Why Blogging is an important part of my creative journey

May 17, 2013 | Leave your thoughts

There is a lot I could write on this subject… but this week I was reminded of this fact during my preparation for my sketching class – we were looking at lines and the interface between colour and line (ha! I can’t just look at line without thinking about colour can I???). In going through my work I came across a series of sketches I did as part of a great online course with Cathy Johnson on watercolour pencils. I will copy the original images and text below and also include the links to the original flickr posts as the comments are interesting as well.

Three things about the content of these posts: (continue reading below to read the original posts)
– amazing to see that back in 2009 I was already experimenting with mixing watercolour and watercolour pencil
– taking away my inklines was not something that can happen immediately – I was pushing and trying it for a few years before they disappeared. I think part of this has to do with the confidence in colour
–  the impact that the line had on my colour is fascinating!

Three things about blogging and your creative journey:

– Firstly I must say that keeping a journal of my life has been an enormous help to the development of my art. The desire to record my life gives me a reason and incentive for sketching and also has an inherent narrative nature which helps in the mind set of ‘process rather than product’. Each single sketch is part of a story and is therefore valuable whatever the ‘success’ of the work is at the time. AND I see blogging as an extension of it. An opportunity for me to record just a little bit more of that journey (ok- some days I write a little bit more than a little bit!) I see the whole online posting process as the final part of my work of art, not as something extra that I have to find time for. I think my background as an architect and the daily discipline of finishing a drawing, scanning or pdfing it and then emailing to the client with description/questions explains a lot of my efficiencies in blogging. It is a discipline that is ingrained in me.

– Blogging about the process of the sketch is incredibly useful – once again it helps to reinforce the creative journey aspect of the work – it also helps with the learning side and discipline of self critique. Not stressing about ‘success or failure’ (how do you know at the time which is which???) but trying to take away something from the experience for next time. Coming back on these posts is then a really rewarding experience.

– I primarily blog for myself- in the sense that I am recording my thoughts experiences of that moment…just like a diary. In one sense I don’t care if no one sees it or comments because it is there for me to re-visit and it is part of my process (are you sick of me mentioning this?) BUT of course the fact that I am sharing this with others, that so many of you comment and follow and are return ‘hits’ has been an incredible motivation for me and encouragement.

SO here is another opportunity to say THANKS for coming along and sharing my journey with me.

And here are the original posts from 2009


Ok – these are just really quick sketches which I didn’t focus on greatly(I am exhausted tonight!)… to get the feel for sketching in pencil  – something I never do unless I am using my chunky architect 5.6mm lead clutch pencil(which I used to use quite a bit…mmm need to try it again)

I found the pencil(HB) a bit fuzzy to use but much preferred the sketch before I added the WC pencil. I think I need to go back for a bit more definition and that I should have used a softer pencil! Ha! using something different is so much fun?!

The ink version I did in a very lazy mood (made a mess of the colonnade…as I said …lazy!) but without realising  it, I  was bolder with the colour for the first stroke – the crispness and strong ink lines frees my use of colour- no doubt about it.

Now I want to try a thick pencil one and a watercolour version with some WC for texture – but maybe tomorrow night (I have had it tonight – as you can tell from my rambling notes!)

Ah! SO NICE to get my chunky pencil out again! I have had this pencil since my 3rd year architectural students when it was the absolutely coolest instrument to do preliminary design sketches with. (not that I was the coolest student but I had the pencil that only a few elite had!)

I have been telling myself for the past year or so that I am a real ink person and don’t like pencil … But a review of my travel sketches from 2007 (see links below) has reminded me that I have used this thick pencil for real quick sketches for many years – some of my favourite sketches in past years have been quick ones done with this pencil. When travelling in 2007 I used it when I only had under 5 minutes to sketch (because at the time I didn’t have the confidence to do ink sketches without pencil setups)

So really enjoyed this one – though I simplified the portico and missed two columns as there was no way that I would be able to fit them in.(shameful!?) Also, I really felt like splashing paint on this and not using WC pencil… So I suppose I have another version to do tomorrow night!

I thought I might get sick of sketching the same scene four times but I didn’t one bit! Maybe because it was a fairly easy form but probably because I left the one I expected to enjoy the most to last!!!

My previous use of WC pencils used to be to hide a bad watercolour job… So this is one of the first times I have used it with purpose. I can see that the pencils could be extremely useful to create texture that I don’t want to do in ink. Also they are great for adding life into shadows!

A few quotes on the side for those that are interested…. Last time I went to Venice I spent three months researched and created my own architectural guide by supplementing a very basic architectural guide I bought with a whole lots of extra notes I collected during my research – so it was a real treat for me tonight to pick this one book up and read three different opinions of this building.

Another aside – I like listening to music related to the place I am visiting, reading about, sketching so I have been listening to Vivaldi tonight at the same time and just realised that the piccolo concerto is on at the moment.

Also I made a typo in that quote – it should read”I have seen churches without domes before, but I’ve never, until now, seen a dome without a church.”

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