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I’m trying an experiment

November 9, 2008

I don’t sketch enough. Or speedpaint enough. Or doodle enough. You wouldn’t think that’s so, given how much I draw, but it’s true. I have a bad tendency to get an image stuck in my head and slap it onto the canvas and then chisel away at it for a week or two until it’s perfect, then start the process all over again. It’s a bad habit, and one that I’d like to change.

Sketching, speedpainting these are good for both the hands and the brain. They help you improve your skills, and they allow you a freedom to play and experiment that you often don’t get when you’re waist deep into a painting and there’s little room for playing around. There is a danger, however, in sketching in that you tend to only sketch whatever it is that appeals to you at that particular moment. You may fill a sketchbook with nothing but figure drawings… when it’s architecture that you’re weak on. You may flip back and see a sketchbook full of pictures of sword and sorcery… when you could benefit from a still life or two.

So I’m trying an experiment: I’ve revamped my moth eaten book review blog and turned it into a sketchblog. There were a couple of reasons for deciding not to make it part of this one: 1.) I felt like if it was focused entirely on sketches and speedpaints, it’d be easier for me to STAY focused on filling it with such. 2.) This site is my somewhat more professional site, and I’d prefer for anyone visiting to be drawn to look more at my finished work than a bunch of loose, sloppy, half finished sketches.

You can find my sketchblog at or just click the link in the right sidebar there.

In addition to the mostly daily quality of the sketches, the experimental part of it is this: I’m going to apply audience participation to it. To force me to sketch outside of my comfort zone, I’ll be periodically asking on Twitter for suggestions for sketch topics. You can also leave me comments on my sketchblog suggesting future sketch topics for me. I’d like to try to do at least one sketch or speedpaint per suggestion, and when I post the sketch I’ll also post a link to the webpage of whoever suggested it (giving my readers a little bit of free exposure and advertising as well). If you check out the last few pages you can see where I’ve already started this process.

Sooooo… if you’d like to suggest a topic you can either post the suggestion in the sketchblog comments OR you can sign up to follow me on Twitter, and when I sit down to sketch I’ll put out a call for suggestions

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