Sketch I Will!!!!!!!

I find that being an artist or art student is a bit like being a parent. The phrase: “Do what I say, not what I do” is too often applicable. For example, as I have expressed before, my goal is sketching something every day. The sketch drawings might take one minute, such as a pencil sketch to capture the gesture of a thing. It might take ten or fifteen minutes, such as the time I put my purse on the kitchen counter when I came home and the next thing I knew I was sketching the juxtaposition of the dark purse and the white ceramic sink and the dishes in the drying rack with a charcoal stick with a paper towel to smudge it.

A pen and ink sketch of Robert Liberace's of a town in Northern Ireland.
A pen and ink sketch of Robert Liberace’s of a town in Northern Ireland.

This summer I have to admit to doing little sketching, neither indoor nor outdoors, so I am again making the commitment to making pencil sketches of things that move me in some way. My commitment extends to sketching for the sake of sketching, and sketching thumbnails in preparation for a painting or drawing composition. But sketch I will!!!!

I did, however, recently have the opportunity to look through the sketchbooks of a contemporary master, Robert Liberace. The works were done in pen and ink. Viewing the sketches reminded me again how important it is to create freehand sketching works time and again. Rob’s sketches were particularly meaningful to me as they were done in the northern most part of  Northern Ireland, at Limepark Arts Center, an 18th century farm converted into both an inn and art center, in County Atrium, where I studied with Rob during a workshop group trip some years ago. Seeing the sketches flooded me with memories of the experience–the old stone buildings and the potato fields beyond, where we would walk at night to better see the sunset. Rob’s sketches caught the immediacy of the time and place.

A sketch of a figure mid-motion by Robert Liberace.
A sketch of a figure mid-motion by Robert Liberace.

There were also sketches of figures in motion. I am sure Rob can do these from his imagination as he has done them so often, but each time they seem to catch the fluidity of human motion–a more developed gesture of the figure that I greatly admire.

Pen and ink sketch by Robert Liberace.
Pen and ink sketch by Robert Liberace.

Rather than belabor the point o f sketching, I am simply including a couple of the sketches that were in Robert’s sketchbook, of which I took photos with my cell phone to show you!

One last thing–don’t be fooled into thinking that taking photos with your phone or camera is the equivalent of sketching. It is a far cry from it. You may have an image at the end of the day, but you don’t have the experience, the close looking, the simplification, the establishment of values, and the value relationships. Hopefully, looking at Rob Liberace’s sketching will motivate you as it did me to sketch, sketch, sketch. Happy sketching!


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