From My Window


Over the past few weeks Sketchbook Skool have been sending out an email once a week containing an assignment from one of the teachers.

Prashant got us all drawing trees and Roz suggested that when the weather’s not so good we could draw the view from our window.

I inadvertently combined both of these assignments into one yesterday morning when I drew the tops of the trees that I can see from my window. Usually I see these trees as an obstacle that prevent me from seeing more clearly the buildings behind them. So yesterday before I had breakfast (and therefore also including Danny’s idea of Art Before Breakfast) I decided to ignore the buildings, change my focus and draw some of the tree top branches in a bit more detail.

This made me realise that I enjoy drawing as one of the first things I do in the morning but I don’t actually do it at that time of day very often. So again this morning I sat down and sketched what I could see from my window. This time some of the contents of one of my window boxes. I’m thinking that the window boxes might be interesting things to draw over a period of time, as some plants get bigger, others come into bloom and later in the year, some die back again.

Next on my list is the assignment from Brenda, which is going to nudge me out of my comfort zone a bit again – usually a good thing!

Creative Links #15: Invisible People, Tiny Sketchbooks and Embracing the Imperfect

St Paul's Cathedral reflection and routemaster

Every Friday I share a few links to things I’ve enjoyed reading, looking at or listening to. Here’s this week’s selection – enjoy.



I’m still trying to loosen up with my drawing style but it’s early days yet. Someone in an online drawing community that I’m a member of suggested putting down the colour with my marker before adding my black outlines (like the fast and slow drawings I’ve done I suppose) so I might give that a go if I can avoid getting too bogged down with detail.

I’ve just realised, though, that a lot (although not all) of my drawings and photos at the moment involve light or reflective surfaces.

I’m retaking an online photography course with Tammy Strobel at the moment and one of the things we’ve been looking at is how lighting affects photographs. We’ve also been hunting out reflections, which I really enjoy photographing anyway.

Draiwng of pins, needle and bobbin

My last few drawings have also involved reflective surfaces, although this wasn’t really influenced by my photography (I’d already drawn these pictures before we started that photo lesson). I think it’s just because I have a grey marker so it sort of feels like an obvious choice to draw metallic things.

Maybe in my loosening up I should try drawing something that is actually a completely different colour from the pens I’m using but for the moment I quite like drawing shiny things.

Creative Links #14: Daily Habits, Creative Projects, Why You Should Draw and What If…?

Jamaica Wine House London

Every week I share a few links to things that I’ve enjoyed online. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection:

Loosening Up

Sketch of window box and beyond

Every so often while I was using my A5 Leuchtturm sketchbook I would whinge about how, although the paper’s nice and thick, it wasn’t the best for watercolour paint. The paint would dry too quickly and I couldn’t play around with it too much before the surface of the paper started to come away. So, after all that, I’ve bought another!

For over a year I’ve had a pocket-sized Moleskine watercolour sketchbook sitting empty. It came to New York with me last year and it’s still empty now. I’ve also just bought a similar sized Leuchtturm sketchbook so my plan is to have 2 tiny sketchbooks on the go at the same time. The Moleskine for watercolour sketches (to stop me whingeing) and the Leuchtturm for everything else.

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been inspired my Jodi Wiley‘s daily drawings in her tiny sketchbooks so I’ve bought a couple of markers (and have just ordered a third) to use in my new tiny Leuchtturm.

Because the pages are small and I’m trying to limit the materials I use I’m hoping it will encourage me to do quick sketches and loosen up my drawing style a little bit so I don’t get too bogged down in the details. I think sometimes if I think a drawing looks like it might take me a long time it can feel overwhelming and then I might not draw at all. So it might be interesting to see what happens if I aim to worry less about being precise and perfect, and focus more on putting pen to paper more regularly.

The drawing at the top of this post is the second one in my tiny Leuchtturm. It’s the view from one of our windows, which was a little interim assignment for Sketchbook Skool. I didn’t manage to limit myself quite as much as I’d hoped (I added watercolour pencil on top of the pen and marker) but I like that the style’s loose and I got the drawing done quite quickly without trying to be too precise.

So, so far so good. Let’s see where the two sketchbooks take me.