Leonardo Da Vinci is best known now as a Renaissance artist. Born April 15, 1452 in the region of Florence, he studied under artist Verrocchio in one of the hubs of the start of the Renaissance movement, shifting Europe out of the Middle Ages. Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Last Supper are not only his best-known works, but probably some of the most recognized from the Renaissance period. And though Da Vinci is considered to be one of the "greatest painters to have ever lived", only 20 or so paintings that can be credited to him exist today. And many of those are unfinished.
Da Vinci was certainly a unique man. He seemed curious about everything and was certainly a thinker. More than a painter or artist, he was an engineer, architect, scientist, inventor, mathematician, writer, musician....WOW! When I look at all of these different aspects of Da Vinci, all I think is, "the man was certainly a thinker!" And, indeed he was. And while he may not have filled too many canvases or wood panels with paint, he made up for this with the amount of pages he filled with notes, sketches, drawings, and ideas in his notebooks.
I have known for years the importance of sketchbooks to an artist. In fact, it may be the most important toll in an artist's toolbox. And I have kept a sketchbook in my purse or bag for a very long time. How often did I use it? Well...not much. Not really at all. Sad, huh? I started to think so, too. In fact, I even began to question why it was that I was carrying it around. Oh, yeah...so I could draw and sketch. So back a few months ago, around September, I started doing some different sketchbook challenges. And let me tell you, they were "life changing". Yes, I know that is a big phrase to put on something so simple, but getting into my sketchbook everyday helped me get back into the daily arting habit which had slipped through my fingers after a very busy 2021. And when my father was in the hospital for most all of October, spending time with myself and my sketchbook gave me and my mind rest from a very stressful time.
While I may not be in my sketchbook everyday now, those months of daily sketching did, in fact, help me get to where I am now, doing something creative daily. And that sketchbook that simply took up space in my purse for the longest time now gets pulled out and used when I am out and about and have free time. Or even when I am relaxing at night in front of the TV. Or when my kids are working at the kitchen table on their schoolwork and I am there with them in case they need help. Yes, my sketchbook actually gets used now. And I can see that it is helping me as an artist. My drawing skills have improved and it gives me a place to play around with new ideas.
What about you? Do you have a sketchbook? Do your kiddos have a sketchbook? Maybe you or your kiddos should have one if you don't. It could be just the thing you're looking for and can help you in so many ways. "What ways?" you may ask. MANY! And I discuss these in the video you can find below. It will help you get into the arting habit, having a designated place to work on your art. And sketching and drawing frequently will improve your skills. After all, "practice makes progress." It gives you a place to play and experiment with new materials and ideas and subjects. It provides a place to try and plan out compositions for future masterpieces.
For this project, the supplies could not be simpler: you'll need a sketchbook. Which sketchbook? Honestly, I would say go grab a cheepo sketchbook. Why? Because there is no pressure on you and no excuse not to use it. What do I mean by that? Well, if you go spend big bucks on a really nice sketchbook, you may be scared to use it. After all, think of how much each one of those pages cost. And what if you mess up? "Think of all that wasted money!" But, see, it's not a waste! Through our mistakes we often learn the most. So get a cheep sketchbook and make mistakes! Heck, you can even make your own sketchbook by stapling together some typing paper and putting a fancy piece of construction paper over it!
The most important thing is to use your sketchbook. To do this, you will probably also need a pencil, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener. Other than that, what you would like to use is up to you. The most important thing is that you are sketching and drawing and having fun in your sketchbook.
You can find the video below to help you with more ideas. I realized AFTER I created this kitty sketch that I recently created another sketch of a beach scene. Which makes me think I need a day at the beach, just thinking out loud. Hopefully you won't mind watching as I give you more reasons why you should keep a sketchbook (their importance and how they can help you as an artist) as well as tips about how to use your skechbook. As always, please let me know if you need any help. I am more than happy to help you in your creative journey! Happy arting, everyone!