In the baby books I read to my kids eons ago, this was called a digger. There are lots these in my neighborhood just now. They’re busy all day and only stop at night or for a lunch break.

So I stepped out to draw one at dusk last week. All I took with me was a sheet of paper folded up accordion-style, my Sailor Fude pen and a small backing board. There’s a lot you can get on paper with just one pen if you are willing to have messy hands from smudging and blotting the ink on your page for texture.

I walked around the digger, sketching it, moving along a little bit every so often. As the light faded, I had a strange machine on my page, but only in black and white. I’d have to come back at lunch the next day to finish it. (Wish I’d remembered to take a picture of the sketch in black and white, I didn’t)

Back the next day at lunchtime, I sat in the shade of a nearby tree and added in color. Here is the finished piece.

Here are all the bits of it in closeup.

I had so much fun with this. I’m going to have to think up some more places I could apply this idea of a “walk around”. It adds an extra challenge to the process of sketching and captures a constantly changing point of view.


I’m taking a few days off from being on my computer to spend some quality Spring Break time with the kids. I just added a new session of my popular People Sketching Workshop, and it starts on May 8th. Check out the details and sign up here.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, Construction, Everyday Sketches, experiments, san jose, Silicon Valley and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Digger

  1. Komal Shinde says:

    Hello Ma’am, This is Komal Shinde. Am a Masters student pursuing Communication and Journalism. Currently, I am doing research on Challenges female faces while sharing their experiences while blogging online.
    I want to conduct an interview of the same on Zoom call if you are okay with it. Please do share your email ID if you wish to move forward with this.


  2. Reminds me if so many books that my kids read, too. Do you ever illustrate children’s books?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Annie says:

    Yes, what fun, and how enjoyable to see your ‘wrap-around’ sketch of the local digger. And this is a great idea to try, thanks, Suhita.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anke Wagner says:

    That is really clever and beautiful !
    One can sense the fun and challenge you must have felt making the sketch .
    Awesome !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pfel says:

    brillant! superb artwork as always.
    As one of my professor told me in Art school: it’s a good sign to end any session with your hands full of ink/chacoal/paint 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Can you please change my email address from




    Thank you.

    Janette Rozene

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  7. maggiedot says:

    This is so fantastic! My kiddos love construction trucks so much—and these are so perfect. Thanks for sharing! ❤️🙌

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ndpawar says:

    very nice art madam

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carmen says:

    I love the way the accordion sketch came out, it looks amazing!


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