When Sketching Goes Bad…

When I was a kid I was sketching away in my book all the time, which is awesome, but I kept making such a big mistake over and over again: When I drew something I didn’t like, I’d erase it, or scribble over it or tear it out and throw it away. I didn’t realize until much later just how much I was hurting myself by doing that. In fact, it wasn’t really until I started drawing in pen. When I gave up the option of the eraser I forced myself to commit to my lines. It was a little bit of a rough transition at first… I started out by drawing very sloooowly and tiny little lines, but as I became more comfortable and confident I sped up, until I was eventually doing even my gesture sketches with pen. I stopped caring so much about trying to be exact and “correct” with every line, and started to just enjoy the process. When I was tearing those pages out of my sketchbook, I was telling myself that those drawings weren’t good enough. My sketchbook pages became something sacred to me, something I couldn’t mess up. Even though I was still drawing all the time, I was spending a lot less time being creative and most of my time just fixing fixing fixing.

So in the spirit of letting go and not being so up tight about my sketches, here’s one that I didn’t like.


Oh and you see that little black dot on her knee…? A gecko pooped on it. Yah. Everybody’s a critic.



  1. Lemon · December 6, 2012

    Wow, if that’s a “bad” sketch I’d say you’re doing fine. :)
    I too gave up the pencil for the pen for this same reason. It REALLY loosens one up.

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