Sketchbookers: It’s Okay To Do It In Public

Drawing in my sketchbook is something that, until recently, I’ve pretty much only practiced at home. But without really thinking about it, I grabbed my sketchbook on my way out the door the other day, when I knew I’d have some down-time while I was out and about. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my good pen, so I ended up drawing with a blue ink Bic (great for taking notes at work; horrible for drawing, at least for my style and in my humble opinion). But it served the purpose, and I learned my lesson.

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It takes bravery to take your works-in-progress into the public sphere, out of the shelter of your own space. While I did so not out of bravery, but out of selfishly wanting to entertain myself and start putting down some ideas for a new project I’m starting, I found that I was judging my own sketch as if I were someone else who might be looking at it from a different, critiquing perspective. It seemed a mess: I hated the blue ink; my proportions were wrong, and I ended up having too much white space to fill in under the main subject. But all of this aside, I think I’ll bring my sketchbook along with me again.

Urban-sketch-by-Gabriel-Campanario

The Great Seattle Wheel by Urban Sketchers founder Gabriel Campanario

James Hobbs, author of Sketch Your World: Essential Techniques for Drawing on Location, understands the fears and reservations we all may experience at some point. “One of the main fears for many sketchbookers is the self-consciousness and vulnerability that drawing in public can create,” he says. “Generally, however, people don’t often approach someone drawing and, when they do, they’re usually supportive and perhaps even impressed. Some sketchbookers even enjoy the conversations that can ensue.”

Consider joining a sketch crawl

James also suggests joining a “sketchcrawl,” which he explains as a “relaxed gathering to compare sketchbooks, swap ideas, and make friends.” Photo courtesy of Fran Fernández.

How do you feel about drawing on location? Are you comfortable with it; do you do it often? Do you have reservations or tips? Sketch Your World showcases the work of 60+ contemporary artists, giving you techniques and the confidence to take it outside and make your statement of experiencing the world around you. Share your comments about this on our blog, and post your own sketches on our Facebook page!

Happy sketching,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor**Free Download: Start Drawing: Drawing Basics for the Beginning Artist

 

 

 

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