Inside the Sketchbook of Kayoon Anderson

Kayoon Anderson is a figurative painter and Semi-finalist in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Calendar year. In this article she contemplates the significance of her sketchbook practice as a tool for building strategies and hoping new strategies, though also pondering the evolving romantic relationship an artist can have to their sketchbooks.



Kayoon Anderson Requires Us By way of Her Sketchbook Follow

To be honest, preserving a sketchbook has frequently felt like a bit of a chore. It’s a thing I have been explained to time and time once more is crucial to do, but I can hardly ever try to remember to have 1 with me.

Nevertheless, I’m at the moment heading through a time period of portray-scheduling (alternatively than portray-executing), and I’m realising that it can be pretty handy immediately after all. My sketchbooks have become a space for me to visualise my ideas through line and test my hand at various suggestions at the pre-portray stage.

My planning system can be damaged down into many stages:

  • Observing figures from everyday living, seeking at photographic and artistic references
  • Screening a composition working with sketchbooks and photoshop
  • Employing photoshop to compile a closing painting reference


Observing Figures From Existence

I paint figures, and sketching from daily life allows improve my being familiar with of the human kind. Even if the stop intention isn’t to paint persons naturalistically, I nevertheless want their bodies to be plausible. Sketching from lifetime is frequently rapidly, and the emphasis is on coaching myself to capture kind correctly.



Looking at Other Artists Work

I not too long ago came across the work of the 20th century Korean painter Park Su-Geun and was wholly blown absent by the very simple rendering of sorts, their calming high quality, and the all round stability of the is effective. I required to recognize how he obtained these feelings and felt the most immediate way to study them was to sketch them.



Heading As a result of Old Images

I retain albums of photos on my mobile phone, in folders this kind of as ‘painting inspo’, ‘interiors’, ‘colour inspo’ and ‘pattern’. Each now and then, something arrives up that I’d like to incorporate into a portray, and the system of sketching will help me get a really feel for it. These could be images of people or areas, but largely it’s patterns that I have come throughout. For example, I have been familiarising myself with the styles in the doors of common Korean hanok properties. Lately I’ve also been fascinated by the layouts of Korean bojagi – regular embroidered wrapping cloths built from a patchwork of scrap materials. Like the doors of hanok homes, they are combos of horizontals and verticals that develop superbly harmonious styles. I’ve been tests out my individual bojagi patterns in a sketchbook.


All in all, the sketchbook is a area for me to lay out and play around with all these very little ideas in straightforward line, viewing what I gravitate towards most, and start off forming basic compositional drawings for paintings. Tracing paper is superb for this – I can attract a thing on the webpage, overlay pattern applying tracing paper, and experiment with wherever the image edges must be, all on distinctive levels.



For the following stage of composition nonetheless, I use electronic instruments this sort of as Photoshop. I’ll scan drawings of figures and designs from the sketchbook and incorporate them along with flat designs drawn in Photoshop to produce a a lot more finish composition. At the end, I am still left with ‘the image’ (from time to time also coloured on Photoshop) on which my portray is based. This system is arguably the most significant part of my painting preparing, reworking the early concepts from my sketchbook into a useable reference picture for portray. It is a way to whittle down tons of pictures from many sources till I arrive at ‘the image’ to paint with.


On occasion, I skip the full sketchbook approach and jump straight into Photoshop, digitally collaging shots alternatively. It depends on the needs of the closing portray – sometimes it demands a drawn-out sketchbook progress period of time, and occasionally it comes alongside one another in 50 % an hour on the computer system and which is that.


I have a few sketchbooks dotted all around my studio and residence. All are begun but only just one is concluded. There is no chronology or logic to them – I’ll find one particular that I commenced years back and carry on its internet pages. They also vary in look – plain, lined, little or major. Most of my sketchbooks have been acquired on vacation (perhaps simply because I generally neglect to get a person with me when I travel) and finish up being crammed in a extended time right after. My existing sketchbooks are from Korea and Italy.


I attempt not to place way too a great deal significance on them as objects… they’re not polished items but just a area to swiftly visualise feelings that inform later on functions. When finding out architecture, the procedure of sketching was taught as an critical process of ideating and quickly communicating. Even though I imagine the value of sketching can be overstated, it no question has a different meaning and worth to unique artists.


Normally months go by devoid of sketching, but you just know that one night when you can’t sleep, an plan for a portray will spark in your head and you urgently have to get it on paper just before you forget it. This happened to me the other night time so I’m now attempting to have a sketchbook at the ready at all instances.



For that similar rationale, I constantly have a mechanical pencil nearby too. A mechanical pencil on sleek paper has an immediacy and a cleanness to it which, in my brain, cannot be overwhelmed. In addition, you really don’t at any time require a pencil sharpener!



By way of the method of composing this, I’m realising that my sketchbook apply may be much more vital to me than I earlier gave it credit rating for. Sketchbooks are generally the starting up points powering completed paintings. They are a terrific location to iterate, and occasionally fail, in the pursuit of new concepts. They are the mind-maps in the history that under no circumstances (generally) get noticed.


About Kayoon Anderson

Kayoon was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1997. She examined architecture at the College of Cambridge and portrait portray at Heatherley University of Artwork. She presently is effective as a figurative painter in London and seems to be to Korean artwork as influences in her practice.

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Clare McNamara

As Blog Editor, Clare oversees articles for the weblog, manages the publishing timetable and contributes frequently with functions, reviews and interviews. With a history in great arts, her practices are illustration, graphic style and design, video clip and music.