The above is a watercolor sketch of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I think it nicely captures the vibrancy of the French Quarter particularly found at night. I'm not sure what I will do with this yet, but I think that represents the importance of making sketches and getting your ideas in some sort of tangible form. I don't think one has to have a specific plan when making art and sometimes random experimentation produces amazing results.
My sketchbook is never very far from me, and I will very often pop-a-squat and start sketching a random building, scene, or natural object. Sometimes, if I am in a very crowded location, people will stare and look at me funny. I have yet to be confronted or told to stop, however. This practice of random sketching has resulted in a number of sketches that I have later used in finished works and is good for brainstorming various ideas for further development.
My sketchbook is more a sort of mini studio which has a compartment for the sketchbook itself, but also has pockets, and storage for pencils, pens, erasers, and a portable watercolor set. It is made from scraps of canvas I had and is pictured here:
Some other sketches that I have made and later used include the image below of a cathedral in Shreveport, LA which you may recognize from this painting.
And this sketch of a garbage truck:
for this painting:
One other thought before I go. As I was scanning my sketchbook, the scanner actually picked it up upside down. After seeing it from this point of view, I think it is just as interesting as right side up!
So that gives me something else to think about.