Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sketching From the Car: Winter

We took a trip inland yesterday, along the historic Penobscot River (known for log drives in another era), up to "the Queen city" of Bangor (largest market town in 5 rural counties). The ride showed us New England at its snow covered, ice laced, winter's best, (she said from the warmth of the automobile). 

Small mountains, farms, fields with dried grasses popping through. So many homes looking like they could be sources for those sentimental snow scened Christmas cards, wreaths still on doors. Vehicles in yards, buried in snow, a man walking on his roof clearing snow & icicles, trees sparkling like glass in late afternoon sun along valley roads.

At one point J stopped to take a call. I got the chance to snap photos & the above quick drawing was made from one of them. I'm still trying to figure out ways to represent snow. It looks like I'll be having more opportunities as another snow storm is on the way.

I highly recommend: If you are not the driver, sketch from the car (or train or plane). 

The scenes move by quickly so you don't have time to think or be self-consious.
You just scribble madly to record glimpses.

If you are the driver, find a place to pull over to sketch at a slower pace. Of course, this works better on a back road in Maine than on the New Jersey Turnpike...

Later on you can add details from memory or color, or add narration (which I have not done to the above pages). The list method, either by writing down in the moment, or the mental list for recording later also works great when traveling.
Happy 2014 to you, Dear Visitors, from me, wandering in Winter Wonderland. I recently heard it called Frozen Wasteland, but I'm going with the Wonderland view. 


  1. glad you were a passenger. :) and glad you got to stay in comfort, too.

  2. It's minus 13 F here at this moment..don't even want to stick my nose out..
    But you have made me want to sketch while being a passenger..maybe it could free me up:-)
    Right now it would just freeze me up..
    Beaucoup de talent vous avez..
    And the best of years to you and yours:-)

  3. That looks cold,
    You have a good eye for sketching on the go, maybe I should try this method instead of trying to cram in so much detail.
    Like the look of your sketch book Rita, what are using ?

  4. Your posts are always so encouraging and helpful Rita. Been puttering with my watercolors, but struggling. I need to sketch with abandon more. The rest will come. I get too hung up on details. Sigh. xx

  5. You are the queen of blues, grays, and blues, and the quick, fluent line. Much for me to absorb here. You capture our surroundings so perfectly,

  6. Dear Rita, Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

  7. I think you're getting the snow color pretty well, especially for an overcast day. I always enjoy seeing and hearing your observations. You have a good talent for observing the essential details in a scene! Happy new year!

  8. Bangor, Maine - zawsze bedę kojarzyła z Kingiem:) Podziwiam, jak kilkoma kreskami i plamą farby oddajesz śnieg - mi to jakoś wciąż nie wychodzi:(
    Happy New Year, dear Rita!

  9. Happy New Year, dearest Rita!
    I like this idea of "winter wonderland", it makes me dream..
    One of my resolutions is to try to draw what I see (and not to show the result to anyone! Ü), 'cause you're so inspiring!

  10. Sama nie będę szkicować, tylko podziwiać Twoje śliczne obrazki. Jeszcze raz,wszystkiego dobrego w 2014 roku !

  11. Keep sketching your world. Interesting to look at.

  12. You inspire me and I wish that we were closer. What fun it would be to laugh over a cup of hot tea (or chocolat chaud!). Happy New Year to you, dear Rita.

    I bought an 8-yr old grandchild a step-by-step book to sketch castles, cathedrals, and bridges for Christmas and thought about you.



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