I have used drawings to serve many purposes amongst which gathering information is key. Life study, including animal and plant study is a great way of focusing attention and gaining useful insights for future creative activity.
Apart from making notes about things of interest, I have found sketchbooks mainly useful as a place where initial scribbles can be developed into firm ideas for sculptures. I have recently come across some of my early sketchbooks pages of which illustrate this process and other things that caught my attention.
When embarking on some projects I made studies of details which might or might not be included in the final work. E.g. the study of the 19th Century dressing table which was central to my sculpture:- The Dressing Table. The two beds were part of my plans but projects which were not fulfilled.
Particularly in the context of Play Sculpture work it was necessary to let clients and subcontractors know details of my proposals. By technical drawings backed up by sketch models I could accurately make my intentions clear, as with my whale and nautilus sculptures for a centre in Chatham.
While at College I was introducing students to a wide range of approaches to drawing. As well as the obvious attention to observation they were encouraged to consider the media they were using and to exploit its possibilities, as for instance with charcoal or 6B pencils and the dramatic tonal effects that could be achieved. I also taught perspective and the means whereby 3D forms could be convincingly represented on a flat surface.
Many of my drawings have been done with no greater purpose than my pleasure at the end result. The landscape drawings I made around the village where I lived in Italy, and the Steam Tractor I saw at a Steam Fair in Yorkshire being examples.