12 October 2012

A few sketchers' thoughts about sketching

One of the beauties of the internet is that it has expanded the concept of ateliers or artist groups/workshops far beyond the individuals we may know in the flesh.  Many thanks to the generous folks who share their experiences and ideas so freely.  The following excerpts and links offer a few intriguing, and perhaps helpful, perspectives on sketching on location.

Enjoy, and happy sketching!  Hope to see you at the Farmers' Market SketchCrawl tomorrow!

A Larry Marshall original, 2012
Local Quebec City sketcher Larry Marshall describes how he 'became an urban sketcher.'
"I'm an urban sketcher in Quebec City. This has not always been so, however. Like so many people, I've spent most of my life believing that I had no talent for art and shouldn't even try. [...] When I started sketching I gave myself thirty days to 'try' to draw. I'm glad I insisted on the 30-day trial as the first couple weeks of sketching were pretty frustrating. Maybe I couldn't do it, but I tried to draw something every day for 30 days. Some days I just doodled; some days I tried to sketch particular objects or places. Those sketches were mostly horrible, but every once in a while a sketch actually looked, sorta-kinda like the thing I was trying to sketch. The notion of 'can't' slowly slipped away and was replaced with 'wow...I'm having so much fun' and 'I'll never be bored again.'" Keep reading . . . -->

Screen shot of Alissa's pages - her
full comments can be viewed here.

Alissa Duke, from Australia, recently undertook a retrospective travel journal project.  Her description of her methods, accompanied by page-by-page images of her nearly-completed journal, offer a wealth of ideas for folks interested in the travel journal style.  It is part journal, and partially a critique of various travel recording methods she tests in the journal.  She says,
"I am revisiting my 2007 holiday to Paris, as if I was there, drawing as much then as I do now ! ..My sketchbook is based on my diaries, photographs I took and where I thought I would have drawn at the time, as well as souvenirs I bought. Although this is created in retrospect, all the time I thought how would approach future travel sketchbooks."  Keep reading . . . OR view her journal -->

Screen shot of Wiley's
 "Location, location, location" blog post.
Another Australian, Jodi Wiley, discusses how reluctant she intially was about sketching in public, and how over time, it has become a hobby, a pleasure, and almost a compulsion.  If you are experiencing, or have experienced, 'sketching stage fright' her words may seem very familiar.
"Picture this. You're in public. You find something you want to draw so you spot a cafe, order a latte and when no one's looking you pull out your sketchbook. You try to hide it on your lap or under the table. You cover your art supplies with your bag, you try to draw discreetly. If someone looks in your direction you close the book, or worse, pack it away, the sketch half-finished, feeling deflated. [...]  That was me at the beginning of the year.  [...]  I've gained much more confidence since. How? Just by doing it."  Keep reading . . . -->

Perhaps my first ever
'successful' architectural
sketch, June 2012
As for myself (Bethann), I pondered what to add here.  Ultimately, I thought I would give you a couple of glimpses into my sketchbooks and what motivated me to resume sketching after a couple-year hiatus.  
This post articulates how I got back into the swing of things, earlier in 2012.  Holding myself accountable to something beyond 'my best intentions' has always been fairly effective.  So, I volunteered to teach a 6-session nature sketching course.  Talk about jumping back in!  Another post highlights some of the warm-up sketches made just as I began to redevelop the habit of frequent on-location sketching.  You can also find a few more of my sketchbook-related posts, as well as some fundamental drawing exercises, by following this link.

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