Showing all my old sketches

Well, this might be a bit crazy, but I was going through 5 sketchbooks I've filled up over the past several years, and just decided to go ahead and photograph them and post them all to my website.  The reason I say that's a bit nuts is just because I hadn't really intended for my sketchbook drawings to actually ever see the light of day.  I have basically one rule for my sketchbook...  that is this:  pretty much anything goes.  This is my place to let loose - and just draw carefree.  I'm not talking about doing anything obscene, my work is pretty tame really -- but I also don't allow myself to worry about what people will think. 

View my sketches here.

I've found that if I worry too much about what others are going to think of my work (especially my sketchbook), then it get's a little sterile.  For sketchbook work, I don't care if people might think a drawing is weird, strange, childish, or even stupid.  If it interests me, I want to draw it.  It's a place to experiment, to explore ideas, and to... play.  You'll probably notice I make up a lot of heads and characters.  I've been playing a lot with ideas like "What happens if I stretch the space between the mouth and the nose?" or "pull the chin way down".. that sort of thing.  It's fun - and I think I've found some interesting characters along the way.


One of the things that also really helped me along the way was when Richard Hull, a teacher I had at BYU challenged me for an entire semester to sketch only in pen.  At first this challenge was incredibly intimidating..  I thought, "In pen? that's so.. permanent! How does one erase anything?"  - the answer is, you don't.  That is kind of the point.  It makes you commit and you learn to be confident in your choices.  Make the decision of where that line will be, and put it down!  So you gain a lot of confidence in your choices - to trust your instincts.   Great illustrators of the past had to learn to work very quickly, drawing fast to capture a fleeting scene, in the days before cameras.  It's a skill that can be learned. 

In time I came to really prefer drawing with pen.  It creates very strong lines in the drawing, where pencil or charcoal can tend to get soft.  Softer media allows for subtle and sensitive shading and blending -- which can of course be wonderful too -- but drawing with pen will force the drawing to be very linear, and that has it's own appeal.  I love lines that are bold and confident (and you can probably tell I didn't always achieve that).  In the same way, I love brush strokes in paintings that are bold and confident.  Learning to draw this way carries right over into painting.

So here it is, my visual brain.. out there for everyone to peruse.  It's been fun to draw these things, and I hope you have fun going through them.  More is coming soon! 

View my sketches here.