Cathy Johnson’s Mini-class // Quick Sketching 1 – Lesson 3

It took a bit more time to go through lesson 3, compared to the previous lessons.
The first part focused on sketching from memory, which can be a good exercise as it makes you look harder at your subject and with practice you can learn what to look for, what is essential when trying to do a quick sketch. I must confess I didn’t practice enough on this subject as I was more interested on what was following, meaning thumbnail sketches, visual symbols and big shapes. I think these last three points are the key to quick sketching, and also the points where I lack confidence. I’ve always used thumbnail sketches as a preparatory exercise before tackling a painting. But never realised they can actually be quick sketches on their own. I also learned that it’s a very good exercise copying visual symbols from somebody else’s work. I’ve been recently obsessed with John Lidzey sketches, and looking at the way he drew things, and copying it, made it easier for me to reach a similar effect in my sketches.
Working from a big shapes and adding more details later as time allows has also proven to be a very good tip. When I’m out sketching I don’t always know how much time I’m going to have. Most of the time a big shape is good enough to suggest a view or a movement.
The winter robins demo was an enjoyable exercise, and adding colours to it was for me the most rewarding part!
Sketches from Lesson 1 and 2 can be found here.
More info about Cathy Johnson’s online classes can be found here.