Monday, January 18, 2016

Settling in for the Winter

1/17/16 water-soluble colored pencils (from photo)
Last winter and the winter before that, I recall getting really frustrated when I couldn’t go out to sketch (which, in Seattle, is about seven months out of the year). If it was dry, I’d go out in my car, which kept me warm enough, but rain on the windshield makes even that kind of sketching annoying. Museums and cafés, of course, were a mainstay, as they are now. But none of that is as fun as sketching outdoors on location, so I often got antsy.

I guess by now I’ve figured out my wintertime sketching routine – sketching my face, sketching from photos or going to life-drawing sessions (plus the occasional still life, museum, café or other indoor venue) – and I’m OK with that. It’s a long winter, but I’ve accepted that I get different kinds of practice when I’m forced to stay indoors, and I appreciate that practice. For example, on location, using colored pencils as I did on this tiger, blending lots of different colors, takes way too long, and I’d need to carry around too many pencils to meet every urban sketching need. But at the comfort of my well-lighted desk, sipping hot tea, copying photos with colored pencils is as much fun as anything I can think of on a cold, rainy day.

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