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Exercise in Looseness


I have lots of trouble staying loose.  Even though I sketch quite quickly, it is too tight and I can become obsessed with detail.  Not that I put too much detail into a sketch, just that I can't seem to sketch it if I can't see it.  I envy those in the EDM group who can stay really loose and capture images of something - this week Casey in Hong Kong, Hashi on her LA city walks, and Gabi on the bus. 

I want to be able to do both - depending on the project.  So this morning I brought my sketchbook and watercolor pencils with me when my husband and I took our grandson to Bethesda Fountain and I forced myself to do just a really loose sketch, add color, and then water - all in < 30 minutes.

I definitely need to have more of these sketching sessions.   Need more practice!!



Oh Shirley - this is lovely and in only 30 minutes??!! I tried to do a quick sketch of this and everything was lopsided even after I studied pictures I had taken once I got home - I also envying those who are loose and seeminly carefree - I takes much practice to make it look light and easy~! We'll get lessons from Casey July 5th :-)

Like this very much...very interesting angle...

I think this is just beautiful. You did achieve a fresh, loose style with just the right amount of detail. I really like this sketch.

I think this came out great! It's a gorgeous fountain and you captured it beautifully.

Shirley, I, too, would prefer to be a loose woman, but I don't think it will happen anytime soon.

You artwork is lovely, and 30 minutes is excellent. Beautiful colors and style.

hi shirley, very good loose line. have you tried doing just black line sketches? just a thought, your have a nice muted color palette but if you want to focus more on your line and details, lineart sketches may be worth trying (I know what you are probably thinking... but it's no fun without color!). your edm pal, gabi

Being blind as a bat I can't see any details! Like today when Dianne and I were sketching by the pool at the spa. She could make out the guy on the other side had a gotee and mustache...I could only tell it was a man and wearing dark glasses. I think my brain fills in some of the details. I sketch too loose I think and wish I could get a little more detail. Your work is beautiful and this fountain especially lovely. I am so envious of the july 5th sketchcrawl! I will be working that day with my thoughts with you, Sandy and Casey!

hi shirley, i just wanted to say how much i love reading your blog here, your watercolours and sketches are fantastic and i always love reading the little anecdotes as well

great work :)

Shirley, I think you did a job of looseness and freshness....I'm with you, I'd like to be able to do both looseness and detail as the subject suggests.--
Carol c.

I think you're doing great on the looseness. This is a great sketch. I don't think it has too much deatail and Im not trying to figure out what it is either. I think you have good suggestive linework! The palette is nice as well. Great job!
The three of you are really going to have fun, I know Casey is so looking forward to it!

I think it's a fairly common desire, Shirley, to be looser. You've certainly achieved it here - these fountains are such a challenge. I'd be very pleased if it were mine.


Beautiful work! Amen to what you said about getting obsessed with detail and wanting to be more loose... I feel the same. But I have noticed that it depends a lot on what material I use. Ink pen drawings tend to get more detailed, while pencil drawings are more relaxed... DonĀ“t know why, really.

Very nice! I especially like the soft colors you use.

This is a great sketch. I am like you in that I get caught up in the detail and I'm trying to do really loose sketches. But, it's hard! This is wonderful, tho.

Lovely! You should do more like this.

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