Tracks and Lines Near Union Station DC pen & watercolor 8x5" by Meera Rao
I don't know what this building is. I see it as the train pulls out of Union station DC on my trips to NYC. Everything about the building - the color, the structure, the look and all the wires crisscrossing was just the invitation for me to sketch and paint it.
There are so many scenes I see in passing on my trips that I just to itch to sketch - but most of them pass by too fast for me to photograph, let alone sketch. What do artists do in situations like that? Resort to imagination? Make a special trip by foot or car back to those places leisurely and sketch? Add one more to my stories about one that got away? I was finally able to take a few blurry photos of this building as the train sped past it and used those, my mental notes and impressions to sketch and paint. Last week when I passed it again by train I was pleased - I had captured the scene to my satisfaction :)
I came across an article in Artists Network on Sketching On The Go by Bill Silvers with this tip that I really like :
"Try sketching while traveling in a car. My favorite time to sketch is while traveling in a car. As my wife drives, we pass a house. The outer shape is quickly noted. We drive on?there's a group of trees. I place those trees behind the house. Look at that?a differently shaped building. I place it so that the first one overlaps the second. There, a telephone pole; a car, etc. As object is added to object, I try to get them in an interesting overlap. Working directly in watercolor may be impossible during a car ride, but when I get home, I take out my sketchbook and lay in the colors and tones as I remember them. If it doesn?t work, I can change it or do the sketch over. After all, the beauty of the sketch is it's only a sketch!"
Do you have any tricks and tips for sketching on the go? Please do share them in comments below - I am eager for more ideas !