The Value Of Sitting

I’m a street sketcher.  I wander my city looking for things to sketch.  I’m not too picky and actually shun the things tourists photograph.  I guess I’m more of a “mundane sketcher” as I like the challenge of creating something that looks good from something most wouldn’t even notice.

But there are times when I “can’t find anything to sketch.”  I put that in quotes as it’s a common phrase among sketchers that really makes little sense, but the person saying it knows exactly what they mean.  Yes, there are trees, planes, trains and automobiles to sketch but nothing is speaking to them.

When I find myself in that situation I sit down.  Yep, it’s that simple.  If I sit, pretty much anywhere, I start to see things I don’t see when I’m walking.  I’ll sit and start looking around.  Rather quickly, I’ll find something interesting to sketch.  Remember, I’m not searching for Mona Lisa.  I just want something that motivates me to get out my sketchbook and pen.

This sketch is the result of sitting down in a tiny park along the St. Charles River.  I sat on a rock as it was dryer than the benches because it had been raining as I walked.  Before I got to add color to this sketch, it started raining again so I had to add the color when I got home.

park near St. Charles River

Stillman & Birn Delta (6×8), Pilot Falcon, Platinum Carbon Black

I was returning from a long walk and I sat on a bench in Parc Brebeuf, along my river (the St. Charles) and decided to sketch this small scene of a part of the river bank.  Done quickly, I added color to this one when I got home as well.

Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, Pilot Falcon, Noodler's Lexington Gray

Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, Pilot Falcon, Noodler’s Lexington Gray

So, the next time you’re out and looking for something to sketch, sit down.  It may help.