Taking up sketching again in an easy way after a covid gap.

An Old Side Project

I've never been one much for drawing or sketching. In school I would try to make things as accurate as possible which made them fairly mundane. I do remember doodling patterns through many maths lectures at uni though.

Then soon after the creatives group started I found myself drawing and sketching more. A new side project. With coloured pencils, pastels or regular pens.

I learn bits about shading and perspective and taking notes of things around us. That it's ok to ignore or move things drawn. I went along to Exeter Urban Sketchers and made stuttering sketches without fear.

The Winter Gap

Then Covid happened, and I stopped drawing after moving house and into the covid winter. Lot of people stopped things they loved or found hard to do.

It was a side project but still an expression of creativity. And one I wanted to return to long term.

A fellow creative invited me to a trip to Powderham Castle and it all started again. With trees. Trees of different shapes and made up colours. Some ignored and many lookin very different on paper than in reality.

I decided to return to sketching and thought about how to make it easy.

Making Things Easy

In one habits book it talked about how starting a habit isn't the hardest bit. It's successfuly restarting it after stopping.

I want to maintain drawing as a habit long term so came up with a few things to help make it easier.

  • Carry something to draw with and draw on. I usually carry a small box of index cards with a pen inside
  • The sketches don't need to be kept. This means I can draw things and without guilt throw them away if I don't want them
  • Be happy using a normal pen. I like using pastels, pencils and colours but alot can be done with any pen. And it removes the barrier of not having the right equipment
  • Be happy drawing whatever. I'll sketch tiles, or flowers or buildings or whatever happens to be in view
  • Make time for drawing. Sitting at a cafe, on the train or bus, on a work break, on a call...

I'm slowly making drawing an everyday habit. But don't have the requirement to. Every day is a bonus.

Doing Things Differently

When we restart a habit there are often things we want to do differently. Either intentionally or naturually.

I've noticed that I've already changed how I draw. Maybe because of Covid Winter in the UK.

I'm happy leaving out things in my sketches instead of trying to draw everything. Or I move things around.

I'm using at bit more shading and experimenting with how I sketch shadows or think about lighting.

It's all step by step.

Here are a few simple sketches from Portugal. It's a start :)

Finishing Up

My next improvements are to have non-lined cards, consider a sketch book, find some small travel pencils and ways of doing colours on the go.

What habits have you restarted recently?

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