Sketchbooks are an artists best friend, both nurturing and demanding. They document growth, struggles, experiments, ideas and inspirations. A sketchbook is a mirror, reflecting the courage (or lack of courage) to venture beyond the comfort zone, to dare to try something new or to refine a technique. If an artist can’t stretch her limits in a sketchbook, it is highly unlikely that she will reach her potential as an artist on canvas.
Exercise: Find an object that you either have a sentimental connection to or one that you find you are attracted to for one reason or another. Draw multiple views of this same object on the same page in your sketchbook. Use whatever media you wish; mix the media if you wish. Create a page that delights you. If you feel you need something more in one area, draw another view or partial view of your object. Create a nicely composed page as you draw, do not plan the entire page prior to drawing. You may have an idea in mind, but be flexible enough to change your plan as the page develops.
Have Fun! If you’re not having fun, try to figure out why and make a note of it. Try again. Be whimsical. Be tight. Be loose. Be yourself!
Link to a blog post that illustrates an ink drawing prior to adding color: Chapman Lake and Vintage Forks