The Importance of the Sketchbook

The Thinking Tool

Where do you practice, put your thoughts down on paper or paint your painting before you paint? Your sketchbook. So ideas pop into your head and if you don’t get them down on paper, they disappear. The sketchbook is a place to capture them. They are stored in a place where you can go back and get ideas to use on any number of projects. I love to add words to my drawings. They can help spur my memories. They can also spur your imagination. They can be a jumping off place for paintings, illustrations and stories.

The sketchbook is also a great place to practice seeing with your eyes and toning your muscle memory. It’s amazing how your eyes and your arm can connect to make beautiful creations. The continued use of hand and eye can improve your drawings and observations. Spending sometime every day observing things around you and sketching them on paper blesses your art. How do you practice your painting in a sketchbook when you are using a pencil or a pen and the white paper? Thumbnails capture ideas for the composition and sketches help you to see the values you want to put into your painting and the placement of those values. All the work you do before your painting, adds to the freshness and freedom of your painting when paint actually hits the watercolor paper.

The sketch above came from thinking about who would take care of Santa’s reindeer and working at BYU Hawaii with students from Mongolia. So The Reindeer Keeper” was born. The spark and working on that spark started in my sketch book. Get in the sketchbook habit.


“The Reindeer Keeper” 12” x 16” on metal. Limited edition.

The Reindeer Keeper is one of the paintings and prints that will be for sale and for viewing in person at The Gallery in the Garden at Becky Hartvigsen’s beautiful backyard garden. Come join me and other artist August 27th and 28th if your in the Davis County Area.

About Sherry Meidell

Sherry Meidell is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society Western Federation Watercolor Society and the Utah Watercolor Society. She loves to paint with watercolor whether she is painting pictures or illustrating children's picture books. She is a member of SCBWI. Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
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