Checking in with my sketching goals

prepacked bag with mix of materials

Checking in with my sketching goals

We are two-thirds through 2022. Can you believe it…! Time to check in with the sketching goals I set for 2022 and remind myself of what I initially thought I would want to achieve this year.

My sketching goals are

  • focussing on value and composition
  • color theory and palette building
  • establishing a regular art practice
  • learning procreate
  • reviewing my sketches


My first thought: this list is living proof of how we overestimate what we can do in a year 🙂. But let’s break it down and see what I have achieved so far.

Focussing on value and composition

I used the 20for20 art challenge at the beginning of the year to get in the habit of doing thumbnails and quick studies. In the course of that, I also looked at Notan sketches and watched a lot of videos by Ian Roberts. He has great bite-sized videos on youtube where he talks about art-related topics. What I also found during the daily challenge is how much I like to work with a pencil. It’s such a versatile medium that I have used more and more ever since doing these daily thumbnails.

Color theorie and palette building

Based in the idea of complementary colors I tried out color palettes I like. It turned out that I keep coming back to pink & green and orange & blue color combinations.

I like to use different materials but struggle with making up my mind about what to bring on location without having to carry too much stuff. Recently I started to pre-pack a mix of different media based on these color palettes. Now I just need to grab one of these bags. I don’t have to worry about color palettes and can play around with lots of different media from inks to pencils, neocolor crayons, and markers. This works quite well for me at the moment.

Also, there is a great color mixing workshop from the goodshipillustration on Instagram. I really enjoyed this as well.

Establishing a regular art practice

The 20for20 art challenge followed by the 100 day challenge were a great way of sketching regularly. As soon as the weather is good enough to go sketching outside I find it easy to sketch regularly. It’s when I lack the time of going out to sketch that I find it hard to get inspired. Currently, I do color mixing exercises with gouache because I want to understand color better. That’s quite fun and doesn’t take much time.

Learning procreate

I still didn’t get started with learning more about procreate. If you know good courses, let me know.

Reviewing my sketches

Apart from the yearly review I really want to keep going back to my sketches on a more regular basis. Emma Carlisle suggested on her Patreon to point out three things you like about a sketch. I really like this idea because even if the overall sketch seems not to be good, there is always details or a pretty accident that can be taken into a new sketch.

So overall I guess that I did get around to doing quite a lot. It’s always helpful to step back and take a look at the progress that we overlook if we go from one sketch to the next. I recently had to make more space and found some of my very early sketchbooks. What a surprise that was! Talk about seeing real progress when comparing them with today! So if you feel stuck, why not reach for the work from some time back to remind yourself how far you have come? Happy sketching!

prepacked bag with mix of materials
My prepackaged mixed media bags based on complementary color palettes have worked great for me. I have all kinds of materials but don't need to carry a big heavy bag.
color mixing exercises
Exploring complementary colors and how to create neutrals. Based on the color mixing workshop of the goodship illustration.
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