Inside the Sketchbook of Kayoon Anderson

Harmony Cardenas

Kayoon Anderson is a figurative painter and Semi-finalist in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the 12 months. In this article she contemplates the value of her sketchbook apply as a device for creating suggestions and attempting new techniques, when also pondering the evolving romantic relationship an artist can have to their sketchbooks.



Kayoon Anderson Requires Us Via Her Sketchbook Practice

To be trustworthy, preserving a sketchbook has often felt like a bit of a chore. It is anything I’ve been informed time and time again is important to do, but I can in no way keep in mind to have one with me.

Even so, I’m currently heading by means of a time period of portray-arranging (relatively than portray-performing), and I’m realising that it can be really practical after all. My sketchbooks have come to be a room for me to visualise my views through line and exam my hand at various ideas at the pre-painting phase.

My preparing procedure can be broken down into quite a few phases:

  • Observing figures from existence, looking at photographic and creative references
  • Testing a composition working with sketchbooks and photoshop
  • Using photoshop to compile a final painting reference


Observing Figures From Life

I paint figures, and sketching from lifetime will help expand my knowing of the human type. Even if the end purpose isn’t to paint persons naturalistically, I nevertheless want their bodies to be plausible. Sketching from existence is often quickly, and the concentration is on teaching myself to capture kind accurately.



Searching at Other Artists Get the job done

I not too long ago came across the perform of the 20th century Korean painter Park Su-Geun and was entirely blown absent by the uncomplicated rendering of forms, their calming good quality, and the over-all steadiness of the will work. I needed to understand how he reached these emotions and felt the most direct way to examine them was to sketch them.



Going Through Previous Photographs

I continue to keep albums of photos on my cellular phone, in folders this kind of as ‘painting inspo’, ‘interiors’, ‘colour inspo’ and ‘pattern’. Every single now and then, one thing arrives up that I’d like to include into a portray, and the method of sketching allows me get a experience for it. These could be photographs of people or areas, but mainly it’s designs that I’ve appear throughout. For case in point, I have been familiarising myself with the styles in the doorways of traditional Korean hanok properties. Lately I have also been fascinated by the models of Korean bojagi – standard embroidered wrapping cloths produced from a patchwork of scrap fabrics. Like the doors of hanok homes, they are mixtures of horizontals and verticals that generate superbly harmonious patterns. I’ve been screening out my personal bojagi styles in a sketchbook.


All in all, the sketchbook is a spot for me to lay out and participate in all around with all these minor feelings in very simple line, looking at what I gravitate to most, and commence forming simple compositional drawings for paintings. Tracing paper is excellent for this – I can draw one thing on the page, overlay pattern making use of tracing paper, and experiment with the place the image edges should be, all on distinctive levels.



For the future stage of composition nevertheless, I use digital instruments such as Photoshop. I’ll scan drawings of figures and styles from the sketchbook and combine them along with flat styles drawn in Photoshop to create a a lot more full composition. At the conclusion, I am remaining with ‘the image’ (at times also colored on Photoshop) on which my portray is dependent. This method is arguably the most crucial aspect of my portray planning, reworking the early ideas from my sketchbook into a useable reference picture for portray. It is a way to whittle down a lot of illustrations or photos from a number of resources until finally I arrive at ‘the image’ to paint with.


On situation, I skip the entire sketchbook system and jump straight into Photoshop, digitally collaging pics in its place. It relies upon on the requires of the closing portray – from time to time it necessitates a drawn-out sketchbook improvement period of time, and from time to time it arrives with each other in 50 % an hour on the computer system and that’s that.


I have a couple of sketchbooks dotted all around my studio and house. All are started out but only one particular is completed. There is no chronology or logic to them – I’ll locate one particular that I commenced a long time back and continue its webpages. They also differ in seem – basic, lined, modest or massive. Most of my sketchbooks have been purchased on holiday (maybe simply because I generally neglect to just take 1 with me when I vacation) and stop up being stuffed in a long time following. My latest sketchbooks are from Korea and Italy.


I check out not to place too considerably significance on them as objects… they’re not polished factors but just a room to swiftly visualise feelings that notify later on functions. When researching architecture, the approach of sketching was taught as an important method of ideating and quickly speaking. Although I think the great importance of sketching can be overstated, it no doubt has a diverse that means and significance to distinctive artists.


Often months go by with out sketching, but you just know that a person evening when you just cannot slumber, an concept for a painting will spark in your head and you urgently have to get it on paper prior to you fail to remember it. This happened to me the other evening so I’m now striving to have a sketchbook at the all set at all moments.



For that same rationale, I constantly have a mechanical pencil nearby also. A mechanical pencil on smooth paper has an immediacy and a cleanness to it which, in my brain, can’t be overwhelmed. Plus, you really do not at any time want a pencil sharpener!



By the procedure of composing this, I’m realising that my sketchbook practice may perhaps be extra vital to me than I earlier gave it credit rating for. Sketchbooks are generally the starting details driving concluded paintings. They are a good put to iterate, and in some cases are unsuccessful, in the pursuit of new ideas. They are the mind-maps in the background that by no means (usually) get noticed.


About Kayoon Anderson

Kayoon was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1997. She studied architecture at the College of Cambridge and portrait portray at Heatherley School of Art. She at present operates as a figurative painter in London and appears to be to Korean art as influences in her follow.

Abide by Kayoon on Instagram

Go to Kayoon’s site



Further Looking at

Inside the Sketchbook of Sarah Dyer

The Marriage Between the Artist and Their Products

Inside of the Sketchbook of Jessica Jane Charleston

Acquiring a Daily Drawing Exercise With the Royal Drawing University


Shop Sketchbooks on


Clare McNamara

As Blog Editor, Clare oversees content for the blog site, manages the publishing timetable and contributes on a regular basis with options, reviews and interviews. With a qualifications in fantastic arts, her methods are illustration, graphic layout, video clip and new music.

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