Sunday, April 15, 2012

More Open Spaces

Hi everyone!
Carol Sloan here.

I am determined to do more urban sketching.
I've been meeting a few times a month with a couple of sketching buddies in various places close to us to sketch.
And to support each other as well.
It can be difficult (scary, overwhelming) to sketch in public by yourself!
Especially if you aren't too sure about your skills...

There is one thing that will improve your skills -

Seriously, I know we all say that about any type of art making but it is so so true!
If you want to improve any skill - you must put in hours of practice.

(off the rant now)

Open spaces.

In downtown Greenville SC, we have a wonderful and inviting place called "Fall's Park".
It's family friendly with lots of interesting areas, many spaces that are uncluttered ,open and airy. These spaces tend to call to the young and young at heart.
I see a lot of dancers, twirlers, actors and skippers in these places...doing their thing.

I was sitting on the edge of a stage (doing my thing)...surrounded by a lot of open space.
This was the view to the left of me -

I love the way that the bridge opening gives us a peek of the area beyond it.
The creek runs that way to the Reedy River, home of lots of baby ducks right now.

That opening makes me want to skip right over and slip to the other side of the bridge.

I hope that you will consider taking your sketching supplies out with you - find an open space to sit in.
Take a deep breath.
And sketch what you see.
Really LOOK closely and draw what you see, not what you think you see.

And practice.
Lots and lots of practice.
Use a bound sketchbook so that you can go back and look at your sketches after a while.
You will be shocked at your progress!


  1. Great post, Carol, full of wisdom! And there's 'our' bridge! Which leads me to add: it's also fun to sketch the same thing over and over. Maybe I'll fill a sketchbook with only sketches of the bridge--see what happens if I'm open to approaching it differently each time. Sorta like Jennifer Bartlett did when she found herself stuck in a dreary place and painted/drew the view outside her window every day for a year. (The project was called In the Garden.) Okay, I'm really thinking now that I'll do it!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. Going outside is a great place to paint, but it can be a bit overwhelming at times. You did a great job of focusing in on a point of interest.

  3. You are so right about practice! I never thought I could draw until I challenged myself to do one quick sketch during my 30 minute lunch break at work. I can't tell you how nervous I was at first in the cafeteria in front of my co-workers. But the improvement I saw and the encouragement I received was such a confidence booster. Thank you for sharing you wonderful sketch and your wisdom and encouragement!

  4. You've probably told us before - but what materials to you take you with? what kind of sketching instruments? etc.

  5. lindjoy - I have a sketch bag that I grab when I leave the house. This is what is in it : Winsor and Newton compact travel watercolors, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens (xs & s), 140 pound watercolor paper (loose sheets to be sewn into a book later), a refillable water brush. I am currently in the process of changing out my watercolor palette to another one. I am also auditioning sketch bags to find a better one (like maybe a tackle bag!).

  6. And thank you everyone for your comments. I love reading them and knowing that you all are reading the posts, thinking about them. And better than that, I love hearing how you're drawing!


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