Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Through a Window

Natural surfaces surround us. I found the hardest part about this month's challenge was deciding what direction to take! 

As it's been a bit too cold and wet to spend much time outside comfortably drawing or making rubbings, I gathered a few natural surfaces inside.

I had recently visited a friend's studio where she was teaching a drawing class, and she had set up a still life for her students along with stiff paper windows to look through in order to find interesting compositions.

Inspired by her set-up, I thought I'd share the tip.  She taped the windows to the top of bottles, but I just held mine up long enough to rough in the desired composition and then added detail without the aid of the viewer.

I made three drawings, focusing on the antler, wooden mushrooms, and again the antler, respectively and looking for interesting shapes and relationships. 

I used a medium-soft pencil in a sketchbook made from watercolor paper. Unfortunately, the paper was too rough to effectively explore the different textures of the antler, wood, stone, and pinecone I had in my still life. Regardless, the exercise of using a viewfinder window to seek out intriguing details was fun and helped me focus my drawings a bit. No matter what your favorite medium is, try looking at your subject through a cut-out window and see if it changes your view.


  1. Love the idea and the drawings. It reminds me that I attended a painting workshop years ago and the tutor set up a flower arrangement inside a very large box. The box had windows cut into it on three sides and the four side was open. With a series of paper flaps, various windows could be opened or closed, a lamp was placed to cast interesting light and shadows through the open window. I really must set one up.

  2. It's funny to me that I can have an item like a paper window (which I do!) and never think to use it in this way! Thanks for the good idea.

    That's what I love about this blog - it's full of good ideas!


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