Sketchbooks come in a variety of styles and sizes, so it can be overwhelming to choose one. Size is an important consideration. Smaller sketchbooks are ideal if you want to take them along with you and sketch on the go or while sitting in nature. However, larger sketchbooks give you more room and can be easier if you have mobility issues or vision impairments.
The binding method is another factor. Traditional bindings create a book-like appearance, but they might not stay open as well as spiral-bound sketchbooks. Open different options to see how they feel and how well they stay open. Covers can range from leather to sturdy cardboard.
Compare the type of paper inside different sketchbooks. Heavier paper gives you a sturdier foundation for your creations and may hold up better if you want to use watercolor paint, markers or gel pens, which can leak through thinner pages. The color of the paper varies from bleached white pages to natural shades. You can also find sketchbooks with perforations along the edge to tear out pages.
All the choices are personal preferences. Sketchbooks can range in price, especially if you choose ones with leather covers. You don't need a fancy, high-end sketchbook to get started.
Because sketchbooks are so flexible, you can also use a variety of media in them. Drawing pencils give you a black-and-white option with shading to add details, but you can also use things like pens, colored pencils, markers, acrylic ink and crayons. You can also glue pieces of paper or keepsakes into your sketchbook. Start with a few options and expand as you decide how you want your sketchbook to evolve.
Sketchbooks can serve many functions. You can always change how you use the book over time, but it's a little more organized and focused if you have an idea of what you want to do before you start. Some ideas include:
If you want to keep your sketchbook focused, you might pick up a few different books for different purposes. Maybe you want to create a sketchbook of things you're grateful for. You might create a gratitude sketchbook for that purpose. If you decide you also want to keep a journal of what happens to you each day, you can start a different book for that.
When you feel stuck on what to do in your sketchbook, look around for inspiration. Taking a walk could inspire you. Look at the details in the architecture and nature elements around you for ideas. You might also keep your sketchbook close while you read your Bible. You can write about what you're reading or draw images to help capture the scripture. Checking out your old keepsakes and memorabilia can also be a good source of inspiration.
Writing a list of prompts and ideas for your sketchbook is another way to avoid getting stuck. Brainstorm a variety of topics, questions and things you like. Then, when you sit down with your sketchbook, browse the list to see if anything catches your attention.
You'll gain more benefits from your senior sketchbook when you use it regularly. Gather all your supplies in a little basket and keep it near the spot where you use your sketchbook so it's easily accessible. Storing it out in the open can also serve as a reminder to use it. Pick a time each day that you can sit down with your sketchbook and not feel rushed. You might work your sketchbook into morning quiet time as a way to start your day creatively, or perhaps you want to end your day with sketching time to process how the day went and get out your worries before you go to sleep. You might test out different times of day to find a sketchbook routine that works well for you.
A sketchbook is just for you, so it doesn't have to be perfect. Sometimes, you simply need to start sketching to get your creativity flowing, even if you don't have a specific goal in mind. The more you practice different techniques, the more confident you'll become with your art skills. Learn to enjoy creating and being okay with whatever happens.