|Panhandle State Bank taken from Monarch Mountain Coffee sidewalk seating|
September seems a difficult month for my art group. With only four of us, we can be flexible and move the date around if a conflict comes up for one of the group. But September often finds one member out of town and scheduling problems for the others. Thus, even though we had moved the date once, a second member had to bow out at the last minute. Meg and I decided the least we could do was meet for coffee, enjoying the outdoor seating on an unseasonably warm day. We sat across from the Panhandle State Bank building, this view which I had identified just the week before as one I wanted to sketch from just this spot before the weather turned cold.
One of the challenges of sketching on location is training the eye to frame the subject matter. When using a camera, the frame is right there and you can move it around, zoom in and out, until you have the perfect shot. Without the camera, the eye takes it all in and sometimes doesn't know where to stop. So I studied the building for a bit before starting. This is what I thought I wanted to include.
This is what I sketched. Another challenge is scaling what you want to include to the size of the drawing surface. And as you can see, I was way off. I have yet to figure out the blocking-in thing, definitely didn't sketch in enough loosely before taking off on details. I essentially worked from the top down and so the size of those first windows determined how much else was going to fit. Still, there were plenty of angles and light play to keep me busy for an hour.
Today I did some touch-up, darkening lines and adding more shading and some color with Prismacolor pencils, still struggling with this tan toned paper and graphite pencil. I either need to use a larger sketchbook or learn to draw smaller! Wouldn't hurt to look at a book or two on the subject either because, of course, they are available as this urban sketching thing is all the rage right now.
Or...there are always on-line classes. I found out about one called Storytelling being offered by Sketchbook Skool (starts October 3rd) through this blog post by one of my favorites, Mattias Inks. It sounds exactly what I could use and features 3 other instructors besides Mattias. Each style is different so I think it would be great fun and very worthwhile. Unfortunately, time and money are in short supply at the moment, so I will just keep plugging along, learning as I do.