It can be easy to think (based on what we see on social media) that urban sketches ‘should’ always involve going on dedicated sketching outings and spending a considerable amount of time to achieve a finished sketch. But this is not the case – and in fact, I strongly believe that constantly doing quick simple sketches out on location is the best way to develop our skills and keep our visual brain active.
Last Friday I sat down to do my usual morning sketch (while sipping a takeaway coffee) and I decided to start with recording the shadow shapes of the scene before me with NeoColor II crayons. I liked this first pass so much that I decided that I wouldn’t add much more to the sketch – just a few shapes with a second colour and then added some loose lines to some of the edges.
This sketch was basically a large-scale thumbnail using two important skills – abstracting shapes and feeling edges. These form the basis of every sketch I do (These concepts are explained in detail inside my Foundations course).
I had a lot of fun doing it and certainly felt that my creative juices were flowing as a result. It only took me a few minutes to complete so as soon as I finished my coffee, I was ready to walk home and eager to start my workday. This is exactly what I want my everyday sketching to be!
Do you ever do quick simple sketches when you are out and about or do you only do urban sketching during dedicated outings?
Finally – thanks to everyone who left a comment/suggestion on Friday’s article. I’ll do a few options and share more in a few days’ time.