Recharge Your Sketching Habit

diane dobson barton sketching drawing

diane dobson barton sketching drawing


Why Sketchbooks?

Last month I did “30 Heads In 30 Days”. It was a challenge I set up for myself to help develop good habits and get my creative juices flowing. Well, since then, I have been rather lax in my sketchbook, and I have been thinking.

Remember The Thrill?

Remember when you were a kid, and nothing was better than a big ol’ box of new crayons, and a stack of paper? You could do anything with those two supplies. Any. Thing. You. Wanted. Well, you’re never too old to get that thrill still.

If you need a more practical reason for giving your sketching habit a reboot, it can be a positive thing to do for your skills as an artist AND as a human being. We all know drawing itself is a skill that intermingles with all visual art forms. Improving drawing skills impacts all the others, whether it be painting, sculpting, printmaking, or whatever visual art you practice.

A regular habit of drawing is not only a way to build your skills, but it can also be cathartic. Your next-door neighbor on your last nerve? Take it to your sketchbook; use it as a type of journaling. Your boss micro-managing you? Take it to the sketchbook.

Note: I use the term “sketchbook” loosely to mean any group of pages to collect your markings. There are as many ways to manage pages in one device, as there are people. But, that is for another blog post.

Immediate Benefits

Carving time out of your day gives your eyes a break from viewing a screen. It also forces you to look up and around you. Take time to pause, and ask what is out there? Or it can be purely introspective and a method to get out something tangible, that you can’t seem to express otherwise.

How To Approach It?

You can set up challenges for yourself starting small, “I will draw in my sketchbook for one hour every day for a week.” Or, go all in! “I will draw something in my sketchbook every day until I turn 60”.

If you’re not one for commitments, you could place a pad of paper next to the chair you watch Netflix, or whatever you do to chill. Then every time the urge hit to create, you had it there ready to go. You will still benefit from it, but perhaps not feel guilty for skipping it for several days.

Easy Tools

The tools that you use can be as complicated as you want to make them.

  • Reuse paper from junk mail
  • Buy a ream of copy paper the next time you’re out and about.
  • It’s back to school time, stock up on pencils, crayons, and pens in the fall, so you’re always prepared. Planning is all the rage right now. Who is to say you can’t get a pretty planner cover in the school supplies, and use it for your sketchbook instead?
  • Collect pens from free sources like your local bank. Now don’t be greedy and take them all. But that is why they have those cups of pens are available at commercial venues. They WANT you to use them. Of course, they want you to use them to remind you to use their service the next time you need them. But there is nothing wrong with also being creative in the process.
  • Use your home-printer mistakes to your advantage. Rather than shredding right away, consider using the back or part of a sheet for your creative endeavors.

diane dobson barton artist drawing sketch

Your Plan?

So let us know in the comments below how you incorporate drawing and sketching into your life. Do you doodle here and there nervously, go all out and have a regular habit? Or somewhere in between? Let us know below. Or share it with us on Facebook or Instagram.