Sunday, March 15, 2020

Urban Sketching from Home

Yesterday Urban Sketchers Milano invited the world’s sketchers to take part in #USkAtHome, a social media initiative to sketch from the safety of our homes and share the sketches online with the hashtag. “What we see outside the window” was the theme, which immediately called to mind last year’s snowpocalypse. I sketched from every window in our house’s main floor (here’s the kitchen and the back door).

I didn’t do much from the second floor last year, however, so I took a look around up there. Without a soft cover of snow, the view I see every day (through dirty windows, no less) isn’t remarkable. Nothing engaged me enough to want to commit to a whole page.

Then I remembered the tips I had learned at the Amsterdam symposium in two workshops that emphasized the utility of thumbnails. In addition, Sue Heston makes good use of thumbnails as small sketches in their own right – not necessarily as lead-ups to larger sketches. I took a cue from Sue and broke the page into three smaller spaces to fill with three unremarkable window views in my studio. As often happens, focusing on small areas to fit the spaces helped me choose compositions that might otherwise disappear into the vast blah-ness I usually see.

Stay safe, everyone, but keep sketching!


  1. Thumbnails are a great idea! You at least have different views from your windows. My rooms all face the same view. It may be a bit investing with snow on the trees, but right now I will stick to sketching the view out the windows of my mobile studio.

    1. I only have so many windows! ;-) I plan to get out in my mobile studio again soon, too. Comfy seat there, too! ;-)


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