Goodbye Sketching, Hello Freehand!

It’s weird, as a designer I was taught / trained to think that process work is key when thinking up a successful design. It all comes together after you have done your research, grasped onto a concept, and are now compiling several sketches to see how your design can come to life.

With art I have a much different approach. Ever since I was young, I have never really sketched out my best work. Of course, in art class, courses, and even at art universities they want to see your sketchbook. Ah yes, the massive sketchbook (and majority of the times it’s several sketchbooks) comprised of all your thoughts, ideas, techniques, doodles, paint splatters, and of course random coffee stains. The overall culture within the art/design world is to constantly show your process work, and as much as I agree that the process is very important, it’s equally imperative to not get stuck in a cycle where you are not letting your creativity flourish because you are not satisfied with a sketch.

For the majority of my paintings, I don’t have sketches to show,  and I don’t have pages upon pages of technique exploration. I do have back stories on how I came up with each painting / illustration and idea. The main reason why I don’t sketch is because it feels constraining. It comes to a point where I get stuck in a vicious loop of uncertainty and I convince myself that whatever I just sketched  would be too hard to make better in the end piece. I just end up psyching myself out and creating nothing at all.

Say hello to the freehand style, where you literally just create what comes to you. Here are five benefits as to why I love freehand painting:

  1. You take on the challenge of correcting mistakes in the moment while you are painting.
  2. You don’t over think, you just DO.
  3. This process relaxes your mind tremendously because you are just going with the flow.
  4. The more times you do it, the more you notice that you have a unique style and a certain stamp in all the works you put out.
  5. Your observation skills improve, as well as your painting abilities. In time you will notice that you won’t struggle as much when thinking up new ideas and staying in a creative mindset.

This most recent painting (shown below) was completely done by freehand. No reference images, no idea set in mind. I just went with the flow and allowed my hands to come up with whatever they wanted.

Freehand Plant If you are interested in learning how I made the above painting. Subscribe by entering your email below. By entering your email you will receive the password to access my e-Library where I put up my free eBooks and video tutorials.

Below are the tools I used in creating this painting. Click on the product images to be directed to their Amazon page description.


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