Snatched Sketches

Travel sketching is always exciting. But most of my sketching (and learning) happens in  little windows of time in my everyday schedule: snatched moments really, often time between things. It’s in these sketches that I’m most likely to experiment and improvise, take notes and think about stuff…

This quick sketch was done on the first day back to school. A school evening without homework? Yay! reading_time.jpg

An early sketch, done one day as I thought “I really should study hands more”. That led to the Hands Project.hand

A few moments in downtown Willow Glen, waiting to pick up my niece. Playing with brushpens filled with grey ink and my rainbow pencil, drawing the couple on the bench in the distance.

Getting a haircut. Yes, a stroke of serendipity that this guy was sharpening scissors right by where I sat. But it did help that I always have my sketchbook with me.  haircutting_scissors

And every once in a while, I build in a break at my local coffee shop into my day just so I can catch a sketch. This is Blvd. Coffee in San Jose. Cafe sketching is about as easy as people sketching gets: it’s amazing how long someone will hold a pose while they look at a cellphone. Also, sitting in the back of the cafe makes for a wonderful opportunity for silhouette-sketching (see bottom left of the spread below).

There’s really something to be learnt from artists with a regular drawing and painting practice. Like Shari Blaukopf, who even manages a blogpost almost everyday! Or Nina Khashchina who squeezes in a zillion projects into tiny windows of time in her day.

I’ve toyed with a more structured plan of adding a sketch everyday to a book that sits at my work desk. But that hasn’t happened yet.

Do you have a daily (or close to daily) sketching practice? Is it structured and planned into your day or a more as-I-find-time kinda thing? What works for you and what doesn’t? I’d love to know.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, Everyday Sketches and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Snatched Sketches

  1. dapplegrey says:

    Great Post Suhita! I try, like you, to sketch every day but don’t always manage it, and when I haven’t kept up with some daily practice and get back to it, the rust has really set in. If I can I try to go out for a short walk on my own every day and always take a sketchbook, and draw if only for a few minutes. I have question – do you have a go-to favourite mix for flesh tones when your doing quick people sketching? (I’m asking lots of sketchers the same question and comparing answers!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well as my blog title reflects travelsketching is my world. The objective of travel-sketching is to capture a moment, where urban sketching is to capture a place (and a moment quite often. So I love these because they are a memory of precious moments. It is rare I don’t do at least a quick sketch daily, and post on Instagram. Thanks Suhita, you are always an inspiration.

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  3. I do sketch or paint everyday. However, I am retired and live with my husband. I have an art room or studio and my computer and Ipad are in that room. So I wake up each morning, grab some coffee and check my email updates which are mostly from art blogs I follow. I have special a sketchbook that I reach for and do a couple of contour sketches of my hand. This helps with eye and hand coordination and it warms me up for the day. I may not get back to my sketchbook until later in the day but I do get back to it…otherwise I get grumpy!! I take my sketchbook to yoga to catch gesture sketches of people. I guess I have made art a part of my day. However, keep in mind I don’t have a lot of other distractions. I could not do the same when I was younger and raising my family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your input, Carmel! I do have kids and a freelance job to add ot the mix but much of what you practice would work for me: like a routine by which I circle back to my sketchbook more than once a day: I am pretty sure that’s possible in what I do: in fact, I think it would be very useful in cutting down my screentime. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. miatagrrl says:

    I agree that even though travel sketching is so exciting and full of anticipation, the real learning (and training for travel sketching) comes from the ordinary stuff that happens at home. I do draw every day (by design — I made the commitment to myself when I first started drawing 7 years ago), but many are small, casual sketches of “nothing” moments — parked cars, people on the bus, utility wires, fruit. I keep the standards low so that I can keep up the pace. It’s a marathon, not a sprint! 😉

    – Tina

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice sketches, I really like the ones at the bottom.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome sketches ,it’s good that u keep it up till these days.


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