This month I had the Sketchbook slot in "Paint and Draw" Magazine, and they made a 4-page spread using my sketchbook pages.
I'm particularly keen on the use of sketchbooks, and make use of mine to draw from life whenever I can, and also to sketch from the photos and film I take whilst I'm out researching my wildlife subjects - this allows me to refine my ideas.
It's necessary to draw fast and economically when working from life, since animals don't usually stay still for long!
With practice, though, I can usually get down the basic shapes and information, and coupled with careful observation, it all adds to my memory bank of shapes and behaviours to use later.
I also try out colour pencil tests to plan my pictures, making lots of notes as I go along, to prompt me to remember ideas that crop up.
The little "thumbnail" sketches will shape my planning of the composition and content of my work.
Paint &Draw Magazine is an interesting monthly publication, full of articles giving instruction in a variety of artistic techniques.