Sketching in public

I wasn’t expecting so many people to be out, it being a sunday yesterday, but it was the first real good weather day we have had after a long, long time and I guess all the mommys (and daddys) in town were anxious to get the kids out of their hair and out into the open air. I have been sketching from life quite a lot lately, indoors from my windows or a few minutes standing on a deserted street but this was the first time I sketched outside amongst so many people (intimidating, to say the least!!). I took Arya out to the spielplatz (play area) and he behaved like an angel… well, maybe not to the younger boy he was bossing around … anyway…. that being beside the point… I started quickly and doggedly with a pen, on the church tower and after that I was able to relax, it was quite blissful to feel the warm sun and cool breeze on my face, hear the children playing and quarreling, and sketch to my hearts content. I think I have finally overcome my trepidation to painting plein air, the people and the kids were actually quite sweet about it and dropped by to appreciate my zeichnen skills…

Drawing directly with a pen is quite liberating, strokes are direct and spontaneous and you quite soon learn to make the right lines without the fussing that comes about when one starts with a pencil (because you know that you can erase it out, you don`t pull yourself together so much and you know, sort of get going with it…) Its super quick and fun , I urge you to try if you have not done so before. This one`s with Faber Castell Artists pen, I love it so much!


This one’s a mix from several different days , my cactus started blooming after a long hiatus; in the park after my son`s karate class (oh, I meant to attach a sketch of what he had accomplished that day of ‘Mario’, to this page); moving figures as seen from  our first floor window, and oh! the Kohlmeisen (I am not sure what they are called in English, a kind of tit) are back to our balcony to feed on the nuts.


This one was very quick , in a small book I keep in my handbag, while having a burger in Burgerking, I love this place, there are always sparrows outside feeding on the bits of buns and there`s always a great view to be had:


This one is a Turner study along with a cloud study from a public domain photograph (from U.S Govt. I think):


Did a pencil sketch of this while waiting for the train and then came home and painted it:


These two were done indoors from life:




  1. Love your sketches. Am working on my own sketching skills–not easy. Did you use watercolor pencils to paint the beautiful tulips?


  2. Hello Christine,

    I drew the tulips with a black pen first, then touched them with watercolor pencils dipped in water, also laid in a few watercolor washes for the background and such, finally added highlights with a while gel pen…I have just now finished a similar one with cream colored roses, though in not exactly the same technique… Will post a small demo soon, hope it helps.


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