18 October 2010

photo sketching vs plein air

An unfortunate attitude has crept into my thinking . . . . that sketching from a photo is not art and sketching in person is. But I don't always sketch on-site, for whatever reason. In the summer and even these warm days of Autumn, it's to avoid bugs. Their bites cause a spreading allergic eczema in my skin that is unbearable.

Other times, it's because I don't wish to make others who are with me wait while I finish a sketch --- I am a very slow sketcher, even when drawing straight with ink, without blocking in with a pencil, like in these sketches.

So is it any less art? I'm beginning to change my thinking. I enjoy sketching both ways. I think I'm going to be easier on myself.


  1. I don't think it's any less art to sketch from photos than from life. It's just different, that's all. Both can be good. When using photos, it's what you do with the image that's important and what makes it art.

  2. Oh! Almost forgot to say what wonderful sketches those are!

  3. Good point to remember anyway. It's much too easy to self-criticize. And thank you.

    I just checked out Gary's latest posting. Excellent capture of the two of you! (and proof a photo is a great aid) -- I also love his blog banner.

  4. OH! I AM SO RELIEVED! You have no idea! I have been feeling the same way! I thought I was the only one who was SO darn slow. There is just no way I can make my husband wait for me while I try to sketch when we are out and about, or even if I am by myself. I've taken to getting a couple lines down, maybe a couple words and a date (notes), then snapping a pic with my phone. Then I finish up later in the evening when I get a chance. I always feel like I'm cheating or it not really "art" or something. Thank you so much for this post!! REALLY! I am going to be easier on myself too!!

  5. LOL! Our secret is out now!
    When I'm on sketch crawls with Kate Johnson, she is on the second or third sketch and I'm still working on the first. Sometimes I just do the lines in pencil or pen and add paint after I go home.
    And we ARE still ARTISTS!!!


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