I've really had a craving to get back to sketching and having this new sketchbook to work in has given me a place to "warm up" as it were. You know, like any skill, if you're not using it on a regular basis, you get rusty and lose proficiency. I'm reminding my brain and eyes and hand how to work together again, and decided to sketch a couple of things I could see from my couch. Those yoga blocks were great for practicing getting the angle of the lines right and the part of the furniture behind it sized proportionally. That part I did in one sitting while adding the foreground with part of the coffee table with magazines the next day. Then I moved on to the more challenging sketch of my beloved wing-back chair. It is actually more squat with the back not so straight up and down but as so often happens, I misjudged as I added chair to the first lines at the bottom of the chair and soon it was squeezed into a space that needed to be bigger. It's a subject I can sketch again and from different angles, all really good practice.
Feeling a bit warmed up, I headed out to sketch one end of Foster's Crossing, an old freight depot that now houses shops and an eatery. In a recent drive-by, I was so surprised to see that large sunflowers had been painted on the outside and I definitely wanted to try and capture that. This one I did in the toned paper sketchbook that I've designated for architecture and to be honest, I don't like that toned paper. Hard for a novice like me to figure out how to get things to show up on it, although I'm starting to get the knack. The paper will not take wet media but ink and colored pencil work fine on it. I'm trying to work a little faster, not get bogged down in trying to capture every little detail, and when adding color, not fuss as much trying to get a perfect match. I made progress on all that with this sketch but it still took me a couple of hours to complete!
Just as I was ready to sit down at the computer late yesterday for my end of the day check and maybe start this blog post, the power went out. I got an alert that it was a transformer that had blown so questionable as to how long before electricity would be back on. I took a walk and then pondered what I could do before it got dark, deciding this was the perfect time to take a sketchbook and colored pencils outside to sketch this little scene next door. I'd been watching those tulip leaves pushing up but we are far from having blooms or even leaves on some of the shrubs but that tipped over watering can said, we have a story here to capture. I'm getting more comfortable with my colored pencils and so, I enjoy using them more. With this sketch I wanted to practice "cropping" my composition before starting. I pour over the many urban sketcher sketches on Facebook, noting the different styles and what people choose to capture. When actually out sketching, I tend to see a whole building or a whole scene and end up trying to capture it all in my sketchbook, but I'm realizing that is one reason it takes me so long to do a sketch. If I was taking a snapshot, I might still try to get a whole building if it were interesting, but then I'd get some close-up shots as well. So I'm hoping to focus in on subjects and details, practice that cropping as I observe and decide what to sketch.
The weekend was full of motorcycle racing to watch so little else got done. I remembered I had my stitch camp piece sitting nearby and managed a few more lengths of that twisted running stitch. I still have no idea where this is going or what to do with those circles made with the end of a thread spool, but I continue to add in the hopes that a lightbulb moment will ensue. As for studio work, I think a few handmade books are in order, that and the very needed straightening up. I might be able to eliminate some piles or at least find some things that have gone missing, and catch up on my documentation files. I might even discover what my next "continue finishing more" sewing/quilting project will be.