Although I have a huge collection of sketchbooks in every size and color, I prefer sketching face painting designs on notebook paper or scratch paper. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I don't feel the pressure to make it perfect on notebook paper. I can just have fun. Because I tend to lose loose pieces of scratch paper, I finally got a composition book and have begun to use that for my face painting sketch book.
Sketching is an important part of face painting because it allows you to capture fleeting ideas which can be triggered at any time of the day. Fortunately, sketching materials easily available and transportable—more so than paints, although you can definitely incorporate paints and color.
Sketching also builds your rendering skills. I love the unfinished, wild look of sketches, because they reveal the thought process as the artist builds images out of nothing but graphite or ink.
If you're self-conscious about your drawing ability, don't let that keep you from drawing your ideas. Drawing is a learned skill, so the more you do it, the easier it will become. Your sketchbook is a personal journal. No one but you has to see it. The more you begin to see it as a safe place for expression and brainstorming rather than a gallery for displaying your art to others, the more you'll relax and draw, no matter what it looks like when you're finished.
If you haven't used a sketch book in the past, take the challenge this month, pull out some paper and pencils or pens, and let yourself brainstorm. Try new designs or styles. Look for inspiration in everything around you. Don't categorize yourself as a non-drawing artist. Just do it, because when you look back through your sketches, you never know where those seeds of ideas will take you.
Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz in Elgin, Illinois, and her artwork has appeared in The Colored Palette and SkinMarkz magazines. She services the western and northwestern Chicago suburbs, Chicago’s north side, and the eastern and southeastern suburbs of Rockford. Stop by Clownantics.com to enjoy more of Beth’s face painting tutorials.