbook August 2017 - Procrastinating on much-needed practise
Most plans are well-meaning, full of good intentions and made with excitement.
When those plans don't work out, it is time to reassess. Were they too ambitious? Were the conditions unhelpful and could something be done about them? Or is it your own fault?
Well, in the case of my sketchbook for the month of August ... it is totally my own fault.
The month started well, with a pretty cover page and everything. It was already three days late, and in hindsight that should have been a clue, but I've never been too good at seeing such things early.
Then the days started piling up, and my filled pages remained resolutely at basically the two cover pages. Clearly this wasn't working!
I finally decided to use my lunch break for sketching, and actually learned some things about female poses drawn without references ... mainly that they're hard to do. On top of that, lunch breaks are only half an hour long where I work, so I would not be filling many pages during that time. ('Not many' is better than 'none whatsoever' though, so I decided to take whatever I could get.)
I eventually got bored with the studies, but my idea level was zero. This is what low energy levels, no room for inspiration, and few hours spent with the materials will do to you. Thus I decided on a new thing to practise ... landcapes that express certain moods. It merely requires some Googling, Instagramming or Pinteresting, and this may serve to study painting landscapes as well as provide inspiration when flipping back through the sketchbook, so it's a win-win situation.
Clearly drawing things from your imagination is better, but when there's just a blank space, waiting for it to go away is not helping. Doing this, I was able to enjoy playing with colour again, and that alone was enough to get me thinking about other ideas.
And I learned a valuable lesson:
Sometimes ideas are hard to come by, and basic practice is the only thing you can manage. But keep pushing through it, and you will end up with new ideas, and maybe some new abilities as well.
Obviously August was not ... ideal in terms of quantity. But like I said, I will keep trying until I actually finish one of my sketchbooks a month. And September looks good - I will go on holiday for a week, and I have bought a sketchbook for that purpose. I hope I will be disciplined enough to keep it up!