Sketching – How it began

Like so many other people I am the victim of a strange teaching method in a strange school system. After primary school I had two drawing lessons once a week. The teacher (a very gifted painter himself) entered the class room and proclaimed: Today we will paint a village, or today we will paint a street, or today we will paint an arm, etc. But he always forgot to mention how we should do that. We were (nearly always) painting on cheap paper using cheaper colours and an even cheaper brush. No wonder when we had to decide in favour of drawing or music for the last two years, I took music. Not because I am good singer. (I have never struck a right note in my whole life. Mercifully knowledge in music history and not singing was required.) I took music because drawing frustrated me. Although I have never wanted to sing, I have always wanted to know how to draw, which made the whole matter more frustrating.

Many years later I saw in interview with – I assume – Austria’s last professional botanical painter. Deeply impressed I engaged myself with the subject. I learned a lot about the long and interesting history of this art and took my first drawing/painting course. I met nice people, enjoyed the weekend very much and discovered that I am (shame on me) just not interested in botany.

A friend recommend Betty Edward’s Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain to me. An excellent book which shows, that everyone can draw. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone who teaches these methods somewhere in my vicinity. As much as I believe in theoretical knowledge, it is rather senseless without some practical guidance. Meanwhile I had to reorganize my life a little bit, i. e. a lot of other things became more important.

About a year ago I stumbled over a You tube video. This was the first time I have ever heard about urban sketching. I had just returned from a trip to wonderful Venice. Loaded with hundreds of photos, which needed to be edited, catalogued and put in a representable form. This took me sometimes as long as a trip was longing or even longer. And what is worse: I am about ten years behind with my travel photos. Urban sketching seemed to be not only a perfect combination between drawing and travelling but would also force me to reduce my photo mania. I grabbed a black pen and a grey brush pen and sketch a typical Venetian landmark after a photo.

Pigma Micron 003, Neuland Fine One Brush Grau (Nr. 101); Lana Esquisse Sketchpad 96g

Considering that I haven’t drawn anything for the last couple of years, I considered the result not that bad. At least it encouraged me to go on. With all the materials I had collected over the years I practiced sketching different monuments after photos.

Pigma Micron 003, Farber Castell Pitt F (Sepia), Neuland Fine One Brush Grau (# 101), Lana Esquisse Sketchpad 96g

Tombow Brush (# 947), Daler Rowney Sketchbook 140g

I few weeks later I archived with a sketch of the Bridge of Sighs that style of sketching I was looking for. It was time to go into the wild.

Lamy Safari F, Rohrers Traditional Ink Ceresblack, WN Watercolour, Neuland Sketch pad

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