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6 Reasons Artists Use Sketchbooks

6 Reasons Artists Use Sketchbooks

by GJ Gillespie, founder of Leda Art Supply

Have you ever picked up a sketchbook and felt inspired by its blank pages? It might seem intimidating to fill those pages with your thoughts, but starting a sketchbook can be an immensely rewarding experience. Not only do your creative ideas come to life on the paper in front of you, drawing also creates an opportunity for self-exploration.

For these reasons and more, many artists of all kinds use sketchbooks as part of their artistic practice. From urban sketchers creating dynamic street views to fashion designers crafting garments in miniature form – discover the top 6 reasons why artwork pros turn to the power of their sketchbooks.

Capture Inspiration Quickly - Sketchbooks allow artists to easily express their ideas in one place

Many famous artists from the past utilized sketchbooks to capture their creative inspirations. It was their secret place of personal thoughts, which often included details and observations not seen in the larger, polished pieces they are famous for. With a single sketchbook, any inspiring idea could be swiftly jotted down and reviewed at a later time - allowing the artist to stay inspired and motivated even when all the distractions of life get in the way.

Sketchbooking is also a great way to practice one's imagination; while copying famous paintings can teach budding artists critical techniques, sketching from your own imagination keeps things fresh and exciting. So whether you're an experienced professional or just starting out in art, pick up a sketchbook and log all those beautiful moments of inspiration.

Brainstorm Ideas - By sketching on the go, creative minds brainstorm new concepts for projects

Have you ever been stuck for ideas on a project? One of the best ways to increase creativity and make new discoveries is to get sketching. Doodling provides an opportunity for creative minds to brainstorm ideas, make lists of what interests them, observe techniques from artists they admire, and make quick thumbnail studies in order to develop fresh perspectives.

Best of all: it can be done while on the go. So grab your sketchbook, make some notations and allow your imagination to soar.

Develop Your Creative Process - Sketchbooks provide an environment for experimenting with different methods of drawing 

Utilizing sketchbooks is an invaluable tool to help unlock your creative process. Experimenting with a variety of mediums can open you up to new ideas, styles and creative ventures. To get started, use charcoal for bold statements and rich tones, as well as exploring different weights of graphite lead for variety. Ballpoint pens or markers lend themselves perfectly to drawing details in small scale and adding texture.

Committing time to explore the use of watercolor wash can help create endless opportunities and outcomes, expanding your artwork's potential even further. Exploring the use of this expansive pallette can spark creativity allowing you to discover the richness of brushwork painting when combined with dry media like pastels or colored pencils. Take advantage of this unique opportunity and develop your creative process; use sketchbooks to fill them overflowing with inspiration.

Develop Your Style - Artists use sketchbooks to practice techniques that build upon their own signature style

Developing your own signature style requires practice and experimentation. Sketchbooks are the perfect tool for honing these skills – humor, irony and even abstract renderings can find a place here so that you can explore different techniques and make mistakes without pressure.

It's also a good time to echo art history – mimic styles of artists you admire while also creating something authentic and original at the same time. Once you find something that works, it'll be easier to apply what you've learned in your sketchbook to your own next masterpieces.


Exercise Visual Thinking - Artists use sketchbooks for visualization

The creative exercise of visual thinking can strengthen an artist's innovative ideas and refine your imagination. Make your sketchbook into a platform to galvanize concepts -- from idea inception, to refining details, to finalizing it in one place.

The first step is to transform ideas and feelings into images on the page. Go beyond the conscious mind to draw intuitively with the heart. Don’t try too hard imagining exactly how something should look; set your analytical mind aside and let your hand move as if in a dream. Then try to capture these surrealistic visions in your art journal. With practice, this inspiring approach will energize your creative process like never before.

Refine Your Work - Sketchbooks are perfect places to hone existing work

Using sketchbooks to refine existing work is a crucial and underrated part of the creative process. If you already have a composition in mind, but need help perfecting it, dive into your sketchbook. It's a great place to look at different parts of the composition and figure out what interests you the most – whether it's to add or remove elements from your artwork.

You'll easily be able to review all the components together and make sure everything is just right before actually putting your creation onto paper or canvas. Refining existing work in this way can take time, but the effort put into making something truly special will be worth it.

All in all, sketchbooks have many benefits to offer artists of all kinds. From easily capturing new ideas to giving creative minds a place to brainstorm, sketchbooks are key tools for building and developing a unique style. After reading about the advantages that come with having a sketchbook, there is no better time than now to grab your own and get started on your journey.

Pick up your favorite sketchbook and tools and let creativity go wild – explore unique concepts and make messes with different notions, be playful, take risks, get inspired by the things around you – don’t hold back! And remember: once you capture ideas quickly and produce work consistently over time – big achievements can happen!

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