Space: Color or Not?

Another sketchbook design I am learning is how to use color blocks and white space. Sometimes it’s easy to merrily sketch along and I need ways to connect elements together. I am finding that if I spend time thinking through page design, I come up with some pretty fun pages!

The following sketch shows how I took took very boring items I sketched at work (phone and copier) and turned them into a fun page spread using a color block. After I sketched both items, I painted the phone gray and left the copier with just pen lines. But I just couldn’t get the page to pop. Once home, I worked on things a bit more. I decided to go bold—-hot pink! I used a color block and added diagonal lines with a white Gelly Roll pen. I also painted a few other things pink, like the touchscreen and wheels on the printer. I think it really jazzed up the page!

I am now more cognizant of using color blocks to unite sketch elements together and provide visual interest. Last weekend I did a prompt for USK Chicago, where I was portraying comforts at home. I chose to sketch the squirrels out my window digging in snow for their food, and my steaming bowl of wild rice soup and fresh bread as a contrast. Once again, I used a color block to pull some elements together…

Another technique I learned is to leave some white space to let the sketch “breathe”. I try to leave space, but sometimes get caught up in the sketch and pretty soon, the page looks cluttered. Here was one exercise with 2 buildings I did on location, where I intentionally left white space. It’s not my favorite sketch, but still was fun to do. Sometimes I think it has too much white space!

The great thing about sketching is you can do what you want, and if you don’t like a sketch, you just turn the page and try again!


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