I will give Anthrocon–and one specific sketchbook commission, the Flaming Jerboa–credit. It rekindled my interest in sketching.
You know. With a pencil and stuff.
I’ve been relying more and more on the computer, and this is really not a bad thing–I’m not a purist by any means, and I love sketching digitally for sheer manipulatability. But I was doing a sketchbook commission, and did a small, big-eyed animal–on fire, with a dying fire extinguisher–and gazed at it, and thought “Man, if I had better pencils on me, I bet I could do even more…” and this, combined with some of the really neat sketchbooks I saw, and some of the really fabulous art by other artists, made me think “I need to do more sketching.”
My sketchbooks over the years have dwindled from places where I drew the bones of a painting (and scanned and painted it digitally) to a sort of dumping ground for thumbnails and ideas when I’m away from the computer, or awoken in the middle of the night. Ironically, now I do the bones of a painting on the computer, print it out, and paint it physically. My process has eaten its own tail, and my sketchbooks went from 11 x 14 to pocket-sized.
I can’t imagine not going through a digital stage, even still, for a painting–I do too much tweaking and wiggling of compositions–but sketches themselves have a real charm that I’d half forgotten. And graphite, as a media, is one I haven’t improved my skills with in…shit, probably a decade.
And I can always sell sketches, too, says the art-mercenary.
So when I was swinging by A.C. Moore for mats, I grabbed a sketchbook. 8 x 10, nothing fancy. And I grabbed some 6B pencils to go over the top of my trusty, but limited mechanical pencil. And we’ll see if this is merely a passing fancy or if it actually goes somewhere.