New week resolution: I am going to make time every time I go out to do a quick sketch of an everyday scene. Too often I just rush back to work and don’t allow myself the time to pause and record.
This is a sketch of the back of a shop as seen from my car after my visit to the gym. It was a very uninteresting ugly everyday scene and yet I was drawn to the shapes and how they were arranged around the windows. Plus I always need to work on drawing cars!
Drawn with De Atrementis mixed raw sienna ink (brown and yellow) then DS watercolour, then more lines, then more watercolour.
A few thoughts in my head while I sketched this:
It is funny how with my freelance lifestyle these days I have less time to do sketch than when I had a 8.30-6.30 office job. I know that I have more freedom to catch up with friends during the middle of the day, often with a sketching focus, but I always more than make up for this time by the hours that I put in during the evening. And as great as it is to be sketching with friends, I don’t think it is a substitute for doing my own work, thinking through new concepts and techniques.
When I had a full time architectural job, I made the most of the rare moments I had, arriving early at the office, sketching at lunchtime or sketching on the way home. I drove to work so didn’t have the commuter time in a bus or train (that would have given me even more time). But now I have to make a conscious effort and I often feel a little guilty if I do delay my outing for a sketch – “I should be back at work!”
I find it far more meaningful to sketch a boring, ugly scene like this and make it into a nice sketch or an experimental sketch, than I do to draw a random object at home at night when I feel the urge to paint. These random objects have little meaning to the day that is just past. This is one of the reasons why I have struggled with the Everyday in May challenge. I know I sketch a lot of teacups, but this is always in the context of having a break and drinking a tea out of the cup – it is in fact recording a moment in my day not just an object.
This recording of a moment is one of the reasons why I love Urban Sketchers so much – USK has got me out more and seeing the everyday scenes that others sketch is truly inspirational to finding worthy subjects in your own environment even if it is boring, ugly suburbia! We might not all live in beautiful picturesque cities but there are good shapes everywhere around us – so there is always something worthy to draw!
And… there is such a special buzz that comes from sketching out on location. It is hard to get the same feeling when you are sitting in the comfort of your sketching spot at home or sketching from a photo. And even if you sketch from the car (which isn’t all that comfortable – the steering wheel always gets in the way) you still get that excitement of having the subject in front of you with potential movement and weather changes. It is the element of risk taking that is what I find most addictive!
Anyway, I have managed to write a lot about a simple sketch! This little rambling is a prelude to a blog post that I have been trying to find the time to write for weeks… hopefully in the next few days. It will be entitled: “Why am I bothering?”
But in the meantime, I would love to hear about your struggles to make time to sketch… for those of you that have busy schedules and for those of you who work freelance!!