Sunday, 19 October 2014

Finding the time to sketch

It’s often an excuse we give ourselves... never having the time to sketch. The group meetings get us together and give us an incentive to draw. But what about in the meantime?

Personally I get a bit jittery if I haven’t sketched for a while. If a weekend has gone by without at least one page in the sketchbook completed then I feel somehow unfulfilled. Yes, I have to admit that over the last 18 months I have become a little obsessed about urban sketching, maybe even a little addicted. It does that to you.

But finding the time is always the challenge and yet, looking back at my sketchbook over the past week, I realise that I’ve managed to get something down on paper most days.

I’ve taken to splitting a page lengthways and then, if I only have 10 minutes, I start to draw something from the left and seeing how far I get. The next time, I draw from where I left off. Over a week or so the page builds up to be an interesting visual diary of where I’ve been. In this case, mostly train stations and park benches... and waiting for my son to appear from rugby changing rooms!
The quick sketches build up to make a 'visual diary'
Sketching doesn’t always have to be in our sketchbooks either. The idea of having to sit for an hour or two to complete a full page sketch in our favourite book can be daunting and gives us another excuse for not drawing.

I have a smaller book, only 5x6 inches, in which I scribble on the bus, while watching television, or as a warm up to a ‘proper’ sketch. I don’t often show this one to anyone and was a bit taken aback the other month when I did and someone said they liked this one better than my watercolour Moleskine!

So, as some sort of catharsis, here are a couple of (edited!) pages from my small book.

A smaller book for those 'scribbles' and experiments
But there’s more to finding the time than literally finding the time and, looking back at The Creative License, I see that Danny Gregory agrees. He writes: ‘Is time your problem? Or fear?  I find that people have the write to me and tell me they don’t have the time to draw. Weird. In the time they write the note, they could have done a drawing or two.’

So, there it is. We can all find a scrap of time, a ballpoint and the back of an envelope, but maybe what holds us back most of all is the fear of making an inadequate drawing. Maybe I should have done a couple of drawings rather than writing this blog post; and maybe you should have done one rather than reading it!

How do you find the time to draw? Or what stops you from putting drawing pen to paper?
Post some comments here or on the Manchester Urban Sketchers Facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. I've taken to drawing whilst having breakfast. It's probably the only time of day I get chance to sit down for more than a few minutes and get something done. If I'm lucky I'll manage to get another one in when everyone has gone to bed, it's quiet then and no disturbances but I have to be able to keep my eyes open that long!