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  • Writer's pictureCarmel Reid

Sketching, Sketching, Sketching ...

I start this post by admitting something I'm annoyed about myself with; my lack of sketching and drawing in the past. Sketching has always been something that I actively seemed to avoid, purely because I’d never think that my drawings looked ‘artsy’ enough or ‘good’. If it was a quick or timed sketch I’d always feel as if mine were not as good as others, they always seemed to come out as indistinguishable scribbles. And so, I thought to myself, what’s the point? Why should I concentrate on something that isn’t necessarily an artistic strength when I could be concentrating on the art I’m good at? This can simply be put down as a lack of confidence within myself as an artist. I think this is something that everyone feels at some point and it is so hard to overcome, especially when art is such a passion and way of life for most artistic people. My lack of confidence within my art work is certainly something that has held me back in the past. As art is such an integral part of my life I want to feel as if I’m good at my craft. This is perhaps the very reason why I worried (and still do) about my paintings. I shied away from sketching so I could concentrate on the very thing I wanted to be good at; painting.

However, you cannot paint a subject without first having a rough idea on how to draw it. Looking back, this seems a petty and immature reason for not doing something as important as sketching. The past couple of weeks have taught me a lot about the usefulness of sketching especially when painting something as changeable as nature. From just studying the trees first hand I noticed the amount of colour and different kinds of moss found within a tree trunk. I’ve studied the shapes of leaves, how the light catches them and the amount of shadows and different shades of green there are to be found within one patch of grass and flowers. Sketching the environment in which I am painting has helped me get to grasp with the variety of plants and tree life there are to be found, not only within the woodland, but also within my own garden. The more I am sketching and getting out into the environment, the easier I am finding it to sketch. Initially, I did not know where to begin (a blank sheet of paper or canvas is always a daunting prospect) but not I have the growing confidence to put pen, pencil, or whatever medium I have to hand on paper and just go for it! The main lesson I have learned from this week is that the more you practice, the better and more confident you will become.

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