Inside the Sketchbook of Kayoon Anderson


Kayoon Anderson is a figurative painter and Semi-finalist in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. Listed here she contemplates the significance of her sketchbook observe as a tool for producing thoughts and hoping new approaches, while also pondering the evolving relationship an artist can have to their sketchbooks.



Kayoon Anderson Normally takes Us By Her Sketchbook Apply

To be honest, keeping a sketchbook has typically felt like a bit of a chore. It’s a thing I’ve been told time and time yet again is vital to do, but I can by no means don’t forget to carry a person with me.

Nevertheless, I’m at this time likely by means of a time period of painting-preparing (alternatively than portray-doing), and I’m realising that it can be really practical after all. My sketchbooks have grow to be a area for me to visualise my ideas by means of line and check my hand at unique concepts at the pre-painting phase.

My planning approach can be damaged down into several levels:

  • Observing figures from daily life, searching at photographic and creative references
  • Tests a composition using sketchbooks and photoshop
  • Applying photoshop to compile a final painting reference


Observing Figures From Everyday living

I paint figures, and sketching from lifetime will help increase my knowing of the human form. Even if the close intention is not to paint persons naturalistically, I nonetheless want their bodies to be plausible. Sketching from existence is often quickly, and the emphasis is on education myself to capture kind correctly.



Looking at Other Artists Perform

I just lately came throughout the perform of the 20th century Korean painter Park Su-Geun and was entirely blown away by the easy rendering of types, their calming excellent, and the over-all security of the performs. I desired to realize how he realized these emotions and felt the most immediate way to analyze them was to sketch them.



Likely By way of Aged Pictures

I preserve albums of images on my phone, in folders this sort of as ‘painting inspo’, ‘interiors’, ‘colour inspo’ and ‘pattern’. Just about every now and then, a little something comes up that I’d like to integrate into a portray, and the process of sketching will help me get a experience for it. These could be shots of folks or spaces, but generally it is styles that I’ve occur throughout. For example, I have been familiarising myself with the styles in the doors of standard Korean hanok properties. These days I’ve also been fascinated by the layouts of Korean bojagi – conventional embroidered wrapping cloths created from a patchwork of scrap materials. Like the doorways of hanok residences, they are combinations of horizontals and verticals that produce wonderfully harmonious styles. I’ve been screening out my have bojagi models in a sketchbook.


All in all, the sketchbook is a location for me to lay out and engage in all around with all these small feelings in simple line, seeing what I gravitate to most, and start out forming standard compositional drawings for paintings. Tracing paper is great for this – I can draw a thing on the web page, overlay sample making use of tracing paper, and experiment with where the image edges need to be, all on different levels.



For the future phase of composition nevertheless, I use electronic resources these kinds of as Photoshop. I’ll scan drawings of figures and styles from the sketchbook and merge them together with flat shapes drawn in Photoshop to build a far more full composition. At the conclude, I am left with ‘the image’ (in some cases also colored on Photoshop) on which my painting is primarily based. This course of action is arguably the most vital element of my painting preparing, transforming the early ideas from my sketchbook into a useable reference image for portray. It is a way to whittle down tons of visuals from a number of sources till I get there at ‘the image’ to paint with.


On event, I skip the whole sketchbook approach and bounce straight into Photoshop, digitally collaging photographs as a substitute. It is dependent on the calls for of the closing portray – at times it demands a drawn-out sketchbook enhancement period, and at times it will come alongside one another in 50 percent an hour on the computer system and that is that.


I have a couple sketchbooks dotted all-around my studio and household. All are began but only 1 is finished. There is no chronology or logic to them – I’ll find one that I started off yrs in the past and continue on its webpages. They also range in glance – plain, lined, smaller or large. Most of my sketchbooks have been acquired on holiday break (perhaps mainly because I usually forget about to take one particular with me when I vacation) and close up getting loaded in a lengthy time following. My latest sketchbooks are from Korea and Italy.


I try not to location much too a lot great importance on them as objects… they’re not polished items but just a place to speedily visualise thoughts that advise later is effective. When researching architecture, the system of sketching was taught as an necessary method of ideating and quickly communicating. Whilst I assume the worth of sketching can be overstated, it no question has a unique that means and great importance to different artists.


Generally months go by without having sketching, but you just know that a single night time when you cannot rest, an notion for a portray will spark in your head and you urgently have to get it on paper right before you forget it. This happened to me the other night time so I’m now making an attempt to have a sketchbook at the prepared at all instances.



For that same purpose, I generally have a mechanical pencil close by much too. A mechanical pencil on easy paper has an immediacy and a cleanness to it which, in my intellect, can not be beaten. Additionally, you never at any time need to have a pencil sharpener!



By way of the course of action of crafting this, I’m realising that my sketchbook apply could be extra important to me than I beforehand gave it credit history for. Sketchbooks are usually the setting up details powering concluded paintings. They are a great location to iterate, and in some cases are unsuccessful, in the pursuit of new concepts. They are the intellect-maps in the background that in no way (ordinarily) get noticed.


About Kayoon Anderson

Kayoon was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1997. She studied architecture at the College of Cambridge and portrait portray at Heatherley Faculty of Artwork. She now performs as a figurative painter in London and looks to Korean art as influences in her observe.

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Take a look at Kayoon’s web site



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Clare McNamara

As Website Editor, Clare oversees content material for the weblog, manages the publishing program and contributes consistently with options, opinions and interviews. With a track record in fine arts, her practices are illustration, graphic layout, video and new music.

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