Drawing being made of branches of an old lilac.
52-Week Art Journal

Week 22: Sketching Perfect Imperfection

It’s Week 22 of the 52-Week Art Journal Journey, and we’re getting outdoors to do some sketching!

Here in the US, this weekend is celebrated as the unofficial start of summer. I’m not sure how a day set aside to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom became a party, but remembering those who went before us, honoring heroes who died to protect us, getting outdoors in gorgeous weather, and spending time with friends and family are all important things to take time for. I’m taking some time to sit and bask in some simple natural beauty, and capture glimpses of it in my art journal.

Join me!

This week, get outdoors and draw something you see. If you can’t get outdoors when you have your art-journaling time, draw something out your window. Or if that doesn’t work, choose something interesting in your house. Something in which you see some type of beauty, but maybe not everyone else would. I enjoy opening pictures I’ve taken outdoors on my phone, and drawing from those.

Don’t worry about perfect. Just observe, then start sketching. Draw what you see, not what you “know” is there. This is a lesson a school art teacher once tried to teach me… It was such a struggle for me. I remember trying to draw a maple leaf, the shape I thought of as a maple leaf, the basic shape I knew belonged to a maple leaf, while what was on my paper, of course, looked nothing like the leaf I was given to draw.

As you look at your object, pick out the features that make it what it is. If it’s something like the maple tree and rather raggedy old lilac bush I drew, choose the details that will define the object in your drawing. If I’d added the other branches behind the section of the lilac I focused on, my drawing would have become an impossible mess as I worked with just the lines of a black marker.

Yes, I’m going to suggest you don’t use pencil. Don’t erase. Just draw. And if you don’t like your first attempt, that’s okay. It’s your art journal. Your place to express yourself, experiment, practice, and learn without fear of what others will think.

And you better be kind to yourself! Encourage yourself! Don’t stress. Just relax. Breathe. Observe. Draw. Enjoy. Absorb yourself in the process. And appreciate your results.

If any particular thoughts you’d like to capture cross your mind as you draw under the sky, feel free to add them in. It’s simple journaling today. Write down some of your impressions as you walk, explore, sit, sketch.

Thank you for joining me for another small-art and writing prompt. I appreciate the opportunity to encourage you to reclaim your creativity, and establish a healthy habit of creative self-care through art journaling. I’ll be back next week!

For now, take some time to draw what you see.

Get outdoors. Look around.

Notice all the perfect imperfection. 

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