I am a great admirer of Alisa Burke's
drawing and painting style; I always look forward to the peeks into her sketchbook that she offers on her web site. Awhile back, she offered a free video class entitled Finding Your Muse (I can't seem to find a link to it anymore to share with you, but you can check out another free video series called The Art of Chasing a Dream
right now) which is also part of her online class called Sketchbook Delight
In Finding Your Muse, Alisa encourages us to look up, look down, and find out what is in our world to recreate in our sketchbooks. To me, this is important advice. Whenever I try to re-start a drawing practice, I burn out on traditional drawing exercises (spheres and coffee cups and flower vases), or focus on re-creating other's drawings. Instead, Alisa advises us to find our muse--often an object that captures our attention, draws our interest, and entices us to open up our sketchbooks.
Alisa seems especially drawn to shells, though her subject matter is widely varied from shells to rocks to feathers to birds to flowers to .... well, pretty much anything that draws her attention. I seem drawn to leaves. Inspired by re-watching Alisa's video Finding Your Muse from the Sketchbook Delight class, my attention was drawn to some leaves I saw by a creek near my house on a walk with my husband and daughters over the weekend.
Here is what ended up in my sketchbook, using first pencil, then black pen, then watercolors:
Alisa advises writing notes alongside your reference drawings to recall where and when you saw the object you are capturing in your sketchbook:
The sketchbook drawings become references for other work, or simply the capturing of a wonderful memory or bit of nature.
Here is another leaf from my walk by the creek:
And the resulting page in my sketchbook:
I used the same kind of note-taking, background painting and ink framing that Alisa likes to do in her sketchbook work.
I also found myself trying to incorporate Jane LaFazio's
advice from her workshop at the CREATE workshop in New Jersey last summer
to leave white space in my watercoloring. Oh, that's hard for me to do, but it looks better to me that way!
I am re-committing myself (for the umpteenth time) to my sketchbook practice, and will continue to share my results to give myself some motivation to continue. Be sure to check out Alisa's blog
full of artful and creative ideas, and click here
to see inside her amazing sketchbooks.