This lesson from Doris Sander first appeared as a part of the membership class “Canvas.” For that class and over 60 more, join us.
by Doris Sander
I envy those of you who can take a sketch and do brilliant things with it. Each of us has our own artistic strengths, and, well, sketches are just not a strength of mine. I have tried to follow them on several occasions with dismal results. Truly it is a sad state of affairs. So imagine the complete sense of irony I experienced when I realized that I have been following some of my own internal sketches all along.
I first noticed this quirk when I created “Good Day Sunshine” and “Sea Gifts” within a few days of each other. They happened to be lying side-by-side on my craft table, and I instantly saw the same structure on both of them and was amused and intrigued by it.
The basic bones of the design include:
- two rectangular boxes aligned horizontally along the top half of the page,
- one small embellishment in the top left corner to capture the eye, and
- a graceful curving trail of embellishments down the center of the page ending in a smaller rectangular box at the bottom.
That’s it. Wow! I made a sketch and followed it even if it was subconsciously.
I found that I’ve unintentionally used this same structure a couple more times since these first two layouts came together. A few months later, I put together “Baby Kitty” with the same mental sketch.
It looks quite different at first glance because of the foundation. Instead of the misted cardstock background used on the first two layers, here I have a patterned paper background.
I’m definitely onto something good here! Altering the background really goes a long way in stretching a sketch so to speak.
Then a couple months later, I used my go-to sketch once more, but this time I changed the background up by color blocking it. Fun!
So now I have translated my mental sketch to paper for you and challenge you to create an interesting background first before you get started with the sketch itself.
Even more importantly, I challenge you to take a look at your pages to see what sketches are lurking in your subconscious.