Last day, first day

In celebration of the last day of classes, I went out to sketch on the way to school. As I approached the lake, I could see the masts of the boats swaying in the wind, which could only mean one thing: the boats are in the water! So the last day of school happily coincided with the first day of boat sketching season. I painted in my car because I forgot my chair, facing the red sailboat that’s in that same spot from year to year.  And as I painted I remembered all the reasons why boats are both a satisfying and challenging subject to paint: the difficult shapes of the hulls; the messy tangle of masts, ropes, lines and buoys; the full range of values from light to dark, all closely jumbled together; and finally, the movement in the water that causes everything to be slightly different each time you look up. What more could you want in a subject?


24 Comments on “Last day, first day”

  1. Donna says:

    I hope to develop maybe one-quarter of your skills in outdoor painting/sketching!! Just lovely.


  2. Cindy says:

    Love your sketches and learning a bit about your process. Watched part of your urban sketching class on craftsy this past weekend. You outlined using a small sketchbook for a pencil sketch study, then doing pencil drawing, then ink and then painting. Do you follow the same multi-step approach in your daily sketches that you post?

    I’m hoping to start using my lunch hours for sketching and getting away from my desk. Trying to decide how much I should carry with me for such a short time.


    Cindy (a fellow (western) Canadian that hopes to join your urban sketching activities one day when I get east).


    • HI Cindy, Great to hear from a fellow Canadian. And so glad that the classes are inspiring you to get out and sketch at lunch time. I do that often.
      Good question about all the steps. I often do a tiny value sketch (postage stamp) size before I do a bigger sketch, but not always. In the Craftsy course I have broken down the steps a little more. When I do a larger painting I almost always do a value sketch before starting in with colour. Hope to meet you one day at an urban sketchers event!


  3. ksbeth says:

    enjoy! beautiful work –


  4. Jane Hannah says:

    That is such a feel good feeling to enter the end of classes phase — you finished late, didn’t you or is it me that finished early? Anyway, hope that you can paint to your heart’s desire Shari -)))


  5. pamlopez15 says:

    And as usual, you came up tops! Beautiful, Shari!


  6. Wow! you express so much with so few marks!


  7. Alison says:

    I love how you can see the jumble, paint the jumble, and make the viewer feel the jumble and clang of the rigging and lapping of the water. Oh, and yippee! No more classes = more painting.


  8. Jean says:

    I share the enthusiasm of the other commentators….evocative painting. My parents lived on the West Island after the kids left home. One of my best memories is walking along Lakeshore and seeing sailboats, both out on the water and in at the dock. Thank you!


  9. Yorky says:

    It’s amazing what you can achieve on the way to work. Excellent sketch.


  10. Jauch says:

    Hello Shari.
    Very beautiful sketch!
    Can I ask how long took to finish it? 🙂 (just curiosity)


    • Many thanks Eduardo.
      I think I sat in the car for about an hour. When I got home I worked on it for about 5 more minutes — adding a few white lines with gel pen.
      I would say that of that first hour, I drew with pencil for about 15 minutes. Getting the right proportion on the red boat is tricky so I spent a little time on that.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Dee Ludwig says:

    A treat for the eyes!


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