Thursday, January 26, 2012

The No Excuses Sketchbook Challenge Update

A few months ago I posted about the Sketchbook Challenge website. I also said in that post that I needed to challenge myself to draw and paint more. I've had the "I'm too busy and too tired to drag all the art supplies out" excuse going for the last couple of years. That's no good.

Thanks in part to my mom for helping me find some great art supplies, and thanks in part to my mother-in-law for a generous Christmas gift to help fund these supplies, I've actually been able to keep up on my own "no excuses" sketchbook challenge. The key for me was to find a medium that was readily available, easy to set up and clean up, and right at my fingertips so I'd have no excuse to not draw or paint even after long tiring days. Here's what I bought, and what I did to make sure I'd be able to keep up with my challenge.

 My supplies: A Caslon mixed-media sketchbook, markers, artist pencils, artist pens, erasers, a T ruler for drawing straight lines, and a gouache paint set. This is all I need right now. The markers, pens, pencils and erasers are all stored in an old cigar case I got at a Christmas gift swap this year.
 I keep all this stuff in a drawer in our living room. That way there's no excuse, it's all right there even if I collapse onto the couch after a busy day. Or if we're watching one of my daughter's Disney movies for the 2000th time. A lot of the time if I pull out my sketchbook while she's watching a movie, she'll drop the movie like a bad habit and join me in sketching. Another side benefit to having all this stuff handy in the living room.
 The markers I like best: Fabrico dual markers in a variety of colors.
 Pelikan brand 24 color gouache paint set with extra white paint for blending. You could also use watercolors, but I tend to like the range of gouache. You can get much darker and deeper colors with gouache, but can also water the paint down to create more of a watercolor effect if that's what you want. This little set is great (and reasonable at about $17), and allows for super fast set up and clean up as opposed to buying all tubes.
 Micron pens with a variety of pen tip sizes. I like the 03 and 05 tips best for drawing. Tuff Stuff eraser stick for easily erasing pencil marks, and a Sakura 0.7 nib pencil.
 One great idea for making set up and clean up even easier for paints: use cereal box liners for paint trays. All you do is toss them after use. Super, super easy. I keep a bunch of these around.
 Four paint brushes with at least one angled, one small round, one Filbert, and one flat.

And that is all I need for my "no excuses" challenge. So far it's really worked and my years-long drought with no art seems to be over. If you're one of those busy but creative people with no time for anyting and definitely no energy to pull out a bunch of art supplies and clean them up, give this a try. I bet it'll work.

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