5-minute Sketches, December 2013

I’ve had Twitter for a long time now but I’ve never really been a huge fan. I’ve slowly been finding more ways to use it, though. I’ve long used it to get instant reaction during sporting events. More recently I use it to share design-related articles. (this has replaced the design round-ups that I used to do). This November, though, I think I finally found something that I think exploits a lot of the good things that Twitter has to offer: sharing my five-minute sketches. I decided to start trying to do a short sketch every day at lunch so that my drawing skills don’t atrophy so much. Truthfully I’ve never been all that great at drawing, so this is also about trying different techniques and making sure I can still communicate an idea by hand if I ever need to. If you want to join in, tweet at me (at raybowman) or use the hashtag “5minutesketch”.

This was the very first sketch I did, right around Halloween. It was a bit ambitious for 5 minutes worth of drawing. I picked 5 minutes as a module so that I can do it on my lunch break after reading The Onion and Design Observer. It also keeps me drawing quickly, which keeps me focused on representing the most important parts of whatever subject I’m drawing.

One thing I’ve learned about myself is that if I don’t set goals and work something into my routine, chances are I’ll never do it. I kicked the idea for this blog around for a year and a half before I finally locked in and resolved to do a post every week. So for these sketches to work I have to incorporate them into my routine, which means a lot of the subject material comes from the blogs that I read at lunch. Above you can see a sketch of a movie poster from a Design Observer post, and below is a sketch of a vintage sign from a Steeltown Anthem post.

Sometimes I can even work in a bit of critique, like when Arch Record chose basically the same house as their “house of the month” for two months running. (October house here, November house here)

I mentioned using different styles since I’d probably get bored just doing the same pencil shading that I’m comfortable with day after day. I’ve done some experimenting with high-contrast drawings and contour drawings so far. I’m really excited about getting some watercolor supplies and painting with a coffee wash in the future.

So that’s what I got so far. I really need to get Instagram, HootSuite not only inconsistently rotates the image (as in the tombstone sketch above), but it makes it a pain in the ass to reference the actual image for posts like this, and forces you to follow the link to see the image online. But this is probably the most fun thing that I’ve found to do with Twitter, so hopefully you’ll want to join in and we can get #5minutesketch to trend nationally or whatever it is you do with hashtags. Happy sketching!

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