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What's the point of owning a sketchbook in 2020?

Art, particularly hand-art, has revolved around pencil and paper for thousands of years, being the core base for all kinds of masterpieces. Most artists can say that most of their ideas require meticulous planning, starting on a draft sheet. But in our day and age, vast advancements in technology have proven to be just as effective, if not, a more convenient way of plotting down inspiration. This has caused a massive birth of digital artists, replacing the familiar pen and paper with pens and a digital touch-screen.


Pictured above is a Wacom drawing tablet.


A Brief history;

While it’s difficult to pinpoint who invented the first sketchbook and when, researchers have data that draw back all the way to the 17th century that recorded the first few journals that kept loose sketches and diagrams of different sorts.


Below is a sketch of the Dutch fleet coast coming to anchor off on the Jutland Coast in 1658 by Willem Van de Velde, the Elder. Willem was often commissioned to record sea battles between the conflicting Dutch and English. This is said to be the very first documented sketch taken from a “sketchbook”.



The Unseen;

Unseen works of well-known artists are always held at a high price to see and keep. This goes the same for their sketchbooks; which have said to show a much more raw, dynamic angle compared to large-scale works.


Pages taken from Pablo Picasso's sketchbook.

A page of human anatomy practice from Leonardo Da Vinci's sketchbook.


You're not missing out.

There always seems to be something special about having done a sketch in pencil. Works unseen and done in pencil are desperately searched for in the artistic world because it shows a raw talent. It doesn't take a genius to understand that no matter how high-quality your tools are, you cannot fake art. Using traditional paper and pencil captures a rough, vulnerable, feel to one's ideas; which are contrasting elements compared to a sleek finish done by a tablet. Art in its rough stages will always have the potential to make masterpieces due to the person holding the pencil.


So if you're planning to make an investment in that new iPad Pro, it won't ever hurt to go back to your old roots. You're not missing out by being unable to have the newest gadget in your reach. Remember that you're an artist, and really, you're creating freedom no matter what you use.





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