Are Sketching Doldrums A Thing?

Every November I go through a down period when it comes to sketching.  It’s sort of like I’ve got the clutch disengaged as I change gears.  In the meantime my brain is spinning in neutral.  My daily outdoor sketching routine comes to an end and I’m waffling around, trying to figure out how I’m going to survive the winter as a sketcher in Quebec City.  This year is particularly bad because out provincial ‘austerity’ plan has gutted the budgets of the few local museums in Quebec City and so my typical winter haunts are nearly barren.

But I did meet our tiny group at the main library and we sketched one morning last week so I’ll share those little sketches with you.  All were done in my tiny Stillman & Birn Alpha (3.5×5.5) softcover sketchbook.

2016-10-27library1The sketch on the left was the last outdoor sketch I did this year.  I was leaning against a wall, trying to keep warm and I drew very quickly, but not quick enough as I gave up before I could start adding any details to it.  It’s here only because it’s on the same spread as the sketch on the right which was the first sketch I did at the library.  From the 2nd floor of the library you can see this building across the street.

img_20161031_194456289When I finished I went hunting for my fellow sketchers and found them sketching a display in the kid book section.  This winter will see me doing a lot of these quick sketches of people.  Maybe, with the help of recent books by Pete Scully and Lynne Chapman I’ll figure out how to do them better.

2016-10-27library3When I finished with those sketches I went looking for a third member of our group and found her upstairs, sketching the street below.  She was near to finishing and we were all going to meet for an early lunch, so I quickly did a few more real quick sketches of people who were reading.  Here’s two of them.

As I’ve suggested, I’m not sure where my sketching will go this winter.  There are several things I’d like to work on this winter and, I suppose, I’ll be doing a bunch of ‘studio’ sketching this winter.  Wish I had a studio (grin).

9 Responses to “Are Sketching Doldrums A Thing?”

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  1. Julana says:

    Nice detail for such a small sketchbook.
    Maybe you can find some nice indoor markets with coffee and seating. Or an airport or bus station. Or the inside of some old government buildings. Or some indoor rooms of the zoo? Or some local public school events– music, sports, drama? Or the inside of some beautiful old churches?

    • Most of these are things I do in the winter, though we don’t have a zoo. The thing is, winter happens every year so I’ve spent considerable time in those places and they’re not as exciting as they once were 🙂 This ‘doldrums’ thing happens to me every year but I get over it and get back to sketching in earnest, just not with my favorite subjects. — Larry

  2. Transitions are always interesting. I’m not very good at them. I like my routine and I like large landscapes outside. Knowing that about myself, I decided this year to just embrace what’s going on in the weather. If I can’t get outside to paint or see something big, then I guess the universe is giving me a chance to focus on something inside that’s smaller. A bowl. A leaf. A stack of books. There will likely be a bit of whining first, but it’ll be good for me to practice drawing/painting smaller things for a while.

    • I’ve never convinced myself that sketching still lifes at home, or sketching from photos is interesting. I’ll do it as quick-sketch practice but otherwise…. Like every other year, though, I’ll move into winter mode soon. — Larry

  3. Elva says:

    I do a lot of sketching from inside the car. I assume you do that too. It gets me out in a much broader variety of weather.

    But I don’t live in a deep freeze, which better describes where you are.

    I wish you the best adjusting to winter.

    • If I had a car I’d certainly do that but Chantal and I decided to get rid of our second car a few years ago so, other than a possibility of using the car on the weekend, I walk everywhere, which is good for my health but less so for sketching when it’s cold. Maybe I’ll do sketches from Elva nature photos 🙂 — Larry

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  1. […] to think, though, that my situation this year is a bit different.  I say this because the depth of my ‘doldrums,’ as I’ve called them are far deeper than normal and I believe the reason is that I’m […]