What is one to do when it rains, rains, rains, and a scheduled sketching session is cancelled? We are facing just that challenge here in Quebec City today. I was going to lead a nature drawing session at Parc Samuel Holland, but the weather did not cooperate. As a close second, here are a few sketching prompts which you could use to make sure you still sketch this evening. Take a few minutes, or the luxury of an hour or more, and enjoy yourself.
To begin, find a comfortable seat near a window. Identify one or two things (or scenes) which catch your attention. Then, try one or more of the following exercises:
- Contour drawing - Contour drawing encourages us to concentrate on details and the outline of something at the same time. The subject is drawn in one continuous, connected line, just as contours of a landform are represented on a map. The result is often a little "messy," but also tends to capture the energy or personality of a scene with lots of expression. Try using this technique to sketch a tree, a vehicle, or someone nearby.
- Negative space drawing - Using this technique, we consider not only the space occupied by our subject (positive space), but also the space around it (negative space). Try using this technique to sketch a tree, or a few buildings, or your patio furniture.
- Make a field journal entry - A field journal entry combines words and sketches in a way that records both what you see and your curiosity about your subject. You can turn any sketch into a field journal entry by including some basic information (time, date, location, weather, etc.), and by making some detailed observations to accompany your sketch. Read more about field journaling here.
- Tips for field sketching - I put together a sheet of tips for basic field sketches. It includes notes about perspective (making things seem closer or farther away), drawing trees, leaves, birds, and animals' eyes, and a couple of different ways of drawing (outline, contour, shading or not, etc.). Feel free to reference these tips while making your sketch(es).
- If you are feeling "stuck" try changing something. Use a different tool (if you always draw in pencil, try using markers or a pen). Draw something you've never tried to draw before, even if it seems "too hard." Draw something that seems so ordinary you'd never think of drawing it - your toothbrush, a coffee cup, the backdoor of your home.
- SHARE YOUR SKETCH(ES)! Show your sketch to someone, and don't "apologize" for it. Then, scan it, or take a photo, and send it to email@example.com. We'll share any sketches you make this evening, or this week, in a new post at the end of the week.