Today’s tiny sketches

Ah, the school semester is over, the grading is almost done, and I am itching to get back to regular sketching. We had our last department meeting of the semester today, and I couldn’t hold myself back — I had to start sketching in the middle of it. Luckily we were having a nice lunch at someone’s house instead of meeting at school, so there were plenty of things to draw.

I started by doing a quick one of Cocktail the dachshund, sitting on a colleague’s lap. Dogs should always be at meetings, don’t you think?

Of course we celebrated the end of a long semester with some wine, so I drew that too.

Not sure if the sketches got better or worse after the wine, but I continued by drawing all the things on the shelves in the kitchen.

After the meeting, I took the bus home and drew a few people as they nodded off in their seats in the stop and go traffic. Sure felt good to pick up a sketchbook, even if the drawing is a bit rusty. 

36 Comments on “Today’s tiny sketches”

  1. pamlopez15 says:

    I love the sketches, Shari, esoecially thr parallel line shadings! I’m working on copying your sketches im the hope of learning from you.


  2. Richard Hall says:

    Hello Ms Blaukopf I have a few questions about your tiny sketches and your work in general. I have followed you on Craftsy and your Sketchbook blog. I really dig your work. You, Stephanie Bower, Marc Taro-Holmes, Steve Reddy and Paul Heaston are great inspirations. So here’s my question (s). With the tiny sketches do you lay down pencil first or straight to ink? Did you start these as contours or straight to line and rendering? Do you start with big shapes like you mentioned in one of your classes? I am constantly mesmerized by the art that you all produce and hope one day to at least be able to sketch daily like you guys do. My biggest problem is where to start and the dreaded blank page. Best regards and Happy Holidays Richard Urban Sketcher Wanna Be Sent from my iPad



    • HI Richard, Thanks so much for your nice comments. That’s so nice to hear. In answer to your question about where to start, for these tiny sketches, there is no pencil at all. I like going straight to ink. If there are corrections, I just go over the line with a new line. I find that it lends a more dynamic quality to the sketch. These are done in a very small sketchbook (3.5 x 5”) and I use a black Zebra pen which I like quite a bit.
      When I work on my larger sketches, I sometimes do a quick pencil line before adding ink if there is tricky perspective on buildings.
      As for where to start, the answer is different for each sketch.
      For the dog sketch, I started with the dog’s head and moved out for there.
      For the shelf sketches, I started on the left and worked across to the right.
      For the people sketches, I usually start with the head. If I start with the body, the head always comes out too big or too small.
      In the coming days I will be posting some of my iPad pencil sketches as time-lapse videos so you can see the drawing as it develops.
      I hope all of this helps. My best advice is just start drawing and don’t think about it too much. Draw often and keep a sketchbook with you at all times.
      And if the blank page is a deterrent, put a few random brush strokes of watercolour on the page and draw on top of that.
      Happy holidays to you too!


  3. Alison says:

    I’ll take your rusty any day! Always love your drawings Shari.


  4. Bernadette says:

    My favorite of your drawings are the ones done while you were on the bus. The two sleepy passengers are great studies for a future full color painting! Thanks for your inspiring post to use every possible moment. The drawings are so wonderfully done.


  5. I enjoyed viewing your sketches. My artistic ability is limited to my poetry and other writing, but I truly admire people who can draw and paint.


  6. Judy Sopher says:

    I agree that I especially like the people on the bus tho the dachshund is a close second. Dogs do belong at meetings. Seriously, I also learn from your work and these are especially nice.I have one question-do you have some sketchbooks for drawings and others for paintings? Are they separated by the type of paper?


    • Hi Judy. Thanks for writing, as always. I have many sketchbooks and yes, they are different for watercolour and for drawing. This little one that I keep in my bag has very thin, shiny paper. It’s great for drawing because of the smooth paper, but would never be able to take a watercolour wash. My watercolour sketchbooks have much thicker textured paper and are great for washes.


  7. Isn’t sketching wonderful. Such a personal,record of what is in front of you.


    • Oh, yes! Sketching is wonderful. And I do love recording what is in front of me in casual situations like this. A day is not complete without drawing, for me. Do you feel the same way? Do you draw every day Jim?


  8. susanjk says:

    Hi Shari: I love these quick sketches. You have inspired me to get back to sketching – whether I am out and about having coffee with friends, standing behind the tasting bar at the winery (very slow right now = good opportunity to sketch), or just sitting at my own kitchen table.

    Can’t wait to order your watercolour book.

    Kind Regards Susan The Empty Nest Bed and Breakfast ________________________________


    • HI Susan. I’m so glad I’ve inspired you to get back to sketching! That is wonderful. It sounds like you are in a perfect place to sketch, wherever you are. And thanks for ordering the book. I can’t wait to see it in print as well.


  9. Denise says:

    I live for the day that my sketching should be so “rusty”! Just want you to know how much I enjoy your blog! You are an inspiration to so many of your followers. Enjoy the Holidays!


  10. Jody J Bryan says:

    Great ink line work, love that you go directly to ink. It’s scary at first, but the freedom is so gratifing. What Zebra pen do you use, as there are 100’s!


  11. Sarah Lawrence says:

    You are amazing!


  12. Lee Kline says:

    Let’s start a movement: No Meetings Without The Presence Of Dogs!


  13. Donna says:

    You are non-stop!!!


  14. Thanks Shari, your sketches are inspiring. I had never drawn until I picked up a pencil last month and discovered a wonderful new way of looking at the world. I’ll follow you with interest.


  15. Enviroart says:

    Shari, you are so pasionnate and inspiring! Thank you for your generosity!


  16. brucenorton says:

    I’m kinda late to the party, but love seeing this work. Thanks Shari.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s