Friday at the breakwater

This is a viewpoint I often draw from in the summer when the boats are in the water, but I can’t wait that long. I had to get out today. It was the first day in a long time when both good weather and my schedule allowed for an hour of sketching. Even though the scene was quite drab, there was beauty to be found in the subtle colours of the budding trees and the partially melted ice on the lake.

For this sketch I used a limited palette of mostly Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna. I usually combine Burnt Sienna with Ultramarine (below), but switching to Cobalt yielded a blue grey that was perfect for the icy lake.

If you’re interested in exploring more limited colour palettes, there’s a whole chapter on them in my book, which is finally out in stores this month. It’s thrilling to hear that people are finally receiving their orders from online retailers. I just heard from my publisher that the book is already being reprinted (copies are still available online!), so I’m hanging on to the only copy I have until I can get more copies in June.

Also this month, in April’s Drawing Attention — the monthly Urban Sketchers newsletter — there’s lots of Canadian content: an interview with me as well as a piece about Urban Sketchers Ottawa. I love reading about all the regional chapters in Canada, and if you go back to last month you can read about USk Calgary too.

28 Comments on “Friday at the breakwater”

  1. Connie Renaud says:

    I love your sketch. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Roxane says:

    I received your book in the mail yesterday, and the world stood still. I was so nervous to open it, scared that it might let me down, as highly anticipated things can often do. Far from it! With each turning of the page I was lifted higher and higher, the book far exceeding my expectations. I especially liked the chapters on limited and neutral color. Thanks for this book. I hope more are in your future.


    • Thanks so much Roxane. That was the same feeling that I had when I opened it! What if it looked bad or something was missing. Fortunately everything was where it should be. Glad you are enjoying it, and especially glad that you took the time to let me know. This really made my day. As for more books, I hope so!


  3. katzp2014 says:

    Just ordered a copy of your book from Amazon, Shari. I enjoy your Sketchbook posts and am looking forward to dipping into the book.

    Cheers, Patricia


  4. Leonie says:

    I am constantly inspired by your work and ability to mix colours quickly and effectively. I am a beginner and I am still working on using the inspiration to actually be brave enough to move to paper and not just wish I could.
    I bought your book online and I love the examples and ideas on colour. You are amazing.


  5. Yvonne Carpenter says:

    Shari, your color choices have always fascinated me – you can depict atmosphere with such an ease! I pre-ordered your book a few months ago and it arrived this week – i am having such a great time going over the material – thank you for sharing your knowledge!!!


  6. GAIL LYNN Wong says:

    You are getting great range with a limited palette. And the harmony of the piece is wonderful.


  7. Michael john jukes says:

    I received my book this week and it is terrific. It is the perfect companion for my sketching outings and is now a party on my sketching travel kit. Colour has always been my weak link so this addition will help very much.


  8. Judy Sopher says:

    Lovely paintings with limited colors. Nothing drab here. I am enjoying your book so much.


  9. AGNES says:

    My daughter pre-ordered your book for me, Shari !
    I live in France, but she lives in England, and I can’t wait to read your book.
    I love to read your posts ! Bravo.



  10. Catherine Moore says:

    Thank you so much for all that you share here, and for the book which I am finding to be an excellent resource as I develop my sketching style.


  11. I received my book- it’s wonderful.


  12. Connie Bigelow says:

    I received your lovely book this week and I can honestly say it did not disappoint me. I have already gone back over it numerous times. Everything is easy to understand. I’m going to have fun experimenting with your mixes and look forward to uping my ability to mix color with confidence. Thanks Shari !


  13. Alison says:

    Terrific sketch! Invaluable book! I too will be keeping it handy in my sketch bag.


  14. joantav says:

    Love the sky in this!!! Nicely done!


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