Sketching between appointments - cafe and car

June 3, 2015 | 4 Comments

Between appointments today I had a chance to visit my favourite cafe in Crows Nest – Sparrow. I do find it hard to resist drawing my cup of tea! It is like a reflex action now these days. I am normally not happy when I have a clumsy moment and smudge my wet paint, but sometimes it turns out ok.

You might notice another resolution: Increasing the standard of neatness of my writing. I have realised that I have lessened my ‘architect’s standard’ for neat writing lately and I just want to take a little more care! I have a general standard of neatness and then there is the ‘architects standard’… I am in the mood for a little more neatness though it might not last. One of the golden rules is to use guidelines….but I am going on a tangent again. Back to today’s sketches….

And after my cuppa sketch I drew some people in the cafe. After months of sketching people in the back pages of my book they are now coming to the front. I have spent a lot of time working out what is the best approach for me and all I want to do is to go for it in ink. I love Marc Holmes’ approach with gestural pencil first – it makes a LOT of sense but somehow that is not the way I want to be working at the moment. I have tried it, but it doesn’t feel right.

I set myself a high standard when it comes to accuracy and with moving subjects a little slip of the pen results in a serious deformity! So it has taken me a while to get to a stage that I am ‘happy with’ – it is the stage I am happy with not necessarily each sketch – there are still lots of deformities and distortions but I have a strategy and a plan I am working through.  It feels great to be making my mistakes and learning in the front of my book now.

Sketching static objects with hard object in ink only is one thing but moving people with soft edges is a completely different ball game. These days I have no problem at all with the first (especially if I work a little slower), but the second needs a whole lot of different skills! These are what I have been working on… and basically I believe it requires a LOT of knowledge of your subject matter.

Another thing that has been on my agenda to sort is how to make a nice page out of failed attempts so that my sketchbook has a level of consistency. I used to think that my frustrations with drawing people was the fact I gave up at the line stage, and didn’t add paint… but right at the moment I only want to do simple line drawings like these.

I arrived at my second appointment early so had time to draw the view from my car spot. Instead of using a pen with a fude nib, I decided to do this with my normal Lamy pen so thinner and more consistent line weights.

Ah! it is so nice to be out sketching!



  • Always interesting to hear your thoughts and see your tools of the trade, Liz (post below). I do always like the writing on your pages and your particular style let me know you were an architect way back when I found your blog.

  • JOAN says:

    It's so much easier to read what you write when you take the time to slow down and be neat! I'm eager to hear about your progress and methods of sketching people in motion. I've just taken up drawing people in public places…line drawings only, no pencil first. I've been following Marc's book and video to help me along. I don't do well with pencil first so dropped it, going straight into ink lines.

  • MiataGrrl says:

    I find it so interesting that I, too, prefer to use the ink line only (plus a little ink wash for shading ) with people, while with urban sketches I usually need color. When I've used watercolor on people, I get too hung up on getting the skin color right, when really it's not important compared to proportions and volume.

    – Tina

  • It makes me feel violated. I won't Cheap Archeage Gold even go into all the details of all the things she has said to me. I know she means well, but seriously. I am a Archeage Gold serious person. I am responsible. I have always been career and education focused. So she has nothing to worry about. I have done NOTHING to Buy RS Gold earn her distrust. And she knows I hate it when she makes certain comments to Buy Archeage Gold me but she just keeps doing it anyway.

Leave a Reply