As promised, I'm starting off my Daily Week-long Challenge of the Month (#DWCM14) this week, from 20th to 26th January.
It took me a while to commit to this month's topic for the challenge, as I tend to be a bit commitment-phobic with these daily challenges. A few failed attempts at daily challenges can do that to one's psyche, I suppose. 😉
But, yes, I've done it. I've committed to a week-long daily challenge of Life Sketching.
This is one of those daily habits that I wish I can develop in the long-term: sketching from life on a regular basis.
However, much as I enjoy doing it, and I know it doesn't need to take long to do, I still don't sketch from life often enough. Yes, even if I know it benefits me in more ways than one. Silly, huh?
That's why I thought I'd start off this project with this topic.
Some of you might ask.
Well, basically, it's just sketching a subject matter (a person, a scene, an item, a creature, etc) from real life. As in, not from a photo/video or from imagination.
Sketching is also meant to be just a study of that subject matter. So, it doesn't have to be anything too realistic or elaborate. It's meant to be completed in just a few minutes. Sometimes, even just a few seconds (if you have a quick moving subject).
Sketches, of course, can later be used as a reference to become drawings or paintings.
Sketching can be done anywhere - from your desk, around your house, during a walk, whilst sitting in a cafe or library, at the airport, in the train, etc. And yes, I've done sketches from all of those places (and more).
I often read that sketching is meant to be more powerful than a photograph. We remember that scene, that moment... more. Because we took the time to see, observe, and commit to paper. When I look at some of my old sketches, I must admit that I often experience a stronger sense of memory than when I look at some photos and videos that I took. Sometimes, I even remember the smells, sounds, and emotions I've felt.
That's why I know that I often wish I can sketch more. Even if they seem so imperfect and hurried.
It's still all good.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to tools to use for sketching. I've used different things - pens, pencils, markers, inks, paints... I've even done the typical ballpoint pen on napkin sketches.
So, yeah, pretty much, the basic rule is: Use whatever's on hand!
Sometimes, though, it's best to limit our tools so that we don't get overwhelmed with choices. That's why right now, my favourite sketching tools are:
For the most part, that's all we'd ever need for sketching. But, there are days when I feel the need to do something else. During those days, I might end up using:
Other tools: erasers (I try not to use these when I'm sketching but occasionally do), pastels, and coloured pencils.
I've also done sketching using digital tools (laptop or tablet).
I gather inspiration from everywhere - from the day-to-day stuff and travels to looking at other people's work and seeing/reading books. Blogs, websites, and social networks are great for inspiration too.
Some sketchers I discovered recently:
If you are, please share links to your pics. And, if you're on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc, would love it if you add the #DWCM14 hashtag on your posts. I'd love to see them!
*Note: Affiliate Links
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.