With gloves on

This year I am planning on sketching outside as soon as the temperature permits. In fact, even though it is -4°C today, I decided to leave the warm bubble of my car to draw this outside, with gloves on. It was too cold to set up my easel so I added colour from inside the car. Because there’s no parking facing the church, I was obliged to park in the opposite direction and use the rear view mirror to see the values while painting, which may not be a bad thing. If you can’t really see what you are painting it forces you to simplify and to think about big shapes as well as composition. The result is a bit messier than I am used to, and the steeple is drawn wider than it should be but I think it still has the feeling of a cold day by the lake. Sketched in a Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook, 9″ x 12″. Time: about an hour.


19 Comments on “With gloves on”

  1. Myra says:

    Gloves on or off, you’re talented!!


  2. Britta says:

    You are so brave! Doing this outside “with gloves on”… wow!
    And the drawing is…. quiet fantastic!
    Thanks for sharing!


  3. John Bartoldus says:

    I was out sketching yesterday under a beach umbrella and all the cars were beeping their horns at me, one whistled at me if you can believe that. So, like you, I weathered through it. I’m thinking a lot about what we did in the workshop last summer, valuable lessons learned and new friends made. Jacques aka John


  4. Dee says:

    I can’t get farther than my deck, even on a warmer day, so I really envy you this brisk adventure in the cold!


  5. CharlieAmra says:

    I so want to go outside and paint, but work and cold weather has prevented me thus far. Not only are your paintings wonderful, but you are certainly an inspiration as well.


  6. Mary Sanchez says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I am so happy to receive this newsletter. Even though I live in BC where the climate is quite different, I love your paintings and messages — rear view mirror! How imaginative is that!


  7. george smith says:

    Stunning. You have reminded us, “Persistance prevails, when all else fails.”


  8. Lee Kline says:

    Rear view mirror, yet! This is so gorgeous.


  9. Les says:

    Shari, that is a really lovely painting. Looks like you used wet in wet in the foreground road?

    What do you like about the Stillman and Birn beta series? Do you have a wirebound one? I’ve been using a Strathmore wirebound 9×12 at 140 lbs. I notice the Stillman & Birn is 180 lbs and more expensive. Maybe worth the extra?


    • Hi Les. I like the thickness of the paper in the beta series. I have both spiral and perfect bound and like them both. They are great for washes but not for repeated layers. These books work best if the paper is touched only once.


      • Les says:

        Thanks Shari for the reply. I have painted mostly in oils but am coming back towards watercolor because of Urban Sketchers.

        I thought using a few wash overlays is quite standard in watercolor. Is this just a common problem for books in general? Will maybe just 1 overlay work sometimes? I’m just trying to understand how much of a “rule” this might be.


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