Looking through a fence

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a chain link fence be a part of my sketch. The earliest sketch I found of one was this post, from 11 years ago, where many people made really useful suggestions on how to tackle the subject.

But in looking at this scene in Berkeley a couple of weeks ago it struck me that I was trying to solve the wrong problem: I wasn’t really interested in drawing the fence. I was interested in putting down on paper the experience of looking through the fence at this view beyond.

Looking past a fence at great big hay bales and all sorts of machinery and horse carriers parked in the rear of Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley, California

As I sat in my car, trying to capture the scene that interested me, there were times when I could focus past the fence and see the machinery and equipment beyond it, almost like the fence didn’t exist. And then a glint on the fence or it’s unrelenting grid-like pattern would force my focus back from the scene. And again, I’d try to look past the fence…This back and forth is what I tried to capture here (See closeups below).

I wish I’d remember to do this more often: to articulate to myself what I’m after before putting pen to paper. It helps with focus in my work and with finding solutions relevant to what I want to communicate. It reduces the gap between what appears on paper and what I see and feel in my heart and head.

About Suhita Shirodkar

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

11 Responses to Looking through a fence

  1. Suhita, this is wonderful! Loved the picture when I saw it on Twitter, and being able to read a bit about your process is just the sort of thing I need.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jankto says:

    I love your treatment of the subject matter. I would never have thought of addressing the fence in this way. I look forward to trying it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a stunning way to mange that feeling. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so perfect! Perfect representation of the fence in the view, and perfect explanation of the drawing / thinking process. Great teaching post!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. melinda says:

    oops! link to 11 years ago actually links to the day before this post. I was confused as to why people were wearing masks 11 years ago!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You were able to make looking through a fence beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Indeed. Clever way to represent the transparency of the fence. Your work is great

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Iona says:

    This is brilliant, so perfect for the view through the fence – there and not there. And so well described. I will definitely try this. Thanks for your posts, I really like your loose and free style. And I think that’s great advice – to articulate what one is after before just jumping in with the pen. So great!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Belinda says:

    Hello Suhita,
    I love this line, “I wish I’d remember to do this more often: to articulate to myself what I’m after before putting pen to paper. It helps with focus in my work and with finding solutions relevant to what I want to communicate. It reduces the gap between what appears on paper and what I see and feel in my heart and head.” Such a great teaching we can all incorporate into our sketching practice, and really, into any other type of practice! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

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