• Becky Hodgkin

Sketchbook Diaries

I've been meaning to get my sketchbook going again for ages. Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows what happened to my first attempt (Jacob got hold of it and scribbled on every page). I got to town this week, and I visited Pen & Paper in the Cardiff Arcades to get myself some new supplies. I finally bought a new mixed media A4 sketchbook and treated myself to a couple acrylic paints from Winsor and Newton.


I've been really inspired by abstract artists lately, and I wanted to get back into painting in my sketchbook. I found a spare hour this afternoon to test out my new paints, and make a start in my new sketchbook.


I think the hardest part of this was composition, committing to dark and light areas and trying to shake off my 'perfectionist' tendencies of perfect curves and marks.


I got to try out a couple of art supplies that I had randomly bought and not used yet - including washi tape and used my POSCA pens to add some dotty details.



Next time I'm going to spend some time beforehand sketching out some thumbnail layouts (focusing on planning light and dark areas) and hope to create a stronger overall presence. I hope this will help me become more confident and sweeping with my mark making.


There is something so scary about painting. And something particularly terrifying about abstract art! It's the complete opposite of my formal training of Graphic Design - where everything exists for a specific reason. Abstract art is the opposite of that - open to interpretation and completely free flowing.


There are some questions I have that I need to think about for next time:

  • How do I know when a piece is done?

  • How do I feel about noticeable brush marks / white paper peeking through

  • Will the thumbnails and pre sketching help my composition?

I want to staart a 30 day painting challenge, but with 2 trips booked in aAugust (one potentially abroad) I'm not going to set myself up to fail, and just commit as and when I have time. When we move house, I really hope we can find a spot in the new house that I can permanently house my crafts, and where I can paint freely. There are 2 spots available, the conservatory (which means tidying up after myself after each use as its part of the open plan kitchen/diner..) or the garage (I can leave everything as it is, nobody will fight for this space as it will be mostly unused, but the lack of natural light is slightly concerning). Maybe I will start in the garage where I can keep the shutter open on these light evenings and let the light come through.. and then look for a long term plan once we have settled in.


Watch this space!

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