Photo caption: Sketchbook tours allow artists to peek into the minds of their favorite artists and draw inspiration from them. Image by WP Chun from Pixabay.
As an art school, we’re big proponents of sketchbooks. We encourage our students to keep sketchbooks. Doing so allows them to develop important skills, hone their ideas for painting and to keep a visual journal of their experiences.
Students have a lot of freedom when it comes to drawing in their sketchbooks, which can be both liberating and intimidating. That’s why we regularly include articles on our blog to help them find some artistic inspiration for their student sketchbooks, like this post and this one.
Now, we’d like to introduce one more idea to our students: the sketchbook tour. Such a visual excursion allows student artists to see how some of their favorite artists hone their own skills and develop their ideas for projects. The following five sketchbook tours represent some of our favorites, (though this list certainly isn’t exhaustive).
One of the reasons we really love Jeff Watts’s style is because he embraces the loose, expressive style that we often talk about in the Mastery Program.
In his sketchbook tour, he goes over what sketchbooking means to him and the role it plays in the development of his skills. What we’re especially excited about are the moments where he talks about developing the skills to draw the human figure.
Anyone who has done our 100 paintings in three days challenge will appreciate this sketchbook challenge. Artist Kasey Golden undertook the Sketchbook Slam Challenge, a drawing and sketchbook challenge created by Holly Brown.
The challenge asks artists to fill a 600-page sketchbook in 30 days. Talk about cranking it up a notch! The reason why we love this sketchbook tour is that it embraces a fundamental concept that we cover a lot in the Mastery Program. That is if you want to gain excellence, you should draw and paint A LOT.
Okay. We admit it. This entry is a bit of a cheat, but only a small one.
But first things first… Alex Ross is one of the most famous comic artists of all time. What sets him apart is his classical approach to drawing and painting comics. He is responsible for creating some of the most iconic images of characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman. Most people recognize his style instantly, even if they don’t know his name.
What makes this entry a cheat is that while it does cover Ross’s sketches, it does so by highlighting his book Rough Justice, which shows many of his comic pages in the rough sketch form, before he paints them. We included it in this list, because it’s tempting for new artists to believe that the finished product is all there is. By seeing Ross’s uncolored pages, you’ll get a real sense of the process he goes through to create his comics.
Before there was photography, there was drawing and painting, and some of the best information we have about what life was like “way back when” is in art. Artists from the past and the sketchbooks they kept give us an idea of what life was like before photography took over. The sketchbook featured in this tour is over a hundred years old and offers a glimpse of one man’s life back then.
Lena Danya is a well-known artist on YouTube, so well-known, in fact, HBO asked her to create a special piece for the final seasons of Game of Thrones. That definitely gives her the cool factor!
Aside from that, she paints beautifully, AND she is a good example of someone who is taking her art career into her own hands. She has a thriving YouTube channel, where she shares some of her art techniques with her fans. Her sketchbook tour allows her to engage with fans and to create content for her social media channel at the same time.
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