Parking lot

This morning the rain was coming down so hard I didn’t think I would be able to sketch outdoors at all. I pulled into a parking lot to see if the rain would pass. It didn’t but I decided to sketch the parking lot itself and in the process I discovered this: sometimes new materials help you see things in different ways. I’ve tried drawing modern buildings before but there is just too much detail in them. Working with the water-soluble graphite pencil helped me treat them as a large background shape without getting caught up in the details of windows and balconies.


27 Comments on “Parking lot”

  1. Linda Daily says:

    I really like this Shari. You have taken a commonplace scene and made it dramatic.
    I feel inspired to try this type of pencil.

  2. Mary says:

    What an amazing feeling you captured in the mood of today, Shari, and the softness of the water soluble graphite juxtaposed with the crisp clarity of the cars in the parking lot is perfect! You manage to find artistic beauty in everything you sketch 🙂

  3. Barbara Armstrong says:

    We were there at 10 but missed your message, sorry, xo b

    Sent from my iPad

    Barbara Armstrong

  4. coreyaber says:

    Nicely done. Your pencil drawings recently have prompted me to try more work in pencil when I can’t carry paints with me.

  5. Alison says:


  6. Peggy Haug says:

    Shari, Great sketch!! You’ve managed to make this plain scene dramatic! One’s eye is drawn right to those cars and the strong contrasts!

  7. Wow, you are super talented! Awesome sketch.

  8. tmikeporter says:

    Gotta get me one of them pencils…it do rain here in Oregon!
    This is like a tonal sketch but with a bit more definition. Good practice.

  9. dezabaleta says:

    Excellent !

  10. Jane says:

    Hi Shari — the pencil traits captured the feeling of the dreary day perfectly — very nice work — now I think that I want to buy a pencil like that too — LOL!

  11. jean says:

    Très évocateur. Les voitures paraissent flotter au dessus du sol. Les bâtiments du fond ont une présence fantomatique. On est dans un film, et un bon!.

  12. Ross says:

    I feel that the unwritten bit of the narrative here is the “See, I can draw cars!” And I have to admit that you didn’t do too badly this time… except maybe the car on the far left which has too many wheels. : )
    But we can overlook that because the remainder of the sketch is so good.

    • Wow, Ross, it must have been hard for you to admit that.
      The car on the left with too many wheels is really another car in the background.
      But then you might not want to know that because then that would mean that I could actually draw cars.

      • Ross says:

        I hope you aren’t that tough on the others who comment on your blog. Let me just check above… no, it seems that you are really nice to all of them… except possibly that reply in French, which could say anything, for all I know. : )
        Anyway, of course I think you can draw cars! As long as you draw them front-on (that way you avoid those pesky wheels); draw them in misty blurry surroundings; and include multiple cars so that no one concentrates too much on any single car… you should be OK. Oh, and keep counting 1, 2, 3, 4 and then start again… that always helps to get the right number of wheels.

  13. Khemet Adisa Bey says:

    I came across your page while surfing the web for inspirtation and just simply view other people’s artwork. I really enjoy your style and this particular work inspires me to keep improving. You were drawing in your car while waiting for the rain to ease up, some reasons that just sparked something inside of me. I like how you caputured the mood of the weather and the environment in general. I especially like your blending technigue. I more than likely won’t comment much, but I will surely keep admiring the work.

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