Last year, I re-discovered charcoal drawing. I was drawn to create bigger to break with the tiny scale I usually work with at the bench. Charcoal is a bit of a messy technique but what I like about is that no lines are definitive. The image is in a constant movement, it evolves progressively.
I focus first on the composition, then it’s a play with light and shadows to bring life and depth to the drawing. The rubber is constantly in use to bring back the light or adjust the lines that define the contours. I enjoy the room for mistakes and the progressive improvement of the image, The result is always different from what I had in mind but it’s part of the game!
I recently created a new page on Instagram dedicated to my sketchbooks, follow it to discover new pages regularly: https://www.instagram.com/sylvaine.sketchbooks/
the heart of my creative practice are my sketchbooks, I collect them
first sketchbook was more like scrapbooking, a way to gather
drawings, small paintings, photos… I did the bookbinding and the
cover. I enjoyed the process so much that I decided to keep going.
About one small sketchbook per year, Always messy and colourful. Even
if they were private, when filling them, I had the finished object in
the back of my mind, which had to be cohesive and pleasing to look
through. These small books are like time capsules, looking through
them can take me back to very precise moments in the past.
relation to those sketchbooks evolved through the years. I started to
buy them instead of making them. I would do mostly pencil sketches,
quick watercolour illustrations, ideas for pieces of jewellery along
with notes about the making process.
For the past few years, I use larger size sketchbooks, with spiral binding as they are comfortable to hold. These are cheap so it enables me to feel totally free and use as many pages as I feel like. I became more prolific, I probably used a dozen in the past 2 or 3 years. They became less precious and mostly a way to process ideas, thoughts… Less pleasant to look through but the feeling of freedom when using them is bigger. They are mostly filled with very quick pencil or ink sketches, a few landscapes, some personal texts and quotes, they are still very messy (like me!) . Some pages have a calm and minimalistic look, others are more expressive doodles. By allowing myself and letting it all out, I discover recurrent ideas coming back and these are the ones that will eventually become something: a more polished drawing, an illustration, a painting or most of the time, a piece of jewellery. I keep a few sketchbooks at the same time: one by my workbench, 1 or 2 at home, a small size one in my handbag. It looks like I became rather addicted to them! These books became a way to process emotions and maybe a tool to access the subconscious mind because of the freedom they offer.