SAIC Faculty Member on the Importance of Sketchbooks

Adjunct Associate Professor in the Painting and Drawing department Olivia Petrides (MFA 1977) was recently interviewed by Artsy magazine about the importance of sketchbooks and where to start for beginners. Petrides believes sketchbooks are great places to experiment with ideas and document the world.

According to Petrides there’s more to sketching and keeping a sketchbook than just picking a book that looks nice. “In addition to the right sketchbook, you’ll want to develop a collection of materials you look forward to using. “The tendency is to use a pencil or a pen,” Petrides told Artsy. “Use watercolor, collage, inks, indirect transfer...Whisper, but also shout. It’s your book, your stage, your world.” She also suggests gathering imagery from diverse sources and choosing elements that are appealing to specific aesthetics. Petrides suggests that sketchbooks are superior to cameras when it comes to traveling because unlike a camera, a sketchbook forces you to spend time with your surroundings. “When you take the time to visualize a subject with a pen or pencil in hand, you begin to notice details you might miss otherwise.”