Los Angeles-based illustrator Ken Garduno creates nostalgic narratives of popular culture that have a style reminiscent of classic 60s and 70s milieu. His artworks are a delightful mix of media including the use of watercolor and inks on paper. I asked Garduno to let us peek inside his sketchbook for our ongoing Inside the Sketchbook Series. See his humorous sketches and read the interview about his daily “sketch parties” below!
Have you always kept a sketchbook?
Always. I’ve usually kept more than one sketchbook, which is probably why I rarely fill one completely.
Why is it important for you to keep a sketchbook?
I never know when inspiration is going to strike. I know I won’t be able to remember most ideas, so I have to write them down or sketch them out instantly. There are occasions when I don’t have my sketchbook, and I’ll find a receipt in my wallet or a business card to sketch on. They’re also great to fill in the awkward moments. Instead of sitting around and looking bored or smoking if I’m waiting for something, I usually pull out my sketchbook.
Do you often sketch out ideas before working them into finished pieces?
I used to do that more. I’ve found that I don’t need to plan pieces out as often. I like to think about what I’m going to paint and plan it out as I’m working on the piece. I like to work through my mistakes.
What brand of sketchbook do you use?
I have a variety of brands that I use. The brand that I carry with me most (and probably the most popular with most other artists) is the Moleskin. I also tend to work on loose paper and stick the pieces in my sketchbooks.
What are some good sketchbook tips and habits that you can share with our readers?
Don’t worry about being judged. I know that’s easier said than done, but you don’t have to show anyone your sketches. I carry a variety of sizes with me in my car wherever I go. It’s nice to have options when you’re away from home. I’ve recently rediscovered my small travel palette for gouache and water brush. It’s an easy and convenient way to add some color to your sketches.