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SKETCHING TIPS

Once you've read the book and learned the method, it's time to put it to practice. Below are some suggestions to help kick-start you on developing a sketching habit.

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15 Minutes a Day, No Matter What

Commit for the first 30 days to sketch for 15 minutes each and every day, no matter what. Either sketch first thing in the morning, before you get caught up in the demands of the day, or do it during your lunch break. Try not to put it off until the evening. I've found that people who wait until the evening to practice are less likely to do it. In 30 days, it will become a habit. At that point, you can continue sketching for 15 minutes each day, or increase the time.

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Keep it Simple

Don't fret over finding a perfect, picturesque subject matter, or producing a masterpiece in your sketchbook. Select simple subjects around you, such as those described in Chapter One of the book. Crawl, walk, and then run. Leave the sketch of the urban street scene in two-point perspective for later in the learning process.

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You Don't Need to Finish

Sketch what you can in fifteen minutes. Don't concern yourself with finishing a sketch (unless you have more than 15 minutes of available time). You will benefit far more from thoughtfully working through a sketch that is left incomplete than rushing through a sketch to finish it. 

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Limit Your Focus

When you're first learning to sketch, focus on accuracy (applying the method learned in Part One of the book). As you gain experience and confidence, resist the temptation to move on to sketching more complicated subjects. Instead, continue sketching simple subjects, adding additional layers of observation. Study and sketch the edges and tonal values (applying the method learned in Part Three of the book). You can then study subjects as compositions by producing thumbnail sketches of different subject matters (as learned in Parts Two and Three of the book).

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Have Fun

Approach sketching like you would approach solving a fun puzzle (applying the method learned in Chapter Six). Enjoy yourself or don't do it. Keep in mind that what is produced in the sketchbook is not the main point of the practice. The purpose is the changes that will occur inside you: greater awareness, improved skills, and an increased capacity to focus. These are the real benefits of practice.

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Repetition is the Greatest Teacher

As you sketch, refer back to the lessons in the book each week. Students who refer back to the lessons as they practice tend to experience a more enriched understanding than those who go through the lessons only once.

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