Sketching Foolishness

10:32 AM

Okay, let me explain…

I wasn't sketching the woman. I was sketching her scarf. It was gorgeous with colors of blues, turquoise and aquas.
Unfortunately, the scarf happened to be worn by the woman and so I had to sketch her as well. Otherwise, the scarf would look like it was levitating on the page and since I didn't plan well, she didn't turn out so great.
She turned out like some kind of demonic mutant in my first attempt.

When I showed it to my husband, he had the audacity to laugh—can you believe that?!

I can. She's pretty funny looking.

By the way, in case you're wondering…it does not bother me that she turned out like a mutant or that she doesn't look a whole lot like herself in real life. You see, I don't know her from Adam's house cat. It's okay that she doesn't look like anyone I know.

Now, if I knew her…that would be a completely different kettle of fish!

After the sketch bomb on the left, I attempted to redeem myself by re-sketching her face to the right. This one turned out a little better and more proportional to her body.

The lady at the bottom was engrossed in her phone and had no idea anyone else was even in the café.
HINT: Folks who are playing with their phones make great sketching subjects! They seldom look up find you staring at them.

On Sunday, Chris and I went to one of our favorite Greek restaurants and sat out on the patio. The little English Sparrows were busy, busy, busy! The chirping was so loud at times it was a bit distracting.
I waited until we'd finished eating to get out my journal* and start sketching. I only had his** little face sketched when the birds disappeared. I'm can only guess it became too crowded for them. We sat for a little longer before I gave up and we went on about our day.

The odd thing about this is that even though I don't consider either of these pages to be anything to crow about, I really like them!

They were done in the flow of my day rather than a "special trip" just to sketch. My favorite sketches are almost always those that happen in the in-between moments of my day rather than those I create when I make a grand production of going out just to sketch.

How about you? Which are your favorites—the ones you plan out or those that happen organically?

*I've recently had some back issues so I switched to a smaller purse. This forced a change to a smaller journal as my usual Stillman & Birn Zeta would not fit in the smaller bag.

The journal seen above is a no-name watercolor journal from one of the big craft chains. It's 4.24 by 5.5 inches. It's okay, but not my favorite sketchbook by any means.

The palette is a converted lipstick sampler. I cleaned out the leftover makeup and painted the mirror and lid white before adding my paint. It works in a pinch when I want to add just a hint of color to the page.

**I say "his," but in reality this is a composite of several different birds.

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9 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Thank you for sharing your journal pages. I really enjoyed your sketches, your tips and your humor.

  2. This is really weird. When I tried to leave a comment via coming through Facebook it wouldn't take but it will accept it from going straight to your blog from an email notification!

    I think these faces are very tiny and with a one-size-fits-all brush it's really hard to do them especially when your attention was more on the scarf! Love the bird! You got the main part down!

    My favorite pages are my spontaneous ones simply because I had the passion to do them NOW! Rather than plan out a page which I do often but I find hard as I'm a dive right in kind of person. If I dive right in too, it gets done where when I plan, the pages sometimes sit half finished.

    1. I'm never able to comment through FB, Timaree. I always have to leave and go to the blog. Funny how the spontaneous pages seem to mean more than our carefully composed pages!

  3. Love to look at your sketches I can't even draw a straight line or a curved one that makes sense! You have a Great sense of humor. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Ah, Terrysue, I don't believe that! If you are interested in drawing and sketching, check out Drawing with Your Artist Brain by Carl Purcell.

  4. You really make some good points with this. Actually I have a couple of very informal/unfinished sketches that are 'nothing special', but they sort of make me smile - as I recall the circumstances of when I painted them. It really is more about the experience than the finished product.

    1. I think you nailed it, Claire…it's when we capture an experience on the page rather than just an object, place or thing that the pages elevate to something special.

  5. Just stumbled onto your blog and love the few posts I've read. I am completely new (as an adult) to doodling/sketching. I cannot sketch anyone I know because it would never look like them. However, sketching strangers is a completely different thing: no expectations! :)


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