I was looking through my sketchbooks and I really like this sketch of my niece and great nephew that I drew on a glorious day near Tenby in SouthWales.
It’s not a photograph. It doesn’t particularly look like them, but it captures a moment and an essence of their personality that anyone who knows them would recognise.
Sketching is about looking and understanding and this comes from doing it. You can practice by sketching from photographs, but that will make you want to copy the image rather than the essence of the scene.
The subjects move about and the sun changes the lighting and the shadows and people have a habit of sitting down in front of you so you can’t see anymore, so you have to snap and image in your mind’s eye and work from that, just checking for detail now and then.
Sketching can be really simple. It’s not meant to be a masterpiece. It’s not a picture to hang on the wall (though it might turn out to be good enough) It’s a note to yourself – a memory of something that caught your eye, something you might use again another time.
It’s a statement of understanding and knowledge. “I saw this – I understood it and I drew it.”