Posts Tagged ‘Sketching outdoors’

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This month I’ve been showing you around my favorite painting items and why I love them. Have you been wanting to try painting and sketching away from home, in the big outdoors? Here are a few tips for making your field trip more fun and less of a chore.

You Will Need

  • Travelling sketching kit
  • Something to sit on.
  • Clothing suitable to the weather conditions
  • Food & water
  • Planning your location
  • Staying safe

    Travelling Sketching kit

    Travelling Sketching kit


During my limited experience of sketching outdoors I found a few things that made a big difference to making the experience more comfortable.

Sketching kit; I covered this in an earlier post, both what I use and things to consider. Modify yours to suit your creative style. Keep it simple to avoid having something too heavy and bulky to carry

Something to sit on. A folding chair is great and doesn’t have to be heavy. If you have a good back, you can get away with just a folding mat.

Clothing suitable to weather conditions; Bear in mind you are likely to be sitting/standing outdoors all day. Choose clothing suitable to the weather conditions. Wrap up warm on cool, windy days. On hot/sunny days go for something with long sleeves and a collar, don’t want to get sun-cream on your art work 😉 A hat is a good idea too, which ever way the weather goes 😉

Food & Water: Will you be sketching all day? If you aren’t sketching near somewhere you can easily get food and drink do take some with you. It’s easy to loose all track of time and get dehydrated, especially in hot weather. A flask of your favorite beverage and a sandwich or two won’t take up much room, but you’ll be glad of them later on 🙂

Location; Choose carefully, try not to set up in the middle of a walkway/path. Its better to take a photograph of a superb scene than set up somewhere very precarious! Choose somewhere you will be comfortable, and safe for a pleasant day. Under a shady tree on hot sunny days can be great!

Staying safe; Take a phone with you, they take up so little space, just think of it as insurance. You can keep it turned off, but it might be useful if you run into unexpected difficulties.

If you are painting near tidal water, make sure you know the tide times and keep an eye on the clock!

If you are painting somewhere remote, make sure someone knows when you expect to be back.

Options/Added Extras

Do you hate people standing behind you when you paint, or too much attention? Here’s how to minimise the possible audience participation 😉

Pick your location; If you can sit with a wall/hedge or building behind you, people can’t stand behind you. Try to sit somewhere out of the way-rather than in the middle of a path and most people will either ignore you or pause only briefly.

Minimise your Equipment; I found if you don’t have too much kit out, you are less obvious 😉 I use a small bag with painting kit on and a little sketchbook on my lap, at this point you look more like you are having a picnic 😉 so attract less attention. It also depends on weather the area is known for artists. If you are somewhere picturesque, where there are lots of people painting regularly, then as long as you aren’t in the way, no one will take much notice 🙂

Most people will show little more than a passing interest and walk on. If you don’t want to chat, just focus on your sketching. If you hate drawing when someone is watching and they stand right by you (Which is rare) just measure things for a while, without putting down any marks. If nothing is happening they soon get board and wander on.


Thanks to Dymphie for telling me about the following video:


This video was not made by me but has some great tips in there. Have fun

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie 🙂


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Welcome Back

At the beginning of the August, hubby and I went for a short break; camping in Chichester. It was a delightful setting in woodland and for the most part we had good weather. After watching the painting shows on C&C and visiting a few arty blogs, I was inspired to get sketching again. I got out my sketching kit, and decided to take the watercolours with me, just in case the opportunity arose.

One day we went to Parham House I just love architecture and painting/drawing old buildings. There is so much texture and they never fail to captivate me. I did get some funny looks the other year, when I was photographing the old worn leather baggage at a heritage railway. I found the surfaces and ageing just as interesting as the buildings. Who knows what those pictures will end up as, reference for distressed painting projects or faded out as backgrounds for digital projects 🙂 Art really has exploded into so many possibilities for me in the last few years. Its grown far beyond what I thought it was twenty years ago.

Anyway, enough wittering! Here is the picture I wanted to share; its of some of the buildings at Parham House.

Buildings at Parham house

Buildings at Parham house

It’s not a finished piece, I need more practice to add the greenery to the building and more texture to the stonework. I am pleased with the result though, whenever I see the picture it will remind me of the day, and of how much I enjoy sketching buildings.

What inspires you to get your paints out?  Have you been on any painting expeditions this year?

Best wishes and thanks for reading see you soon

Billie 🙂

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