Why keep a sketchbook? Save your drawings for inspiration

figure drawings from the sketchbook for various project ideas, KGT

I’m a believer in why artists of any medium or craft should keep a sketchbook. These first sketches were drawn from life. The last two below are venturing into the imaginary world.

Lately I’m wanting to get some figures into my paintings. So I am going back and studying the figure again, contemplating how people may or may not need to be in a cityscape or landscape painting.

Photographer capturing the scene at Chatauqua, Boulder, CO, and me capturing him in my sketchbook

This composition is really about the photographer shooting the scene, but the central tree does call for attention.

My daughters sketched in imaginary period costumes, just for fun.

When my daughters were young, we made Halloween and school costumes, so it was natural for me to picture them in my mind as girls from another era in history. This sketch was from imagination.

drawing from a photo, interesting architecture of Europe: ideas

Although this drawing may look whimsical, it was made from a real photo of an ironwork structure topping a building. I love to paint imaginary cityscapes, and you can see how this one captured me. One can see that the lines between drawing from imagination versus real life can be very blurred. I like to embrace both when it comes to drawing. Drawing is sometimes about practice and more practice in the early days, but the main benefit for me is always about the wonderful ideas that can unfold on the page. I love to draw, it’s always a surprise to see what comes out on the page.



3 Responses to “Why keep a sketchbook? Save your drawings for inspiration”

  1. Leslie Ann Clark Says:

    I love sketchbooks!


  2. barbara Says:

    Karen – I love the whimsy of your Euro buildings sketch. Would love to see what you would do with color added.


    • karen Says:

      I’d love to explore this one! I’ve always been attracted to wrought iron designs, on any scale. We saw a lot of it in Spain, and the balconies of Paris are wonderful!


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