Why do Artists use Sketchbooks?

All in a Row sketch by collage artist Megan Coyle

Sketchbooks are a great tool for artists to practice their craft. You can think of sketching as creating a rough draft of a work of art. Sketchbooks often hold a collection of sketches or ideas for new work.

Here are a few reasons why artists keep sketchbooks:

1. Practice

Sketchbooks can be used to master the art of drawing something specific, like the figure.

2. Exploring Ideas

Before committing an idea to canvas, or whatever the materials are that the artist is using, the idea can be explored with a series of sketches. That way the artist can determine beforehand what the piece might look so she or he won’t waste materials.

3. Troubleshooting Layout Issues

If the composition for a work in progress isn’t quite working out, sketching can help figure out possible solutions to the composition’s layout.

4. Journaling

They can be used like a visual journal where an artist can sketch out his or her thoughts on a daily basis (or however frequent is necessary).

5. Inspiration

Through the sheer force of practice, if an artist forces his or her self to frequently sketch or do different exercises in a sketchbook, even when feeling uninspired, it can help spark inspiration.

6. Works of Art

Other times it’s simply an easy way to store polished works of art.

 

If you’ve used a sketchbook for some other creative reason, feel free to share about it in the comments below.

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