Urban Sketcher Goes Rogue

I’m an urban sketcher, or at least almost everything I draw is done ‘on location’ – drawing what I see.  I’ve not be too interested in ‘expressive’ or abstract drawing.  I’m not into adult coloring books.  I just draw stuff and wandering my city looking for things to draw is part of my equation.

But it’s winter here in Quebec and while it’s amazingly warm for us at the beginning of February our high temps are still in the -10 range so sketching on the street, my usual location, isn’t really practical.  I know that Nina Johansson uses vodka so her paints don’t freeze but I’m an old Arizona boy and I’d have to consume a lot of vodka to keep myself from freezing.

And so, this is the time of year when I start drawing people in coffee shops, restaurants and at the library.  This is a time when I draw in our museums.  This is the time of year when I’ll draw the occasional cast drawing in an attempt to improve my ability to see halftones and to render objects.

One thing I’ve never done in art was to make stuff up.  I’ve done it as a writer but I haven’t felt that I had sufficient handle on form, light and shade, and the rest to conjour drawings from my memory.  Yvan keeps telling me that I should develop that ability as it helps so much when drawing on location but, well, I haven’t done so.

Until yesterday.  I was playing with creating some watercolor backgrounds for doing ink sketches on to of them and when my brain looked at the bright Quin Gold blob I’d put in the middle, I saw a ‘tall mountain island fortress’ and so I started drawing.  It was a feeble effort, but an effort nonetheless, to draw something from my imagination.  I had fun and will probably do this some more.


7 thoughts on “Urban Sketcher Goes Rogue

  1. Impressive, Larry! I don’t think I could get more than a stick man sketched out of my imagination!

    – Tina

    • Tina, at least on a small scale it seems that it’s sort of like rolling a rock down a hill. It’s getting it started that’s the hard part. This scene started as a blob of paint, which became a tall island rock, which became a REALLY large island rock when I thought about putting buildings on top and at its base. It almost ended up with a dragon flying overhead but I decided there wasn’t enough space for one 🙂 — Larry

    • If you decide you’d like to try, I highly recommend the paint blob approach 🙂 Just take some smallish sheets of watercolor paper and start slopping paint on them in no particular pattern. Once dry, look at them like a Rorschach test, deciding what the blobs look like. If nothing else, it’s fun. — Larry

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