Two simple sketches and thoughts about everyday sketching

May 20, 2024 | 5 Comments

On Saturday I did two simple sketches that are a good representative of my approach to everyday sketching.

I was at a church luncheon and talk and although I didn’t feel like sketching during the event, I still wanted a record in my sketchbook. So I did this quick sketch of the back of the church and added colour back home. While I always prefer to do both the drawing and the colour on location at the time it’s not always possible. I don’t beat myself up about it but always try to add colour quickly and simply in a way that is similar to the way I paint on location.

This leads to another thought…  I always prefer watercolour when it’s applied in only one or two passes. The simpler the better! To do this my washes have to be the right consistency and I have to apply the paint confidently and leave it alone.

And just for the record this sketch also includes a little watercolour pencil for texture (the brickwork). If I wanted to create this texture in watercolour I would have had to let my first wash dry. On this occasion, I didn’t want any waiting time!

You might also notice that I sketched over the gutter of my sketchbook – this allows for a more interesting layout of the page. So even though it’s a quick and simple sketch I’m always thinking about sketchbook design!

I went out for coffee and a supermarket visit earlier in the day. The weather has turned wintery here in Sydney and I didn’t want to spend much time in the cold wind. So I did a very quick pencil sketch where I was exploring different marks and how the various elements of my scene related to each other.

My main thought at the time was how satisfying this sketch was. I feel that these days there is ongoing pressure to be constantly producing finished artwork. But in everyday life when I have chores to do and events to attend a quick sketch like this is enough to record a moment. And ultimately capturing moments of my everyday life is the reason I sketch and keep a sketchbook.

So there you have it – two simple sketches that will prompt memories in years to come.

I hope these thoughts encourage you to just go for it and sketch in the in-between moments of life.


  • Ginie Udy says:

    This is a very interesting and encouraging post Liz. I’m amazed how often an issue I have on my mind is then addressed in your latest post. This latest post from you is a great example of that. A reminder of the purpose of a sketchbook for you, and something that is also important to me: capturing the moments in my life. And then how to balance this with ‘nice’ enough sketches, and where to place them on the page if I think I might only get one little thing done.

    On that note, are these two sketches done in your square Alpha? And are they on two seperate spreads? Or combined on the one spread. Both are lovely and interesting by the way! And bravo for braving the weather on Saturday. It was horrendous! (For us Sydneysiders!)

  • Jamie C says:

    Yes! Capturing the moment is so much more important to me than a perfect sketch, yet I still find myself blocked more often than not in doing the quick sketches. It is always so helpful to see examples of how people do capture the moment!

Leave a Reply