What shall I sketch?
Sometimes it is not that easy to decide what to sketch. The problem is not having too little to draw, but too much! Whenever we step outside we are bombarded with so much visual information that we can be overwhelmed and not know where to start. I have often gone out painting and have spent the first hour or so wandering around looking for the best scene, often ending up back where I started, and having wasted all that time!
In this section I want to introduce you to the wonders of using a viewfinder to help solve this problem, and I also want to show how you can use different types of sketch to gather different kinds of information. And finally I want to give you some ideas for finding paintings in surprising places.
Where shall I sketch?
The easy answer to this is ... anywhere!
Take a sketchbook with you wherever you go, and then you will always be at the ready to sketch at a moments notice. There is always something to draw! And the more you draw the better you will get.
I love the fact that drawing makes you remember a scene. As you concentrate on your drawing you will begin to see all those details that others miss. It's just not the same with a camera. And you will also remember the scene in front of you so much better for many years to come.
Use a viewfinder to find your subject
Locate your subject with these handy viewfinders. Download and make two types of viewfinder that will help you to find and compose great pictures.
Click on the picture to find out more.
What information do I need?
Click on the picture to find out how to sketch in different ways in order to gather different information about your subject. Learn how to capture the very thing that inspired you about your subject in the first place.
Look for hidden paintings in unsuspecting places. Don't always go for the obvious big panorama in front of you, but look around to see where the more intimate pictures are. See where the sunlight is glinting on an old metal watering can, or where some bright red poppies are shouting out from a dusty corner of a barn. Look for the interplay of lights and darks in the tangled mass of a hedgrerow, or the mass of colours and textures on an old lichen covered fence post. How would you capture the quality of light on the footpath right in front of you, or the way that fallen leaves curl and twist around each other in the undergrowth of a wood. Could you draw the texture of an old wall, or capture the hide and seek feel of some gardening tools leaning in the corner of a shed. What about the tractor wheel with the birds nest in it, or the picnic laid out on the grass at your feet?
Look, look and look again and you will see hundreds of small sketches all around you just waiting to be drawn!