Awhile ago I posted some new artist discoveries and raved about the wonderful sketches some of them have on their blogs. It's not a happy coincidence that their sketches translate into amazing work. These artist have learned that sketching calisthenics equal stronger artistic chops. I think it also helps you "think" on the page in a way that is freer and more introspective. So I've been trying to do more pencil warm ups before working on my commission and it has helped me in many ways.
1. It gets my creative juices flowing and my eye-to-hand brain in gear.
2. When you are working on a job that has lost it's creative spark, sketching helps revitalize you.
3. It gives you a multitude of idea "sparks" to develop further when you have time for the personal work.
4. It helps develop visual memory which is so important as you find your voice and style.
5. You have a journal of your artistic progress.
And..... (scroll down)
6. Introspection. Not only a place to record images but a good place to contemplate your life as you seek to find a healthy balance between work and family and friends.
There are some incredible sketchbook artists out there. Tara Chang never fails to post her Sunday sketches from church. Check out Rich Anderson and Habbenink too. Awesome.