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Preparation or Just Going For It

In Liz Steel’s wonderful “Sketching Now” course, we are exploring the approaches of drawing “tightly” and “loosely”.  When doing a tighter drawing, slowing down is essential, and doing some foundational measuring and a pencil pre-drawing can help create a more detailed and realistic rendering of your subject. In being loose, the term “just going for it” comes to mind – no pre-drawing, minimal measurement, relying on contours and shapes to capture the essence of the drawing.

This has been great fun, switching back and forth!

From a holiday-themed assignment, here’s my tighter reportage of our New Year’s Eve table:

New Years Eve colour 2 (1024x827) (2)

Dinner at Midnight 2015


And this earlier assignment was to draw a roof without measuring or pre-drawing, but go directly to ink and keep watercolour simple:

Rooftops (1024x745)

Rooftops of St. Anthony’s Basilica



No matter which approach I take, you can see that I like detail. I’ve been very self-critical in the past about drawing too much detail, associating it with tight drawing. I thought that loosening up meant less detail, but I’ve learned through practice and in the course, that I can include lots of detail but draw it loosely, less precise. I’ve come to accept and embrace that it’s the details that make me interested in drawing a subject, but I can take different approaches to including them.

Hmmm Moment – Completed the New Year’s pic over a few days both in the moment and from a photo, and in a quiet studio environment (music playing softly in background). The Rooftops drawing was done from a holiday photo on an iPad, on a sofa while simultaneously watching a tense Raptors basketball game on TV, and with my husband loudly entertaining a group of his friends!

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