Monday, December 9, 2013

Sketch Crawl with 'Just Draw It!'

This week, the participants of my online drawing course "Just Draw It", are learning about drawing hands and faces. It's the fifth week already, of the six week course, and time is flying like never before. 
The current group of participants is a curious bunch, and a few of them told me that they would love to get out to sketch and do a little bit of urban sketching, even though it might be a bit scary and intimidating to draw in public. I love to head out and sketch whatever comes my way, so I decided to organize a mini-sketchcrawl for my class. We are all in different parts of the world, so we couldn't gather physically to draw together. But we sort of did do this together. We all took our sketchbooks outside on the same day to draw. Knowing that fellow participants are doing the same thing that same day, is very motivating. Afterwards, we shared our work, and it was lovely to see how some people drew their coffee and cupcake (too cold to sketch outside) in the coffee place they visited, others drew a favorite spot in their neighbourhood, and even vieuws from moving cars! 

I took out my brown paper sketchbook, a black felt pen, a white gelpen, and a red marker. Started with lunch at my local restaurant:
I sketched the condiments on the table to 'warm up', and then the interior of the restaurant. When I got to the counter to pay my bill, the waitress gave me a compliment about my drawings. I hadn't even realized she peeked over my shoulder! Of course I proudly and thankfully took the compliment and went outside with a big smile on my face.
Then I took my bycicle to find a nice place to draw somewhere in my neighbourhood and saw an old couple sitting on a bench. I thought t would be nice to draw them from the other side of the street, but once I had parked my bike and got my sketchbook out, they were leaving. So I sat on the bench myself and drew what they had been seeing from that same seat. When I was almost finished, a guy was standing behind me, eyeing my drawing. he apologised for peering over my shoulder and said he couldn't help it, because he was 'amazed how you do that!'  

Drawing in public scares the heck out of many people. Part of the fear is what others might think about it. Well, most of the time, people won't even notice you, because they are busy doing other things. 

If it does happen, I always get such positive and encouraging comments whenever people notice me and stop to actually say something about it.
So here's a tip for you:

It doesn't matter what your drawing looks like, it's better than the drawing the other person didn't make, right? Keep that in mind when you think it's scary to draw in public. You will see each time you go out to sketch, it will be less scary.


  1. Hi! I really have to say: Yes! It´s amazing how you do that! :-)
    Thanks for your tips and showing some of your outside-sketches - it´s pure inspiration for doing it, too!
    First I sketched outside, I did it in holiday, so that nobody knows me ;-)
    then I take places where people can see me sketching but not take a look at my sketchbook and then... step by step... but it´s always like the first dance..
    Love your blog!

  2. Great post! And the more you do it, the less self-conscious you feel AND the better you get! When I look at my sketchbook from only a year ago I can already see huge improvements.


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