Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Keeping a Daily Formline Sketch Journal

I admit, when I made my New Year’s resolution to sketch for at least 1/2 hour daily, I wasn’t certain if I’d keep it up. So far so good. There are a few things I’m noticing as I keep up this daily practice:

  • Some days it feels like drudgery, but I do it anyway. On these days, I’m always glad I sketched. I experience pleasure. (I’d probably be doodling on some scrap of paper even if I missed a day.)
  • I don’t need a plan to proceed. Because I face that sometimes daunting blank white page I let my intuition take over. Having a plan often leaves me discouraged when the design turns out other than planned.
  • I am learning to trust my own muse. I’m never left with nothing on the page. The more I trust, the more creative I become.
  • Some days produce really desirable results, other days not so much. It’s okay to have a range of competency. Either way, daily practice keeps my skills honed.

I could go on. If you’re also keeping a daily sketch journal, maybe you relate to some of my observations. I like reading other artists’ observations about benefits of daily sketching.

Here are a few daily entries:

Daily Formline Experimental Sketches

Design unfolding

You can assume this may have been a day┬áI approached my daily sketch as a chore. A to-do item. Started with a “folded” ovoid and then designed around that. Could use more detail, but there it is.

Squared edges in Tlingit formline

What? Squares?

I just wanted to add some angularity in the mix. Sometimes squared corners work, sometimes not. This one gave me some ideas for future box designs.

Experimental Formline Daily Sketch


More squared edges. See the square salmon-trout head in the center? Do you see hints of a killer whale? I like the half-colored circles. I have some symbolism I’m working on to represent male/female. Stolen idea inspired by Klimt’s “The Kiss”. Though you’ve never seen these particular designs anywhere ever, nothing is new under the sun, really.

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