Inside the Sketchbook of Kayoon Anderson

Inside the Sketchbook of Kayoon Anderson

Kayoon Anderson is a figurative painter and Semi-finalist in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. Below she contemplates the worth of her sketchbook practice as a software for acquiring concepts and hoping new strategies, although also pondering the evolving relationship an artist can have to their sketchbooks.



Kayoon Anderson Normally takes Us By way of Her Sketchbook Observe

To be sincere, preserving a sketchbook has often felt like a bit of a chore. It is one thing I have been instructed time and time all over again is essential to do, but I can never ever don’t forget to carry 1 with me.

Having said that, I’m at present going via a time period of portray-planning (rather than painting-accomplishing), and I’m realising that it can be pretty helpful after all. My sketchbooks have become a house for me to visualise my views as a result of line and check my hand at distinct suggestions at the pre-portray phase.

My preparation system can be broken down into several phases:

  • Observing figures from lifestyle, seeking at photographic and artistic references
  • Screening a composition making use of sketchbooks and photoshop
  • Utilizing photoshop to compile a final portray reference


Observing Figures From Everyday living

I paint figures, and sketching from everyday living aids expand my understanding of the human type. Even if the close aim is not to paint men and women naturalistically, I continue to want their bodies to be believable. Sketching from existence is frequently rapidly, and the emphasis is on training myself to seize kind accurately.



Wanting at Other Artists Work

I lately came across the get the job done of the 20th century Korean painter Park Su-Geun and was completely blown absent by the very simple rendering of kinds, their calming high-quality, and the in general stability of the functions. I desired to recognize how he achieved these feelings and felt the most direct way to review them was to sketch them.



Heading Through Previous Photographs

I keep albums of pics on my phone, in folders these kinds of as ‘painting inspo’, ‘interiors’, ‘colour inspo’ and ‘pattern’. Just about every now and then, a little something will come up that I’d like to include into a painting, and the method of sketching helps me get a sense for it. These could be images of people today or areas, but largely it’s styles that I’ve appear across. For case in point, I have been familiarising myself with the patterns in the doors of traditional Korean hanok structures. Lately I have also been fascinated by the types of Korean bojagi – traditional embroidered wrapping cloths made from a patchwork of scrap materials. Like the doorways of hanok properties, they are combinations of horizontals and verticals that generate superbly harmonious styles. I have been screening out my individual bojagi models in a sketchbook.


All in all, the sketchbook is a place for me to lay out and participate in about with all these small feelings in basic line, observing what I gravitate to most, and begin forming fundamental compositional drawings for paintings. Tracing paper is great for this – I can draw anything on the web page, overlay pattern making use of tracing paper, and experiment with wherever the image edges should really be, all on diverse levels.



For the future phase of composition having said that, I use electronic equipment this sort of as Photoshop. I’ll scan drawings of figures and patterns from the sketchbook and mix them together with flat styles drawn in Photoshop to develop a extra complete composition. At the finish, I am still left with ‘the image’ (often also coloured on Photoshop) on which my painting is primarily based. This approach is arguably the most critical portion of my painting planning, transforming the early principles from my sketchbook into a useable reference picture for painting. It is a way to whittle down loads of pictures from numerous sources until eventually I arrive at ‘the image’ to paint with.


On situation, I skip the whole sketchbook procedure and soar straight into Photoshop, digitally collaging shots alternatively. It depends on the needs of the ultimate portray – often it needs a drawn-out sketchbook development interval, and at times it comes together in half an hour on the computer system and which is that.


I have a number of sketchbooks dotted all around my studio and house. All are began but only just one is completed. There is no chronology or logic to them – I’ll obtain just one that I started out years in the past and proceed its webpages. They also differ in search – plain, lined, modest or large. Most of my sketchbooks have been bought on holiday getaway (maybe since I constantly forget to just take one particular with me when I vacation) and close up remaining crammed in a extended time right after. My latest sketchbooks are from Korea and Italy.


I consider not to location also a great deal relevance on them as objects… they are not polished matters but just a room to quickly visualise ideas that tell afterwards works. When finding out architecture, the approach of sketching was taught as an important strategy of ideating and rapidly communicating. Even though I imagine the importance of sketching can be overstated, it no question has a distinct which means and great importance to diverse artists.


Often months go by without the need of sketching, but you just know that 1 evening when you just can’t snooze, an plan for a painting will spark in your head and you urgently have to get it on paper just before you forget it. This took place to me the other night so I’m now attempting to have a sketchbook at the prepared at all periods.



For that exact same motive, I constantly have a mechanical pencil close by much too. A mechanical pencil on sleek paper has an immediacy and a cleanness to it which, in my mind, can’t be crushed. As well as, you really do not at any time need a pencil sharpener!



By the process of creating this, I’m realising that my sketchbook practice may well be a lot more significant to me than I beforehand gave it credit score for. Sketchbooks are typically the setting up details guiding completed paintings. They are a fantastic place to iterate, and at times fall short, in the pursuit of new ideas. They are the intellect-maps in the track record that by no means (usually) get seen.


About Kayoon Anderson

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

Observe Kayoon on Instagram

Visit Kayoon’s web-site



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Clare McNamara

As Website Editor, Clare oversees content for the web site, manages the publishing agenda and contributes often with functions, evaluations and interviews. With a background in good arts, her practices are illustration, graphic design and style, video and new music.