Contained in the Sketchbook of Kayoon Anderson


Kayoon Anderson is a figurative painter and Semi-finalist within the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the 12 months. Right here she contemplates the significance of her sketchbook apply as a software for creating concepts and attempting new strategies, whereas additionally pondering the evolving relationship an artist can should their sketchbooks.



Kayoon Anderson Takes Us By way of Her Sketchbook Observe

To be sincere, preserving a sketchbook has usually felt like a little bit of a chore. It’s one thing I’ve been informed time and time once more is necessary to do, however I can by no means keep in mind to hold one with me.

Nonetheless, I’m at the moment going via a interval of painting-planning (somewhat than painting-doing), and I’m realising that it may be fairly useful in spite of everything. My sketchbooks have grow to be an area for me to visualise my ideas via line and check my hand at totally different concepts on the pre-painting stage.

My preparation course of may be damaged down into a number of levels:

  • Observing figures from life, taking a look at photographic and creative references
  • Testing a composition utilizing sketchbooks and photoshop
  • Utilizing photoshop to compile a last portray reference


Observing Figures From Life

I paint figures, and sketching from life helps develop my understanding of the human type. Even when the top aim isn’t to color individuals naturalistically, I nonetheless need their our bodies to be plausible. Sketching from life is commonly quick, and the main focus is on coaching myself to seize type precisely.



Different Artists Work

I just lately got here throughout the work of the twentieth century Korean painter Park Su-Geun and was utterly blown away by the straightforward rendering of types, their calming high quality, and the general stability of the works. I wished to grasp how he achieved these feelings and felt probably the most direct option to examine them was to sketch them.



Going By way of Previous Images

I preserve albums of pictures on my cellphone, in folders similar to ‘portray inspo’, ‘interiors’, ‘color inspo’ and ‘sample’. From time to time, one thing comes up that I’d like to include right into a portray, and the method of sketching helps me get a really feel for it. These may very well be pictures of individuals or areas, however principally it’s patterns that I’ve come throughout. For instance, I’ve been familiarising myself with the patterns within the doorways of conventional Korean hanok buildings. Recently I’ve additionally been fascinated by the designs of Korean bojagi – conventional embroidered wrapping cloths comprised of a patchwork of scrap materials. Just like the doorways of hanok homes, they’re mixtures of horizontals and verticals that create superbly harmonious patterns. I’ve been testing out my very own bojagi designs in a sketchbook.


All in all, the sketchbook is a spot for me to put out and mess around with all these little ideas in easy line, seeing what I gravitate in the direction of most, and begin forming primary compositional drawings for work. Tracing paper is great for this – I can draw one thing on the web page, overlay sample utilizing tracing paper, and experiment with the place the picture edges needs to be, all on totally different layers.



For the following stage of composition nonetheless, I take advantage of digital instruments similar to Photoshop. I’ll scan drawings of figures and patterns from the sketchbook and mix them together with flat shapes drawn in Photoshop to create a extra full composition. On the finish, I’m left with ‘the picture’ (typically additionally colored on Photoshop) on which my portray is predicated. This course of is arguably an important a part of my portray preparation, reworking the early ideas from my sketchbook right into a useable reference picture for portray. It’s a option to whittle down a number of photographs from a number of sources till I arrive at ‘the picture’ to color with.


From time to time, I skip the entire sketchbook course of and bounce straight into Photoshop, digitally collaging pictures as a substitute. It is dependent upon the calls for of the ultimate portray – typically it requires a drawn-out sketchbook improvement interval, and typically it comes collectively in half an hour on the pc and that’s that.


I’ve a number of sketchbooks dotted round my studio and residential. All are began however just one is completed. There isn’t a chronology or logic to them – I’ll discover one which I began years in the past and proceed its pages. In addition they differ in look – plain, lined, small or massive. Most of my sketchbooks have been purchased on vacation (maybe as a result of I all the time neglect to take one with me once I journey) and find yourself being stuffed in a very long time after. My present sketchbooks are from Korea and Italy.


I attempt to not place an excessive amount of significance on them as objects… they’re not polished issues however only a area to rapidly visualise ideas that inform later works. When learning structure, the method of sketching was taught as a vital technique of ideating and rapidly speaking. While I feel the significance of sketching may be overstated, it little question has a unique that means and significance to totally different artists.


Usually months go by with out sketching, however you simply know that one night time when you possibly can’t sleep, an concept for a portray will spark in your head and also you urgently should get it on paper earlier than you neglect it. This occurred to me the opposite night time so I’m now attempting to have a sketchbook on the prepared always.



For that very same purpose, I all the time have a mechanical pencil close by too. A mechanical pencil on easy paper has an immediacy and a cleanness to it which, in my thoughts, can’t be crushed. Plus, you don’t ever want a pencil sharpener!



By way of the method of penning this, I’m realising that my sketchbook apply could also be extra necessary to me than I beforehand gave it credit score for. Sketchbooks are sometimes the beginning factors behind completed work. They’re an amazing place to iterate, and typically fail, within the pursuit of recent ideas. They’re the mind-maps within the background that by no means (usually) get seen.


About Kayoon Anderson

Kayoon was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1997. She studied structure on the College of Cambridge and portrait portray at Heatherley College of Artwork. She at the moment works as a figurative painter in London and appears to Korean artwork as influences in her apply.

Observe Kayoon on Instagram

Go to Kayoon’s web site



Additional Studying

Contained in the Sketchbook of Sarah Dyer

The Relationship Between the Artist and Their Supplies

Contained in the Sketchbook of Jessica Jane Charleston

Creating a Day by day Drawing Observe With the Royal Drawing College


Store Sketchbooks on


Clare McNamara

As Weblog Editor, Clare oversees content material for the weblog, manages the publishing schedule and contributes repeatedly with options, critiques and interviews. With a background in effective arts, her practices are illustration, graphic design, video and music.



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