A long, luxurious sketch is lovely. But what do you do when you travel with non-sketchers? Go on guided tours? Or when you watch a performance that won’t last very long? You find quicker ways to sketch.
Perhaps you capture the accordion who comes by while you eat lunch in a quick gesture drawing using a brushpen. It only takes a couple of minutes.
Or, you create a page of vignettes as you move through your day. Meagan Burns joined me as we put the final touches to our agenda for the week. And when she ran off on a quick little errand, I pulled out my sketchbook, not knowing how long she would be gone, and started on a little sketch of the entrance to the Botanical Gardens. And when that was done, I decided to add a closeup of a detail… and then another one. And then she was back and we moved on (although I think she bought me a few extra minutes to finish up by taking photos of me sketching). Each little piece took only a few minutes, so it was something I felt I could tackle even in a short time. Too often, we pass up sketching something that catches our eye because there isn’t enough time…
The sketches are quick, sometimes a bit wonky, but they’re a memory, captured in minutes.
We did more vignette-capturing that day as we scouted locations.
Los Lavadoros is a beautiful hexagonal building that functioned as a laundry for a nunnery. Our tour guide could take us to it (it is now housed in a hotel) but we couldn’t settle down for a long sketch… Vignettes to the rescue, again, each solving a problem, or capturing a little thought, detail, or response.
And one more vignetted collection, with our tour-guide, Suzanne in it as we opened our workshop with a guided tour of Oaxaca.
Pages of sketches like this mean so much to me. Each quick little vignette is a way to capture a memory. That black and white graphic in the middle of the page is all I could capture in a short time, but it will always remind me of this powerful mural (if you know who the artist is, I’d love to know) and of the somber significance of the number 43 in Mexico’s history.
The first post in this series from Oaxaca is here. More coming soon.