Prompt60 #7: Get Out & Sketch


Art Prompt: For this prompt, we're going to go OUT and draw. Go to a spot where you can find a great number of similar things to draw, things that don't stay still very long. I drew these taxis while waiting for a friend at the airport, where the taxis drove up and left after a few minutes at most. 


This sketch was drawn from the window of Starbucks looking across the street at construction in progress. That truck actually moved away while I was drawing.

Hotel lobbies are full of people coming and going. If your climate is warm, go to the beach and sketch the lifeguard or kids building sandcastles. Go to a busy cafe and sketch the line of customers.

The zoo would be another potential drawing spot. Draw the zebras!


This is a 5 minute sketch at the symphony while the muscians were warming up. I knew that I wanted to put my journal away before the actual performance began so I was working at lightening speed. Just going for the general feeling on stage. 


This is a 5-7 minute sketch that I made during a classical performance that we attended in Venice, Italy. 

Try to look at the item you are drawing and just move the pen on the page, rather than checking your work every second. Go for more of a simple line drawing to capture the "essence" of what you see rather than what you really see. A sense of movement.

If you would prefer "stable" subject material, go to a large cafeteria and sketch the chairs. Go to a bookstore and camp out in the aisle with the big photography and art books and sketch a row of books.

You'll just need a journal and a pen. If you make a line and you don't care for it, or it goes all wonky, make another one that you like better. Keep all the lines. 

Remember that sketches are not photographs. If you want a photograph, you can take one in an instant. A sketch is an experience, not meant to be a perfect representation of an object. A sketch documents a memory.

So find a spot with a bunch of similar items. Make a very simple sketch of each item. Work quickly, without analyzing the lines. You don't have to know "how" to draw in order to draw. Just make lines. Squeeze in as many as you can on one page in your journal.

The goal is not to follow the Surfboard Design Principle 46:47 or imitate the works of Klee. Just take a deep breath. And make a mark. Your mark. Then turn the page. And make another mark. That's how you get through your journal, a page at a time. The only decision to be made is what to do for the very next mark.

Go to the index for the entire Prompt60 series of prompts.