Drawing in a sketchbook is great practice, especially if you do it regularly– every day if possible. And if you don’t always link your sketchbook work to planning and development connected to specific projects, you will often find it a source of fresh ideas that seem to come out of nowhere. Everybody knows this stuff.
But one of the less known benefits of keeping a sketchbook is coming up with new solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had- like how to draw a cable knit sweater. More specifically, how do you add variety to your characters’ clothing without repeating the same stupid little shading patterns over and over again? Yesterday in my sketchbook I started exploring a fun way to fill a sweater outline with cables. And when you consider how many of my characters seem to wear V neck sweaters regularly, this is a going to be a valuable skill to have. (I think there’s actually a drawing here somewhere called “Everybody has a nice V neck sweater”.)
On the left is the original “cable knit” drawing, on the right is a “going back into it” revision I made by drawing on a scan of the original with a small Sharpie pen. (The original drawing was inked with the Elabo and the scritchy-scratchy pen.)