It's been a busy month or so around here between the panels, presentations, teaching and family I've been here there and everywhere. My son's school puts on a Halloween carnival every year and this year I went with him. As a parent of a 10 year old that basically means I sit around while he goes off with his friends and has fun. For part of the time I sat and sketched. Often I like to sketch people around me but in this case I just didn't feel it was a good idea. So I let my mind wander. The village is a painting I have in mind to do and thought I'd get it down on paper to work out some of the angles.
When I do more stream of conscience type of drawing I usually start with a shape and build from there. Nice thing about this way of sketching is I get a lot of characters out of it. I suppose that's because it's the same approach I take when designing a character. Lately I've been using these sketchbooks that have a thick paper that has a tooth and little particles in the paper. The roughness has a look and feel I like. It also works well for markers and brush pens, allowing you to layer color in an almost painterly way. I posted some painting sketches I did several months back using this same sketchbook.
I find it interesting how often certain shapes and characters tend to show up in my sketches when I work in this way. I wonder if it's because they are shapes I like or that I am comfortable with. If I notice it while I'm sketching I will make a conscience decision to change the shape and hopefully come up with something new. In this case I actually saw a man walk by that had a fun shape to his head and so I used it. Thought the character doesn't look like him at all it gave me an nice base to build a character on. I do find that sitting down and sketching often takes a bit of a push to get started. It's that blank page syndrome. That's why I do these kind of sketches...they are something to just get me drawing. I even have done this type of thing when working on projects. Just start sketching out of your head to get your artistic and creative flow working.