Inside the Sketchbook of Kayoon Anderson

Kayoon Anderson is a figurative painter and Semi-finalist in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the 12 months. Right here she contemplates the significance of her sketchbook observe as a software for acquiring thoughts and trying new techniques, when also pondering the evolving partnership an artist can have to their sketchbooks.



Kayoon Anderson Takes Us By way of Her Sketchbook Exercise

To be genuine, preserving a sketchbook has usually felt like a bit of a chore. It’s some thing I have been told time and time once again is vital to do, but I can under no circumstances remember to carry a person with me.

On the other hand, I’m at the moment likely as a result of a interval of portray-organizing (fairly than portray-doing), and I’m realising that it can be rather valuable soon after all. My sketchbooks have develop into a space for me to visualise my ideas by way of line and test my hand at unique strategies at the pre-painting phase.

My preparation procedure can be damaged down into a number of levels:

  • Observing figures from everyday living, on the lookout at photographic and artistic references
  • Tests a composition applying sketchbooks and photoshop
  • Applying photoshop to compile a final painting reference


Observing Figures From Lifestyle

I paint figures, and sketching from lifetime will help mature my understanding of the human kind. Even if the conclude objective is not to paint men and women naturalistically, I however want their bodies to be believable. Sketching from everyday living is often rapidly, and the concentrate is on teaching myself to seize sort precisely.



On the lookout at Other Artists Do the job

I not long ago arrived across the operate of the 20th century Korean painter Park Su-Geun and was fully blown away by the basic rendering of forms, their calming excellent, and the over-all stability of the is effective. I needed to fully grasp how he accomplished these thoughts and felt the most immediate way to review them was to sketch them.



Heading Through Previous Images

I maintain albums of photographs on my cellular phone, in folders these types of as ‘painting inspo’, ‘interiors’, ‘colour inspo’ and ‘pattern’. Every single now and then, anything arrives up that I’d like to integrate into a painting, and the procedure of sketching allows me get a sense for it. These could be pics of individuals or spaces, but mainly it’s styles that I’ve appear across. For instance, I’ve been familiarising myself with the styles in the doorways of conventional Korean hanok properties. Currently I have also been fascinated by the layouts of Korean bojagi – traditional embroidered wrapping cloths made from a patchwork of scrap fabrics. Like the doorways of hanok residences, they are combos of horizontals and verticals that create fantastically harmonious patterns. I’ve been testing out my possess bojagi types in a sketchbook.


All in all, the sketchbook is a put for me to lay out and play all over with all these very little views in very simple line, seeing what I gravitate in the direction of most, and start off forming primary compositional drawings for paintings. Tracing paper is amazing for this – I can draw anything on the webpage, overlay pattern employing tracing paper, and experiment with wherever the impression edges must be, all on distinct levels.



For the subsequent stage of composition however, I use electronic resources these kinds of as Photoshop. I’ll scan drawings of figures and styles from the sketchbook and merge them together with flat styles drawn in Photoshop to make a additional entire composition. At the close, I am still left with ‘the image’ (occasionally also coloured on Photoshop) on which my painting is centered. This system is arguably the most important aspect of my painting preparation, transforming the early principles from my sketchbook into a useable reference graphic for portray. It is a way to whittle down plenty of images from many sources until finally I get there at ‘the image’ to paint with.


On event, I skip the total sketchbook procedure and soar straight into Photoshop, digitally collaging images rather. It depends on the requires of the final painting – sometimes it calls for a drawn-out sketchbook enhancement time period, and occasionally it arrives collectively in 50 % an hour on the pc and that’s that.


I have a several sketchbooks dotted all around my studio and household. All are started out but only a single is concluded. There is no chronology or logic to them – I’ll come across just one that I started out several years in the past and continue its web pages. They also fluctuate in glance – plain, lined, modest or massive. Most of my sketchbooks have been purchased on holiday (most likely simply because I generally forget to take a person with me when I travel) and end up staying filled in a long time immediately after. My recent sketchbooks are from Korea and Italy.


I consider not to put also significantly importance on them as objects… they’re not polished items but just a room to promptly visualise thoughts that tell later will work. When learning architecture, the process of sketching was taught as an critical strategy of ideating and immediately speaking. Although I believe the value of sketching can be overstated, it no question has a distinct that means and worth to distinct artists.


Typically months go by without having sketching, but you just know that a single night time when you cannot rest, an thought for a portray will spark in your head and you urgently have to get it on paper prior to you ignore it. This occurred to me the other night so I’m now striving to have a sketchbook at the prepared at all instances.



For that exact motive, I usually have a mechanical pencil close by far too. A mechanical pencil on smooth paper has an immediacy and a cleanness to it which, in my intellect, can’t be overwhelmed. Furthermore, you never at any time have to have a pencil sharpener!



Via the procedure of creating this, I’m realising that my sketchbook apply may possibly be much more vital to me than I formerly gave it credit history for. Sketchbooks are often the commencing points driving finished paintings. They are a great position to iterate, and in some cases are unsuccessful, in the pursuit of new concepts. They are the thoughts-maps in the history that never (typically) get witnessed.


About Kayoon Anderson

Kayoon was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1997. She studied architecture at the College of Cambridge and portrait painting at Heatherley Faculty of Artwork. She at the moment is effective as a figurative painter in London and appears to Korean art as influences in her follow.

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Even more Reading

Inside of the Sketchbook of Sarah Dyer

The Connection Between the Artist and Their Products

Inside of the Sketchbook of Jessica Jane Charleston

Acquiring a Daily Drawing Practice With the Royal Drawing School


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Clare McNamara

As Site Editor, Clare oversees material for the website, manages the publishing agenda and contributes consistently with capabilities, critiques and interviews. With a track record in good arts, her tactics are illustration, graphic design, movie and music.

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