I don't SKETCH from life as regularly as I used to and that was bothering me because I believe regular sketching is as important as practicing scales on the piano. It HONES your skills tremendously. Sometime ago another artist Rick Beerhorst, who makes very beautiful work, spoke about how he planned to do 5 drawings every single day. This is easier said than done. There is always something SEEMINGLY MORE IMPORTANT that beckons, especially when running a house (I have to buy eggs!) and there is the eternal lure of the internet. Nobody understands the tremendous amount of SELF DISCIPLINE it takes to be self-employed. But once you start drawing, simply drawing, everything else falls away. Even deadlines can wait. Drawing is a form of meditation.
I am using ordinary sketchbooks here and drawing with the local Sudha brand of charcoal. It makes me less self-conscious about the drawing so I have more fun. If I use my special Canson sketchbook or more special Moleskine sketchbook, I still have fun because the paper is so wonderful to work on, but there is the grim determination at the back of my mind that every single drawing should be a frikking masterpiece. That can sometimes become a problem when you want to try and push your drawing skills further, so for my
5 3 drawings a day exercise it is these Chinese sketchbooks that
I do them in. The paper is good enough and the books look nice. If I manage to keep at my daily drawing, I will have done some 90 drawings by
the end of this month, maybe more, and hopefully one day I can just whip out human
figures with far more ease than I can now.