So I have this thing about not wasting pages in my sketchbook. Actually one of the things that stopped me from sketching for ages was this twisted idea that an empty sketchbook is too beautiful to be ruined by crappy sketches. I figured that I needed to be capable of producing masterpieces before I could dare defile a sketchbook by actually trying to draw something in it. That theory doesn’t leave much room for practice though.
In the end I had to go out and buy a brand new cheap sketchbook and tell myself: “This is a $2 sketchbook. It is not special or important. This will not be my prize masterpiece sketchbook. This will just be a random book where I draw all the doodles that aren’t part of any specific learning exercise and aren’t good enough to go in a ‘proper’ sketchbook or on a canvas sheet. I have permission to draw absolutely terrible ugly drawings in this book. The only mandate for this book is to try to fill every page with drawings, quality does not matter.”
After that serious discussion with myself I was finally able to actually start drawing. Then this challenge of mine happened. One sketch every day for an entire year. That’s a grand total of 365 sketches. There aren’t enough pages left in my cheap sketchbook for all of those sketches (there weren’t even enough to begin with). So I bought a new sketchbook to continue sketching in after I fill up this one. Alright, problem solved, right? Well apparently my brain disagrees. Suddenly I’ve started thinking of the pages in the sketchbook as precious again. Space is at a premium. Crappy drawings may be allowed but I still have to make every page count or else I’ll run out.
That brings me to today. I really want to start doing some halfway decent sketches. I definitely still need lots of practice on various aspects of anatomy and I also want to practice other things like animals and human figures. Still, I think it would be good to do proper scenes once in a while. Scenes have multiple objects and backgrounds and things, not just one subject. Of course to get scenes right I need to figure out perspective rules and how to place objects in relation to each other and all sorts of other things that I’m not very good at because I was never really taught them and I haven’t had much practice trying it for myself.
All of this was going through my mind as I was waiting for my name to be called for an appointment with my sketchbook sitting in my lap. So I started to try to draw a room. Then I drew a bookshelf in the room and tried to get it into perspective with the room. I had an idea for a scene in my head but at this point the lines I’d drawn were still extremely faint and rough. Then I was called in and I put my sketchbook away and didn’t get back to it until late at night. At this point the sensible thing would have been to just do a simpler drawing rather than experimenting with something new when it was already getting late. Unfortunately, that faintly drawn crooked looking room was just sitting there taking up space in my sketchbook.
My options were:
- Ignore the rough sketch, flip to a new page and draw something simpler (and waste a page of my precious sketchbook? Unacceptable!)
- Erase the rough lines and draw a simpler picture on the same page (and give up on the vague idea of a room I’d started? No, I can’t do that…)
- Spend however long it takes to try to draw a room, basically from scratch since all of my crooked rough lines would need to be done anyway and forfeit getting a decent night’s sleep for the second night in a row while my body is still trying to fight off a virus that could pose a serious threat to my health if it gets out of control.
So of course I chose the third option. I still don’t have this perspective thing down, but at least I got some practice in. I’e now learned that I cannot draw a straight line to save my life. Most importantly of course, I didn’t waste that page in my sketchbook. Now I really need to get some sleep before I collapse and get sick again.