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Scott Bakal
Pink Mountain
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Pink Mountain, 10x13", Final painting
For the most part, I work pretty often in my sketchbooks.  Actually, one day I mentioned to a friend that I think I am slowly moving away from being an illustrator and becoming a professional sketchbook artist!  I just got addicted to the thing.  Simple, fast, to the point.  An idea is in my head then in a few minutes an impression of it is down.
Of course, the problem becomes a book full of impressions and nothing ‘finished’.  I thought about this a lot.  Couldn’t a sketchbook piece be a finished piece of art in itself?  Maybe.  I guess it depends on what you are looking for.  Some sketchbook stuff, I wouldn’t dream of recreating because I think it stands on its own.  Some, definitely need to go somewhere.
Many of us here have posted stories about how the sketchbook is the ‘window to the creative soul’, so to speak.  I agree.  For so many years, a sketchbook was only something to do sketches for client in.  Not necessarily for the sake of creating images.  There were a couple of people in my life that changed that, one being fellow Drawger Rob Dunlavey.  The Sketchbook Machine!  I recently posted something about an exhibition he was part of but go take a look at his library of sketchbook work.  I totally dig it.  I am grateful for the inspiration because it really opened my eyes to my own personal possibilities as an artist.  I sometimes find myself asking fellow artists for me to look at their sketchbook before their finished work!  I don’t know…I think it has something to do with ‘seeing behind the curtain’ of their technique and so-called style.
Here is a sketchbook piece I did on my couch one night watching Northern Exposure reruns and the next day, and since I liked it so much, created a final from it.  It was one of those sketchbook pieces that needed to be painted properly.
Pink Mountain, Moleskine Sketchbook #21
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Bakal is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!