Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quick Sketching in the Winter Woods

If you've been reading my blog for long, you may remember a post I wrote last spring about my 5-5-5 Sketch Challenge. (Walk for five minutes, draw for five minutes, then paint for five minutes.) Last weekend, I thought I'd give it a try again, this time without my sidekick, a big, sloppy golden retriever who, last time, managed to knock me down and splash mud all over me and my sketchbook page.

 (Click to enlarge)
9" x 12", ink & watercolor, Aquabee Super Deluxe sketchbook

This time, it was peaceful and quiet. I rambled through the woods just down the hill from our house. The weather was mild, but a cold front was on its way. Luckily, I finished up as the first raindrops began to fall.


A page like this isn't great art, but it's a good exercise. When I only have ten minutes to draw and paint a subject, it frees me from worrying about having to have things just so. I have to admit, though, that I added a few touches of paint after I got home, mainly to darken spots here and there.


The beech tree sketch, above, is my favorite of the six. It's a good reminder to me to keep things simple. I have a tendency to try to include way too much in a picture, but on this one, I restrained myself, and I like the results.


Why not give it a try? Go for a walk outdoors and sketch the random things you see. I was surprised to find mushrooms growing in January and green plants peeking out from beneath the dead leaves on the forest floor after only two days of warm weather. Tramping around in the woods is good therapy and sketching is fun - a perfect combination!


  1. I will, Leslie...Practical question: Do you sketch with gloves on? Do you bring a stool in winter when you paint? I am now doing a daily drawing, it feels so good...I love your reminders about simplifying...

    1. When I did the cross-country sketches in my previous post, I had big, thick gloves on, and it wasn't easy holding my fountain pen. I think thinner gloves wouldn't be so much of a problem. The ones with the grippy stuff on the palm would be best. For this sketch, it was warm enough that I didn't need gloves. And a lot of the time, in the winter, I sketch from my van (with the heater on!)

      I sometimes carry a folding camp stool, but not usually. I'm more likely to just sit on the ground or on a stump or a log. If the ground is damp, like it was the other day, I sit on the diaper changing pad that came with the diaper bag I use as my sketch bag. It's waterproof and padded - works great. And I like having my palette right on the ground next to me. It's easier than trying to hold them while juggling my sketchbook on my lap.

      I'm glad to hear you like my reminders about simplifying. Sometimes I must seem like a broken record, but my life is so hectic these days that I need to constantly be reminding myself to slow down, take a deep breath, and look around me. I think a lot of us have the same challenges.

  2. Sounds like an excellent exercise. I like your page - and I have the same favorite, with the lavender brambles my second favorite. I recently bought "fingerless gloves" to try for sketching in the cold - sounds like I need to break them out!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...