Some of my most formative years drawing were in school, where it felt like every week we were sketching (yet another) still life. I spent so much of my time studying the things around me to become a better artist. The difference between good and great pieces comes down to the artist’s own choice in where to exaggerate and where to transcribe.
This summer, I joined the Brooklyn Art Library‘s The Sketchbook Project. The Project aims to encourage “creative storytelling within a global community by keeping our physical library space free and open to the public”.
As a designer at BrandJuice today, 90% of my work is done on a computer screen; in programs that took years to learn, pouring out skills that took me years to cultivate. But before the project idea is even fully formed, I turn to my sketchbook. “Back to the basics” and to my origins of learning about art and sketching.
With this independent project, I felt it was time to immerse myself in learning the basics yet again. Perspective is everything. So I gave myself some rules to keep the study of perspective at the forefront:
Not only a limit on the medium, but a limitation on the colors used. The Molotow Markers I used are permanent, there’s no taking back what my study on shapes in front of me was. They went onto the paper exactly the way I saw them. That forced me out of my comfort zone since I can edit to no end in the Adobe Creative Suite programs.
The limitations on color were not as intentional, since I only own 7 different Molotow markers, but it was nonetheless impactful to my learning process.
As an art student, I learned so much in those hours of drawing still life. The familiarity was comforting, and most subjects were items found around my house. In that, it was like finding everything inspiring again. Shadows now had to be green since I don’t own a grey marker. Some tomatoes had to be gold, a dog had to be blue. It kept the process interesting, and myself engaged.
As a fellow Gen Z-er I would not have been able to get through 32 pages of studies if I did not give myself a time limitation. 1 page = 20 minutes… MAX. So if it was going to get done, it needed to be loose. My goal wasn’t to have the most beautiful piece ever, my goal was to study my craft.
Look out for the next post in this series where I talk about what I learned and the importance of being a student of the world!