Why is Keeping a Sketchpad Important?

Keeping a sketchpad is an important part of learning to draw and paint.  It is a place where you can sketch, develop ideas and collect inspiration.

Some beginners in art feel that artists go from observing to creating a final piece of work, just like that.   This is very rarely the case, artists use sketchpads for preliminary studies, rough notes, doodles, tonal scales, thumbnails and ideas.  I use my sketchpad as part scrapbook and I stick all sorts of inspirational images inside.  I also try out media in my sketchpad, for example layering paint, scratching into layered paint, painting onto new surfaces and anything else that I fancy trying.

Sketchpads can be taken out and about!

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Should I Buy ‘How to Draw and Paint’ books?

This is a good question, I must have read hundreds of art books and magazines over the years.  I particularly used to like the ‘how to’ type of books and there is most definitely some value in these types of books.

I would say the thing that I have found most useful however is looking at the work of other artists, going to galleries in particular.  I advise all my beginner learners to take an interest in art, go to a local gallery or if you can the national ones.  Ask yourself, how did the artist use colour? Is it a good composition?  what media did they use?  How did they use the brush to get those marks? You can learn a lot by looking and questioning.

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