Thursday, September 15, 2011

Urban Sketching

When I was a young girl, I used to love to ride my bike. I would wake up early (my mom said that someone had to wake the chickens, right?), eat a quick breakfast and jump on my trusty stead.
What I felt for my bicycle could be described very easily.

Bike = Freedom

I rode a bike almost everyday until I was 16 (then I discovered boys with cars).
I have missed riding.
One day a couple of months ago my husband and I rented bikes to make sure that we wanted to ride regularly before we purchased one.
And, in all honesty, to make sure that my back and hip could take it (I have back and hip "issues").
And of course, it was great!
I felt the same exhilaration that I did when I was younger...that same feeling of freedom (maybe with an additional ache or two!).

A couple of nights ago my husband had a baseball game to umpire. I didn't want to stay at home, I wanted to ride my bike, I wanted to do some urban sketching...

What's a girl to do?

Why allow her gallant husband to offer a solution!
He loaded my bike into our car and we all took off to the complex where the games were.

I made sure that I had the necessary sketching tools & supplies.
1. Compact watercolors
2. Water brush
3. Pitt Artist Pen
4. Reading glasses (or drawing glasses...)

I took off on my bike (Electra Townie 7D) (awesome round town cruiser). I rode over and watched a little bit of youth football (and those cute little cheerleaders), a softball game, a soccer match, and a baseball game. I got a little bit of exercise, let the wind blow through my hair and then set up to draw.

First I drew my Townie.

Now the back wheel really isn't that small...It was late, I was getting tired, the light was bad - okay, how many more excuses do you want?
My bad but I still love the simple lines on that drawing.
And the fun of it is this - I'll draw it again and it will be a better next time!
I'm getting practice, I'm not only exercising my body but I'm exercising my drawing skills...
Remember - if you don't USE it, you'll LOSE it.

By the time I finished the Townie, it was too dark to draw anything else where I was.
So I headed down to the baseball game.
Found a patch of blooming gardenias...
Drew this in the twilight -

I love the way that the gardenia petals unfurl as the bud opens, don't you?
The blooms smell so sweet...
They remind me of waking from a summer's nap at my grandmothers home. She had huge shrubs just full of sweet blooms outside of the bedroom that I napped in. I'd wake with the windows open and that sweet smell greeted me.
The gardenias remain one of my favorite flowers to this day.

So - remember to exercise your body as well as your mind.
Use your eyes to really see the world around you as you use your hands to draw what you're seeing.

Don't forget to check out the Sketchbook Challenge Blog. There are several free tutorials on the site as well as links to many, many more!


Adriann said...

Love your bike! My sister and I use to live for the summers so that we could ride our bikes all over the neighborhood. Bikes definitely equal freedom for a young person. Thanks for bring that childhood memory back.

Sharon Tomlinson said...

You are so brave to get on the bike. Or maybe I'm so old. Anyway, love both sketches. And I swear I think I could smell the gardenia. No bike for me, but I'm off for my morning walk in just s soon a daylight gets here.

dh said...

What a great bike! What a great evening! I loved reading about your adventure.
(denise in wnc)