Idaho car sketching

I did some sketching while driving through southern Idaho on the way to Utah. Yes, I was the passenger! The landscape in that part of the state is quite striking — the rolling fields are golden yellow and the rounded hills are a soft green. These were mostly done in the section between Swan Valley and Idaho Falls on a stretch of road that runs along the Snake River.

Sometimes people ask how to draw a constantly changing landscape. I try to take a picture of it in my head and then I put down two or three pen lines. For most of these, I started with the top lines of the yellow fields. Then I added the road. And finally the far hills. Then I add in the details like trees, posts, power lines. Colour is washed on quite quickly because I want to get it right in one go. These were sketched on a hardcover Stillman & Birn Beta book, 9 in x 12 in. The hardcover format makes it really nice for working in a moving vehicle.


21 Comments on “Idaho car sketching”

  1. Jean says:

    Your sketches made while a passenger in a moving car are really amazing! I can “see” the landscape as it shifts from place to place. Thanks for telling us how you achieved this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cindy Wahlstrom says:

    Love your traveling sketches. I have enjoyed past travels through those landscapes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Judy Sopher says:

    Have tried to do this but it is not easy. Appreciate your description of how you do this. Your “sketches” on one page make for a lovely depiction of the land.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Douglas Elliot says:

    Super on thr move sketches Shari, I have done that but not with such competence. Love the format.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. De says:

    Beautiful! and great practice to capture a minds-eye image then paint. I’m almost car sick just thinking about it – really. Its something I just can’t do in a moving car.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gretta Benson says:

    You are amazing. I have trouble sketching at a desk! These are just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tim Ross says:

    My uncle has lived in Swan Valley all of his adult life. My wife is an I Idaho girl. Been there many times. That was a nice drive to Idaho Falls and Pocatello. And, of course, Utah is gorgeous in so many ways! Loved the sketches! Looking forward to your sketches from there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim, we loved that area of Idaho. Of course we were just passing through but I would definitely like to go back to explore more. We were staying in Victor as a gateway to Teton Park, so we did spend a bit of time there. On a map it looked quite close to the park but of course the map doesn’t show that you have to drive through Teton Pass! Despite that, we also got to spend a day hiking around Jenny Lake. Another place we will go back to. There is so much incredible beauty in this area. Thanks for writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great tips. I like the series on a page. I’ve done some of this myself, it’s a great way to remember a scenic route.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Unfortunately when we travel by car I am usually the driver. I love that you can capture these scenes as you pass through!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Christi says:

    I was thinking that too! Lately I am the driver…. Love the sketches and how often you post your work. I appreciate getting to see your watercolor painting. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. polesian001 says:

    Well done. The sketches look perfect!

    Liked by 1 person


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