I Went Sketching – Yippee!

As I look out my window I can only barely see the house across the street.  This is because we’ve got a rip-roaring blizzard going on.  This winter has been a doozy thus far.  We’ve already had 11-12 feet of snow and it’s only mid-February.

Many of us have gotten some chuckles listening to the people in Seattle and Vancouver try to deal with snowfall and I include myself among them.  Sure, they’re not used to it, aren’t equipped for it, and are even somewhat surprised by the snowfall, I suppose, but it’s fun to poke fun at them nevertheless.  I’m just glad they took some snow off our hands as we’ve got so much my snowblower is having a hard time throwing the snow to the top of the snowbanks that line my driveway.

But it wasn’t snowing on Monday and Yvan and I headed for the Quebec Federation of Hunters and Fishermen offices.  They have an amazing exhibit of taxidermy animals and it’s a delightful place to sketch.

My hand was hurting a bit, but my real problem was that I’d lost my ability to “see.”  Nothing was automatic and I struggled to see the shapes and volumes of the coyote skull I decided to draw.  I should have chosen something more simple.  I guess I should have known that “out of practice” would include all aspects of drawing, but I figured that once I trained my brain, it would stay trained.  Then again, I forget where I put my keys so…  Anyway, here’s my version of a coyote skull, which has an eye socket drawn way too small.

Stillman & Birn Nova (5.5×8.5), Pilot Metropolitan, DeAtramentis Black

I took a short break to get a drink and rub my hand a bit.  Then I sat down to draw a duck.  I felt a bit more confident by this point and I didn’t need to second guess myself so much.  We’d decided to stop at noon for lunch and so I rushed a bit to finish this one but I was happy, and a bit tired.

Stillman & Birn Nova (5.5×8.5), Platinum 3776, diluted DeAtramentis Document Black

We ate lunch with the idea that we would return to sketching but we didn’t.  My hand was hurting and Yvan suggested that we call it a day since it was my first day back to location sketching.  Instead, we decided to go have coffee where we talked about composition, tactics for blocking in drawings and identifying simple shapes in a scene.  We topped off the day with a stop at an art store and then I got to look over a bunch of Yvan’s art.  The day couldn’t have been more perfect.

6 Responses to “I Went Sketching – Yippee!”

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  1. Tina Koyama says:

    Good to see you back at it! And hey, hey — no making fun of us here in the city of nothing but hills! And steep ones! Besides, our snow is already thawing, so neener-neener. 😉

    – Tina

    • …we have hills here too, Tina. We also have snow tires (mandated by government) and lots of snow removal. And I HAVE to make fun of others to deflect from the fact that I’m dumb enough to live in a place where I have to look up to see the tops of the snowbanks next to my driveway. I spent two hours removing snow yesterday and woke this morning to more of the nasty stuff in the driveway. Our snow won’t melt until April. So give me my jollies as I watch your cars slide sideways down the street (grin).

  2. Kate B says:

    So glad you’re able to get back to sketching.

    I didn’t do any sketching for about 40 years. It took some time, but I found it was all still there and just needed some practice.

    I grew up in Michigan. I don’t remember ever getting 12 feet of snow but I do remember snow tires, shoveling all winter, lots of plows. People didn’t have snow blowers then. I still think I can drive in snow but I didn’t go out because I didn’t trust all these WA people who can’t!

    What Tina said. It’s melting quite nicely today. 😉

    • I was a kid along the Ohio/Michigan border. My dad got fed up of shoveling, quit his job, and moved us to Arizona. You’d think I would have learned from that but here I am 🙂 I smiled when I read your displeasure about the slush stage of snow. I suppose we don’t like it much here either but we sure look forward to it. Unfortunately, it won’t happen here until April 🙁

  3. Very happy to hear you had a productive day of sketching. Thanks for the reminder to keep my hand in doing quick sketches just to keep the eye sharp.