Sketching 101; How I start my pieces

**Welcome to the first of a multiple post series, each one breaking down one aspect of how I work, spending a little more time with the basics. Want to see something specific? Let me know!**

Sketching 101

My sketches come from a number of places. A memory of a place, color changes noticed during my run, remnants of a dream (or I’m just out to play with my paints!).

I keep a pile of sketchbooks in my studio, each one with different paper textures, tone or sizes, and I’ll reach for whichever book calls to me that day. I tend not to worry too much about matching the final in terms of size ratio of paper type at this point, these moments of exploration are all about spontaneity and discovery. I’ll hammer out the sizing and materials later.

EH Sherman Sketchbook

It’s not always just paintings either, sometimes I’ll scribble little poems or words that call out to me as I work. It’s important to me that my sketches are quick and totally free of restrictions. 

EH Sherman sketchbook

Each final painting is usually born from a multitude of sketches, exploring different facets of the composition/color choice/subject until a few feel like they address the question I began with. Occasionally I’ll move on straight from there to the final work, or I’ll tape the sketches on the wall and consider their movement and rhythm for a few days until I feel satisfied enough with their language to move forward. 

Sketching is one of the most magical parts of being an artist, it’s a time purely for me and my thoughts. (And having a pile of years and years of work to go through has been an excellent tool to chart how my process has changed over years.)