Sketching often

I tend to be a binge-sketcher. I’ll go for a week or two with barely a page in my sketchbook and then binge-sketch over a weekend or when I travel. I’m trying to change that and sketch more of the everyday stuff around me. Which means lots of sketches of the kids, school events, and little corners of my neighborhood that I don’t usually pay attention to.

If you sketch, and sketch regularly, I’d love tips on how you do it: Do you set aside time for a sketch everyday? Or do you mostly sketch on the weekend? Throw in time for a longer piece if you find you’re not doing enough quick little sketches everyday?

Here’s sketches from this week.
The old fashioned water tower in the city of Campbell. Such a rare sight in Northern California. I love the heavy-bellied, slightly ungainly look of this one. For company while I sketched I had a little 4 year old ( that’s her dad at the table in the foreground). She told me she’d been to New Zealand, but I shouldn’t visit, because the plane ride is very long, and they won’t give me a coloring books and crayons, like they gave her, ’cause I’m a grown up.
Campbell Water Tower, Campbell, California

Cub Scout meeting with my son’s troop. That boy-scout-khaki is fun to paint. Sort of greenish.Or is it yellow? Maybe a hint of blue? A little scout came up to me and asked why I draw “like THAT”…. he didn’t explain what “like that” meant, though.
At my son's Cub Scout Meeting

See what I found in my neighborhood- A pay phone! I’ve never noticed it before, and I bet it hasn’t been used in ages. Pay Phone, San Jose, California

And finally, trying to draw regularly means ending up with lots of sketches of my kids. This one is at their favorite Sushi Boat place. Bamboo pens are fun.
Sushi Boat dinner with the kids

That’s it for now. Those ‘how to sketch more often’ tips? I’m waiting for them.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
Image | This entry was posted in california, Close to home, Silicon Valley and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Sketching often

  1. Shiho says:

    I sketch a few minutes a day, every day – usually during my lunch break. It’s a good breather from my non-sketching day job.


  2. Love the bamboo pen sketch! I always carry a small Moleskein in my purse and have stopped traffic when I see a fabulously dressed figure, especially around the art school at VCU. Hard to do with kids in tow. watercolor washes later that night. Always very fast, sometimes just squiggles.


  3. Suhita, these are great! Good memories stored in your sketchbook–they don’t have to be dramatic to be fond ones later. I have no advice for you–I too am a binge sketcher.


  4. miatagrrl says:

    I love the loose and fresh quality of your sketches! I try to sketch every day, but usually only for a half-hour or less per day. The key is to have sketching stuff with me always, so if I’m on an errand and see a tree in the parking lot, I can sketch it. Once a week or so I make time for longer sketchouts, either alone or with friends.


  5. Dianne says:

    Compliments on your sketches! No matter how irregularly you feel you practice. There is a surety to your stokes I still pursue, and a simplicity of line that I only get after I’ve drawn it about four times! Too late. I keep a Moleskin in my bag and at least a small drawing pad near most places I’m likely to sit down around the house. The result is a lot of incomplete pads, but I guess if it was collected together they’d be a respectable number of at least doodles. I like to draw in front of the TV. The Moleskin in my bag doesn’t get used enough, I keep thinking about how much it cost, and I don’t want to waste any of it. What nonsense, I got it for practicing and because I don’t like to always carry my camera. I keep forgetting to write things, like notes, next to the pictures. That’s the other element of a artist’s journal.


  6. Ethna says:

    Hi Suhita… I do sketch every day and have done so for the past year albeit with a couple of stumbles along the way. I limit it to 20 minutes, but that can be broken up into bits throughout the day….I don’t have to finish a sketch and can continue the next day……one of the secrets is, as someone else has mentioned is: to always have a sketchbook with you, either in my purse or lying close by…..on the coffee table, in the kitchen….somewhere it is easily available….and yes, sketching whatever is on the TV. If I’m out sketching with a group, or at a cafe, it’s usually always more than 20 minutes. They are not always ‘finished’….very often I’m experimenting with a new tool, technique etc. I’m on my fifth A4 sketchbook (not including a small A6 in my bag)….and if there’s probably more quantity than quality, I’m loving it and don’t feel like stopping. I think if I did it any less than every day, somehow it wouldn’t work for me.
    Thankyou for your lovely sketches, Suhita….I’m a great admirer of your work….always so vibrant and full of energy!…..and seeing blogs like yours keeps me going.


  7. I always enjoy and admire your bold pen and ink drawings and equally bold dashing in of color. I’m not that bold and tend to be a bit too perfectionistic, although I have gotten a lot more loose/impressionistic over the years.

    My idea and practice is to get in my exercise walk around the neighborhood, take a Pen & Ink/Watercolor 5.5×3.5″ bound sketchbook (Art Supply Enterprises) and either my Sailor extra-fine fountain pen with Noodler’s Black of a Pitt pen “S” and sketch houses and scenes I like. I usually float in watercolors at home since I don’t like standing around to adde the color. I’m retired so I get to wear my jeans daily, and the sketchbook fits in my rear pocket, the pens in my pocket. I have my cell phone/camera along too in case I want to take a snap shot.

    But I’m not as disciplined as I might sound. Here in Northwest Oregon, it rains at least half the year or more. I do sketch in the rain at times, but it is far more comfortrable and convenient to do my artwork in studio working from sketches and reference photos.

    A simple idea, but maybe it will inspire other ideas.


  8. Love the style and subject matter of your sketches, and yeah, sometimes life doesn’t always grant us unfettered time to sketch and draw. I do my sketching on my train commutes to work, and then I sketch during my lunch breaks. Always good to have a small pocket-sized sketchbook and few pens along as well.


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