Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A sketch a day keeps boredom away

  Retired ? Looking for something to do which doesn't require too much physical activity or loads of equipment, can be done inside or out, on one's own or with others ? I truly believe there are great advantages to be had in taking up the noble practise of sketching.

Equipment is minimal. A piece of paper and a pencil is all you need to get started. You may want to upgrade to a notebook and a biro, and one day, who knows - a fibre-tip pen !

You can begin making marks sitting in the comfort of a chair or even lying in bed, so not a lot of effort is required in getting started, and it needn't take up a lot of time at first.

How to get started ? Easy, sketch whatever you see. It may be something as simple as an apple, or a jar of marmalade on the kitchen table, a cup of coffee by your side. How about your library book or the television clicker ? Keep it simple at first, don't be too ambitious. Go at your own pace and slowly increase the number of objects in your sketch. Be inquisitive and a whole new world will open up for you.

Whatever you decide to sketch, do it for yourself. Sketch whatever interests you whether it is flowers in a vase, flowers in your garden, a plate of cakes or a dish of fruit. Your first attempts are bound to be a bit wobbly, but then nobody played a violin concerto straight off or scored a hole in one the first time they picked up a golf club.

You will soon find that it becomes addictive and you will want to keep your sketches together, so it makes sense to keep a notebook. If you are only using dry media, that is a pencil or pen, then you won't need to worry about the thickness or the absorbency of the paper. Later you may wish to go ahead and purchase an Artist's sketchbook. These are many and varied and come in sizes from about 3 x 5 inches upwards. We all have our natural drawing size in the same way we each have a natural size of handwriting so choose a sketchbook which feels comfortable to you.
As you become more proficient, so you will lose your inhibitions and maybe feel confident in taking your sketchbook for a walk, the way some people take dogs. Find a secluded spot and start scratching. No one need know. A sketchbook and pencil can easily be concealed in a pocket. 
Once you have conquered that, there will be no stopping you. Anything and everything will become fair game to your pencil ! Though please be aware that in public places some people do not enjoy being stared at, so do respect their privacy !
If you are sociable, persuade a friend to take up sketching too. You can arrange to meet every so often (perhaps over tea and cakes ?) and compare your progress, or you may decide to sketch together.
Make sketching a habit - it is not life threatening.
It keeps the brain active (sketching is all about observation).
Above all it is FUN.

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