The frozen hand

I did a little sketching from my car this morning, hoping to capture the piles of fresh snow after yesterday’s storm. When I got home and looked at my sketch, I thought “What a mess!” And then I realized that my warm weather drawing is so much more careful than my cold weather drawing. Duh. My drawing hand is frozen, my feet are cold, and there’s blowing snow obscuring the car window. I just want to get it over with quickly so I can go home and warm up. In Florida, with warm hands, I was able to slow down and take the time to really look at things before drawing them. But now that I’ve returned to winter, I’m back to frozen extremities and messy speed sketching.


57 Comments on “The frozen hand”

  1. Susan B says:

    It’s a lovely sketch – not messy at all to my eye. How much drawing do you do for a sketch like this? In your Craftsy “city” class for both the train station and the house you had fairly complete drawings. My guess is that for a sketch like this your preliminary pencil drawing would be minimal- perhaps just the outlines of the buildings?


    • HI Susan,

      When I am painting on my own I probably do less drawing than in the Craftsy class. Certainly if there is perspective involved I will add the horizon line and the vanishing points to help me draw the architecture. But I don’t always add in all the window frames, door details etc. I like to let the brush have fun with that. Same for the power lines. Why draw the line if the brush is going to repeat the same thing.



  2. Lisa Mastorakos says:

    Looks great to me! Are you hinting at a move to FL?


  3. Susan says:

    I love the frozen hand speed sketching.


  4. tylaraduncan says:

    what you call messy, I call beautiful experienced loose watercolour style. Glad to have you back being messy and quick again. Such great inspiration.


  5. Judy Sopher says:

    Agree with the comments above. What you call messy speed sketching, I call a lovely painting.


  6. TonyU says:

    Agree with everyone else …. it’s lovely. And with all your talent who wants to be a one trick (speed?) pony anyway?


  7. Janet Duggan says:

    It sure looks good to me. Out of desperation to pleinair paint in the winter, I’ve sat in the car and painted a yellow snowplow – for some color.


  8. JOHN HARRIS says:

    I like your messy speed sketching.


  9. John Hofman says:

    speed sketching does have its own charm, clearly demonstrated in this picture.


  10. Wow. If that’s sloppy speed-sketching, your slow careful work must be masterpieces!


  11. Julie Crouch says:

    Your “messy” is my goal!


  12. jmccrouch says:

    Your “messy” is my GOAL!!!


  13. Rita says:

    that’s funny, Shari. My “goal” is messy speed sketching. Ha!


  14. joani1 says:

    I still love it!


  15. Welcome back to the snow! (Though, today -1 was mighty fine no?)


  16. Bernadette says:

    You see messy and sloppy, I see simply stated.i suppose it is your daily painting practices that has given you such precision even with frozen fingers. Great work.


  17. Barbara Robinson says:

    I find your quick winter sketches much more lively and interesting than the more polished southern ones. Lucky we still have months to go on the former.


  18. Gordon Ringius says:

    Hi Shari, your sketch is very well done!! Thanks for sharing it. Gordon


  19. Therese says:

    Whether frozen or warm your dedication and level of skill is so inspiring to me. Thank you for your diligence.


  20. You are too self-critical. It’s a marvelous drawing. You may have captured the sense of the cold so well — in your drawing — that the desire for warmth turned you against it a little bit. Look at it again in the dense heat of July and you’ll appreciate it with new eyes! We’re above freezing here today, finally! Still cold, but not as frozen as last week.


    • Aletha, thanks. Of course I am critical but that’s what keeps us going, isn’t it? If we were happy with everything we did, we could just give up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I see your point, it’s just that, more and more, I am happy with most of what I do in art — not that it’s perfect or anything — but I see how any present work gets me closer to the idea of what I want — and the desire makes me want to go further. So I am happy even with mistakes. Especially when I’m making mistakes, I know that I’ve challenged myself. And the idea of what is a mistake is a little tricky, but that’s another topic. Perhaps it’s the same thing said in different ways ….


  21. sandidureice says:

    There is a beauty in looseness, and it’s here.


  22. Warm or cold weather it is beautiful as usu.
    Welcome back !


  23. KateStenner says:

    I’d take a frozen hand any day to be able to paint like you Shari. In fact I might try it… put hand in the freezer for a few minutes and ‘ping’ – nice loose style! (I wish)


  24. Carol Cooney says:

    I still like it even tho your hand is frozen. Sorry you are cold. Have you ever tried fingerless gloves? LOL


  25. Dianne says:

    A long time ago, some clever person told me to try to “draw” with my paintbrush and not to worry about always having a detailed pencil drawing first. You seem to have achieved this-the painting is loose and ever so free.


  26. Rooi says:

    So tough you are to my favourite teacher. I think this almost perfect


  27. Bruce Isaak says:

    Thanks for the sketch. It was the highlight on my morning reading. You nailed the tones and light of a morning snow day. More precise details would not have improved the sketch.


  28. Lee says:

    A workshop in the southeast US would be a wonderful idea but I expect you’re seeking rest between semesters. I’m sure it could be arranged! We’d love you down here in any season.


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