On-Site Sketching Hints

by AVA
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Sketching on-site is lots of fun. Here is a list of ten things you can do to insure your enjoyment.

1. Make a checklist of your drawing supplies, and keep it for your next sketching trip. For instance, graphite pencil, erasers, paper, sandwich bag to prevent your hand from smearing the graphite, and a box cutter to sharpen pencils.

2. Pack your sketching supplies the day before. There is nothing worse than arriving on the site to sketch only to find your sketch book is full or you forgot your eraser.

3. Plan ahead. Think about where you are going, what you expect to sketch, color versa black and white, size of paper, tools you need, then only take those.

4. Do not bring anything you absolutely do not need. Bring only the supplies you will use on this sketching trip.

5. Make things do double duty. For instance, I have a backpack stool, that fits all my art supplies, spare clothing for a weather change, and doubles as a stool.

6. Use a sketch pad. Sketch pads are available with all kinds of paper. Using a pad avoids having to carry a drawing board in addition to your papers. Less is more.

7. Choose the paper or canvas size to match your time. Use your knowledge of how fast you sketch to help you determine paper or canvas size. Too small and you are done early, too big and you are not able to complete the work.

8. Consider amenities when selecting a site to sketch. Is there a toilet near the site, a coffee shop, a shelter against the inclement weather, or do I need to bring my own weather gear?

9. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. I live in an area with many micro-climates and must bring gear to keep me comfortable in all kinds of weather.

10. Visitors are a possibility. Be aware of your surroundings. Once while sketching, the lighthouse keeper's dog stole my drawing ink from my supplies, while I was sketching and I was surprised when the lighthouse keeper returned it to me.

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