Musings: Sketching On-Location

with 62 Comments

Sketching on-location is a challenge. Sometimes the actual subject changes because of the various outside elements. Below is an example. A man suddenly sat on the left side of the bench whilst I was almost done with the sketch. I wasn’t aware that I should have check the right side to complete the lower left part of this bench. Can you spot the awkward disconnection?

Nevertheless, if you want to enjoy the process of sketching outdoors despite the distraction of human activities around you and the quite imperfect first sketch then by all means move on to another subject. I did.

It made me excited to see a group of urban sketchers gathered around some distance below at the park from where I sat. They got sketchbooks and pencils. They’re busy looking at the distance. Some sketch away hastily. It was a lovely sight.

That day I sketch little. I was way too distracted or rather too absorbed with my surroundings. The presence of the boyfriend beside me snapping photographs. The man with the little girl near the fountain playing and having fun. The cold sweet January air that blows paper cups and leaves.  The sight of the urban sketchers.  The lingering taste of my Orange Blitz Jamba Juice.  My dreams in its planning stage. I just want to breathe in all of these.

Opt In Image
Sketch Your Life Wherever You Are!

A free ebook that helps you create expressive sketches of your life in pen and watercolor.

62 Responses

  1. gloria

    I love your outdoor sketches. I like that you always have a story behind your work. How nice. Thanks for sharing. Happy PPF.

  2. Alicia

    what great sketches! I always had the circumstance where I’d try to sketch a person and then they’d stand up :( it’s great practice though

  3. Annette G

    Loving your outdoor sketches, they are so alive if you know what I mean. Happy PPF, Annette x

  4. Tracey Fletcher King

    I really want to do more outdoor sketching this year…. and I have only managed one, but hoping to get back to it soon… your have inspired me to move it to the top of the list… happy ppf

  5. Anne

    Nice loose sketches, I really like the way you have added color to these.
    Happy PPF!

  6. peggy aplSEEDS

    sounds like such fun to make these outdoor sketches. you do them quite well, how long does one sketch take? happy PPF and thanks for sharing!
    peggy aplSEEDS

  7. Ellie

    Your sketches are lovely – I love the group of children and the different characters. Thank you for sharing your little blurb about yourself – I thought I would give a quick reply in the comments.

    I’m most creative when: I’m driving of all things – my mind runs at a million miles and hour and I come up with all my ideas!
    If I were a color, I’d be: Hot Pink – it’s bold, confident, feminine and flirty but still tough
    I often imagine myself: Going back to uni to do a Fine arts degree, building an awesome HUGE studio and exhibiting in galleries across Australia
    I really wish I knew how to: paint TOTALLY from my imagination (and be awesome at it!)
    I’d love to spend a lazy Sunday: playing with my kids – Han and I love to paint together
    My secret talent is: lol maybe juggling kids, job, study, art, sheepdogs without totally losing the plot (however coming close sometimes)

  8. Dana Barbieri

    You inspire me Elisa with your outdoor sketching! I would be so shy to do that. I love your answers by the way, I often imagine myself doing much the same.

  9. Dana Barbieri

    oh, and I keep hearing about ppf. I am off to check out the link. thank you.

  10. lisa wrightstuff

    I had a wonderful image of you in the park with your boyfriend. Lovely post :)

  11. Lesley

    Love these outdoor sketches. happy ppf.

  12. Faye

    Elisa, I am so impressed that you can sketch/paint on location. I love the painting of the people sitting around sketching.

  13. Carolyn Dube

    I’ve looked and looked at the bench – and I can’t see the disconnect. I don’t art much on location – but your wonderful drawings have inspired me to do it soon! Thanks!

  14. EVA

    These are great sketches – I was almost expecting you to say after you painted the sketching group that you joined them…

    You captured these scenes so well!

  15. Mari

    Great designs and great dreams. Saludos

  16. carlarey

    I am the same way about sketching outdoors, I get too caught up in people watching to concentrate on my drawing. It takes real focus to block out all the distractions.

    And yes, the inspiration and support from the other artists in PPF is priceless, isn’t it?

  17. Debbie

    The sketch of the urban sketchers is so good!!

  18. Crystal

    Love this sketch. You are good at outdoor painting. Not me…not only people but lighting and the elements make outdoor painting a chore for me. :-)

  19. Satina

    I love quick watercolor sketches like this, and I love even more hearing your narrative about doing them. You make me want to take my paints outside. :)

  20. Julie

    Your art is so charming and it sounds like a wonderful day, people all gathered together sketching! I really like your answers too.

  21. Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

    The only thing about the bench that bothered me was that the feet of the bench were floating in the air!
    Keep sketching, you have a good hand. Your secret talent? you are an artist ! maybe that wasn’t secret?

