I’ve been having a lot of fun going through all my 2022 sketchbooks (see my last article for a photo of the pile). Looking at every image and reading all my notes is a good way to get a clear picture of how well I accomplished my 2022 goals and to decide on what I want to work on next year.
So how did I go in this year?
My 3 overall sketching goals for 2022 were:
- telling better stories of my day
- sketching on location as much as possible
- finding new ways of sketching the same objects and scenes.
And to achieve those goals I wanted to build these habits:
- Sketching in the morning when I go out for my takeaway coffee
- Keeping my sketchbook open on my desk during the day
- Working out some options for a short nightly sketching session
- Do a quick sketch whenever I go out for an appointment or a social gathering… even if it’s just a simple continuous line drawing.
- Slow down and get into a good position so that my handwriting is always as neat as I can make it.
- While I can always improve on the story-telling aspect of my work (both images and words), I’m happy with the progress I made in 2022. I’m pleased with how much more descriptive my notes are than what I used to write a few years ago. The more trivial the detail the more interesting it is to re-read!
- I’ve been more conscious of slowing down when I write but I can still improve on this (Note: I set myself a high standard for my handwriting!)
- My morning routine has become second nature to me and I generally keep my sketchbook open on my desk during the day. But I still struggle to have the energy to sketch at night so I often find myself finishing sketchbook pages in the morning of the next day.
- I’ve definitely sketched on location a lot this year and tried to sketch most of the time when I go out.
- It’s interesting that in January last year I didn’t mention my desire to go out on more regular dedicated sketching outings. I did make a more concerted effort to do that in 2022 and was more successful than I’ve ever been – but it’s still an area that I want to work on.
- And finally, I well and truly found new ways of sketching the same objects and scenes this year! 🙂 2022 was definitely the year of unexpected explorations of new materials.
If you want to read more about my 2022 goals please check out this article.
Without any further ado… they are:
- Continue experimenting
- Make time for more dedicated sketching sessions at home and on outings
- Continue to focus on telling better stories – of my day and the places I visit
And a few additional comments on each:
- At heart, I’m a watercolour artist but I want to find ways to do work with lots of interesting textures. So this year I’ve gone on a huge tangent adding pencils and markers into the mix. I’m not sure how permanent these additional media will become but right now it feels SOOOO good to be playing and taking risks.
- I aim to keep experimenting not just with mixing different media, but also with different mark-making tools
- And I plan to continue to develop the design of my sketchbook pages (hmm, it would be nice to include more collage). So of course hosting a Live Version of Sketchbook Design will be a perfect way to start the year strong in this regard!
Dedicated sketching sessions
- My initial goal is for two nightly sketching sessions each week. I intend to write a list of prompts or projects to work on so that these actually happen!
- This year I started doing Friday outings but I often feel as if I can’t go out because I have too much work to go out. Therefore recently I experimented with Monday or Tuesday outings. I want to continue scheduling a weekly sketching outing to some part of Sydney outside my local area (and remind myself that it only needs to be a few hours – not a whole day!)
- I plan to draw more everyday objects as it would be fun to have a more visual record of my day-to-day life (rather than just notes). I love combining object sketches with urban scenes on a page and some still-life projects might be a good option for my nightly session.
- Focusing on different options the written component of my sketchbook pages would be fun. I want to continue to add more detailed notes of the trivia moments from my day and/or explore more experimental approaches to writing.
- Watercolour On Location was a great prompt this year to sketch more complex urban scenes and tell better stories of place. I plan to do more of that!
- Part of the success during my recent Port Macquarie trip was getting out my sketchbook every time I sat down. So reviving this old habit of mine will be a good way to remind myself that it only takes a few seconds to record a simple story of the place/event.
You might be thinking that none of these items relate to specific subject matter or concepts to develop in my art. I do intend to write a personal list of these and use it as a prompt during the year. But at this point, I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to work on certain aspects of my work.
The most important thing is to have a good sketching practice and simply do the work. I think that a lot of my experimentation this year has been the result of my morning sketching session and as I mentioned in Wednesday’s article the repetitiveness leads to exploration and my creative juices start flowing!
I hope that you’ve enjoyed hearing about my goals for next year. Are you setting yourself any?
My hope is that by sharing my own assessments it will help you to look at your own work and celebrate your achievements in 2022 – whatever they were!
As this is the last article for 2022 I just want to say thank you for being a part of my journey this year. Your views and continued support mean so much to me! I continue to blog so much as I believe it’s super important to document my work – not only simply to post images but to write my thoughts as it helps in my own development as an artist
And finally, special thanks to you if you have left comment/s – I appreciate every single one and you truly encourage and inspire me to keep creating!
See you in 2023!