Urban sketching


Whilst I use a sketchbook (in fact, I have several in various states of use), these have mostly been for planning paintings, so thumbnail notans, compositions, etc, with the occasional sketch of my foot, or the lamp next to the TV.

One of the things that has established regular sketching for me is carrying around a smaller sketchbook ( I have a couple, both Moleskines, one for just sketching, the other can handle watercolours or pen and wash) and discarding the pencil and using pen.

In fact, I’m surprised, given how permanent a pen mark is (compared to a pencil) how liberating is it!  First off, I like the feel of how the ink flows on the page (fulfilling a sensory need is one of the reasons I paint), and actually I so enjoy it that I’m not (too) bothered about accuracy.

The other thing is that pens, a brush pen and a sketchbook are so portable and to hand, even indoors, and I’ve found huge inspiration from the fabulous Liz Steel, and Australian urban sketcher.

What’s great is that I’ve found of way of keeping a diary that I like – a combination of my sketchbook and this blog.  Some of the sketches will probably be worked up into finished oil paintings, but others definitely won’t.

Another plus is that whilst I’ve been known to paint plein air landscapes in my local area, I feel somewhat intimidated doing this in my local town with all the oil painting kit outside Starbucks!  Urban sketching will help me get my eye in and work up to that I hope.




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