Comments 11

Why doodling is so important.

Every morning when I have a long stretch of painting ahead of me I find it beneficial to doodle before I start anything else. I started sketching as a warm up last year and I found that it kick started something in my brain which made my painting flow much easier.

For anything that requires any artistic dimension, drawing is one of the fundamentals to the practice. I have known painters, sculptors, architects, designers and jewellers, and although their finished products are rarely a physical drawing, drawings formed the basics of their work and feature at some point in the process. Despite all of the technology needed for the varying careers that rely on some artistic licence, there is something raw and direct about a drawing that photoshop or CAD just can’t meet with. There is an amazing quality to seeing a sketched logo design with construction marks showing, jewelley designs on graph paper, or raw and fast architectural studies in sketchbooks.

Being able to draw out what you see in your mind is a way of communicating a visual, translated onto paper. It is a useful tool, almost a language.

What I love about seeing sketches is that the focus is shifted onto a certain place, mostly tonal qualities. This importance of light and shade is what builds the image. Where a sculptors focus is on the 3D form and it’s correct proportions, a sketch to map out the idea will need to show where the light and shadows fall depending on its angle in order to translate the dialogue in their mind. As a painter I use sketching for compositional purposes, watching as arrangements develop and learn constantly about weight and balance. However the beauty really lies in the idea of needing just one pencil and a surface in order to create something amazing, or the basis for something even better. The potential that can grow from just a few strategic lines on a piece of paper.

Drawing every morning has been useful, I have seen a great improvement in my technique without actively trying to progress in this area. This translates across to my paintings. Sometimes a lot of effort is not exactly what is necessary to improve, but just consistent repetition. Most activities use muscles in some way, even something as small scale as a drawing. These muscles become used to the repetition of the action and become more comfortable and controlled. Flexing this muscle memory often can build up your abilities on a daily basis, it is said that 30 solid days of consistent practice can enhance your abilities hugely. (Sticking to those 30 days is the hardest part..)

For anyone who has emailed me, messaged me or commenred on photos I share online of my work and asked about drawing or painting and the process to getting better, I highly suggest you work on something every day, but especially for beginners, work on drawing. Building up that foundation of good tonal recognition and form is one of those building blocks for many other creative things and a tool that will always be useful at some stage.








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  1. Naomi Lawler says

    I completely 100% agree! I’ve been doodling in sketchbooks in some form or another all my life but it has only been over the last year, while pointedly doing it everyday and focusing on what I’m drawing, adding tone and observing the overall composition, that I am actually seeing improvement in my overall ability. I’ve actually just noticed in this last month or so how much my ability to translate what I see into a not so completely unpleasant representation on my page has improved dramatically . . . A very pleasant surprise as I’ve always struggled with that 😊

    Thank you for your encouraging blog post and for taking the time out of your busy creative schedule to impart some of your creative wisdom on to this mere mortal 😊

    • Its good to hear from someone who has tried and tested! Its amazing to see results, a good inspiration to keep going forwards!

  2. Sasidhara Kurup says

    Above given a very inspirational illustration and good guidance for a beginner like me….Thanks a lot

  3. Sasidhara. says

    …very inspirational and good guidance for a beginner like me……….Thank you.

  4. Wise words ~ I often find it a bit of a shame that the sketch and foundation drawings are not given as much prominence as the finished artwork. Because they can be quite raw and busy, they have their own qualities and something can be lost in the final art. I quite often prefer my sketches 🙂 ~ thanks Katy

    • I often prefer some initial compositional sketches and wonder if its just because they show some of the building blocks to my finished pieces! It is a shame that they don’t get as much prominence, but they are art in a different way! 🙂

  5. Brilliant post. I took part in Inktober to get myself into the habit of doodling more. I found the most difficult part actually making the time to do a small drawing and then ink it. But by doing so I quickly got better at working with ink, and having a better flow when drawing decisive lines!

    Practice makes perfect 🙂

    • I have never heard of Inktober but it sounds like an amazing idea! Ink is such a beautiful media to master too 🙂

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