  22. Mary C. Nasser

    Wonderful outdoor sketches!
    Very inspiring! :)

    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  23. Sheri Cook

    I enjoy your stories behind the sketches and the works themselves.
    Keep on doing it and sharing.
    Happy PPF!
    Sheri Cook/HappyHorseStudio

  24. Belinda

    I love the piece with the children! I think sketching and painting outdoors and on site is the way to go! I need to make that more of a priority in my artistic life as well. Great work! Thanks for sharing!!

  25. Phoenixpeacock

    love your post and your sketches! particularly the one of all the other sketchers.
    do you read Walt Whitman poetry? This post reminds me of his poem A Child Went Forth
    Walt Whitman completely transformed my life! its true

    I’m most creative when: the rest of my world is sleeping. I’m a night owl.

    If I were a color, I’d be: Teal. Bright and happy and a bit of a chameleon… it can be childish, grown up, relaxed, comfortable, elegant, rich, etc etc etc

    I often imagine myself: still with blue hair

    I’d love to spend a lazy Sunday: hiking in the mountains with my hubby and dog, painting with a good friend and wine, and not having a single work-related thought or project needing finishing

    My secret talent is: I can always find the silver lining

  26. Carol

    En plein air namaste, Wonderful! ~ I find too many distractions to do this ~ You do sketching outside very well ~Carol (Share the Creative Journey) Happy PPF ^_^

  27. Carrie Martinez

    Great location sketches…love the little glimpses of life! Happy PPF :)

  28. Anne

    I really love these! Great job.

    Happy PPF!!

  29. Nicole Campanella/Beadwright

    Great art. I really like these. Great art.

  30. Kokopelli

    I think, sketching quickly is one thing I got to learn. I’m still afraid to get discouraged by an imperfect sketch.

  31. Elisa Choi

    You have to let go of that thought. Please remember that creating is a process and drawing is fun. If you do this without any hesitation and just give in to the learning and fun process then you won’t have to worry. Give it a try! :)

  32. Elisa Choi

    Thank you Nicole!

  33. Elisa Choi

    Thank you very much Anne!

  34. Elisa Choi

    Thanks a lot Carrie. :)

  35. Elisa Choi

    At least a little of the drawings everyday might help block the distractions a bit. You can do it too! Thanks Carol!

  36. Elisa Choi

    I have to searched that poem and read it and I love it! And i can pretty much relate that poem to my arts. That whatever I do with it–the drawings and paintings it will become part of me. And it is inspiring to incorporate art in our lives so that it’s as if we are born with it..or we can’t live without it. Thanks so much. Oooh, love your answers especially your secret talent!

  37. Elisa Choi

    Thanks a lot Belinda. Keep creating!

  38. Elisa Choi

    Thanks a lot Sheri! I will!

  39. Elisa Choi

    Thank you Mary!

  40. Elisa Choi

    Thanks a lot! You made me laugh at the secret talent coz it’s not so secret anymore, lol. I agree with your observation. I don’t have a way to tilt it back on earth. Hehe. There’s another. But nobody notices it so i guess i should be dancing. Haha!

  41. Elisa Choi

    Thank you Julie. You’re so sweet!

  42. Elisa Choi

    You should because it’s fun. I should be confident more in painting outside. Fighting distractions is hard. Must be less self conscious. Thanks a lot!

  43. Elisa Choi

    You must do what you love. Maybe you are more comfortable on indoor arts. Who knows.. maybe if you give it a try then you might love it! Thanks!

  44. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Debbie!

  45. Elisa Choi

    Priceless it is. I love this community. And yes sometimes we get too caught up in the wind. Must look back onto the paper and paints. ;)

  46. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Mari!

  47. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Eva! No I am too shy to join them. They seem to be enjoying themselves. I am enjoying my company. :)

  48. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Carolyn. Yes there is a disconnection but i am pointing them. Haha. Try drawing outside soon!

  49. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Faye. Try it soon won’t you? :)

  50. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Lesley!

  51. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Lisa!

  52. Elisa Choi

    you should! It’s a great and fun community!

  53. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Dana! I am shy too but I just do it anyway. It’s a worthy experience. :)

  54. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much, Ellie! I love your answers most especially going back to uni. I love to go to art school. Lovely secret talent!

  55. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Peggy. One sketch takes about roughly 30 mins and sometimes with added distractions about an hour or so. :)

  56. Elisa Choi

    Thanks a lot Anne!

  57. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Tracey! I can’t wait to see your sketches soon!

  58. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Annette! Yes I know what you mean! It is!

  59. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Alicia. Whenever something like that happens, move on to the next!

  60. Elisa Choi

    Thanks so much Gloria! I love to incorporate words on my every art. It always has a story. :)

  61. JKW

    Oh Gosh, sketching on location is quite a challenge, eek. You do amazingly. Excellent work. Blessings, Janet PPF

  62. Elisa Choi

    Thanks a lot Janet. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *