Happy New Year! I hope that 2024 will be a good year for you and your family.
- 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 overall I’m happy with the progress I’ve made with these. As mentioned in my 2023 Sketching Review article I certainly had a year of experimentation – using pencils, markers, and neocolors along with my watercolour. I also experimented with sketchbook sizes!
I didn’t manage to do consistent sketching sessions at home but I now have a built-in routine for sketching outings on Wednesdays. I see this as a huge achievement as I’ve been trying to go on regular sketching outings for years!
The last goal seems to carry over from year to year as it’s something that can’t be definitively completed. It’s more about ongoing progress but I’m happy with my improvements in this regard during 2023. I’m particularly interested in using my sketchbook to create a narrative of my life, so the idea of story-telling involves both images and text. I certainly made an effort in 2023 to make my notes more descriptive of each day and it was very satisfying to re-read them as I flipped through my 2023 sketchbooks.
MY 2024 SKETCHING GOALS
This year’s goals are basically a refinement of these three aspects of my work. So without any further ado, they are:
- Draw more objects at home
- Create a program for night-time research and development sessions
- Develop techniques for quick experimental line and shape sketches
1. Draw more objects at home
As the main reason why I sketch is to capture moments from my day and create a narrative of my life, sketching small everyday objects often brings back lots of fun memories down the track. I seem to easily remember the incidents related to the exciting and successful urban sketches that I do (particularly when I’m travelling) but the small moments in everyday life are often forgotten.
When I look back through old sketchbooks I’m usually most interested in my sketches of everyday objects especially when they are related to something that happened that day. For example, this page records the day I cleaned a lot of fountain pens and the fact that a lot of the local eucalyptus trees were in flower this year (this doesn’t happen every year).
By making more of an effort to draw objects I’m providing myself with the opportunity to experiment, to tell a story about my day, and do a quick sketch at night. So yes, this first goal for 2024 covers all three from last year.
2. Create a program for night-time research and development sessions
As mentioned above I was very successful with sketch outings but not so much with sessions at home. I often think to myself ‘What can I sketch tonight?’ and because nothing immediately comes to mind, I go and do something else. Can you relate to this?
So in the coming year, I’m planning to create a program so that I spend time on my own research and development. This will involve working through some of the books from my library – doing exercises, and creating my own versions of other artists’ work, etc.
For those who are interested here are two books that I constantly look at – and so I’m going to begin 2024 with doing some exercises inspired by them.
3. Develop techniques for quick experimental line and shape sketches
In 2023 I did several fun experimental sketches combining line and shape in new ways using mixed media.
Here are a few examples.
Doing these sketches created an extremely enjoyable creative state and so I want to develop techniques for doing these more often – particularly on occasions when I don’t have a lot of time to sketch. At the moment my typical go-to quick sketches are continuous line drawings. Whilst I enjoy doing this type of drawing, I want to add colour to them.
These are not replacements for more serious watercolour urban sketches but by developing techniques for these types of quick sketches I hope to be able to sneak more sketching into my everyday life.
So there you have it – three goals for 2024.
I’m looking forward to seeing how these three goals play out in the coming 12 months.