September Sketching News

September Sketching News

Time for September sketching news. I didn’t get much sketching done in August, but I did do three little small sketches. Let me tell you about them.

September Sketching News

All three sketches are small. About 3-1/2 inches by 2-1/2 inches.

They are also on Canson Mi-Teintes paper. I’m not sure what color because I used scraps of paper left after trimming a larger sheet to size.

Sketch #1

This sketch is pretty basic with one exception. I choose two colors, a medium brown and white, and sketched a tree trunk from imagination.

I used a combination of strokes with the side and tip of the brown pencil, then added details and edges with the tip.

You’ll notice that I also did quite a bit of hatching and cross hatching along the sides of the trunk and branches. A long time ago, I discovered that this was an effective way to draw contours without a lot of effort. That’s important when sketching outside. Especially if you’re sketching from life in the morning or evening, when the light changes quickly.

September Sketching News

What was the exception? I used Derwent Drawing pencils instead of my usual Prismacolor or Polychromos. The colors I chose were Sepia Red and Chinese White.

They performed fairly well on Canson Mi-Teintes, but weren’t quite as smooth as Polychromos. They were definitely not as smooth to draw with as Prismacolor.

Still, I’m happy with the results.

Sketch #2

This sketch is an experiment. I used the same paper as for the first sketch. I also used Prismacolor Dark Brown and Dark Umber with Derwent Drawing Chinese White.

But this time, I shaded brown on the paper with the side of the pencil, then drew over that.

Why do it this way? I wanted to see what happened if I put a bit of color on the paper first, as a sort of loose, sketchy base layer.

In some ways, I like the way it looks. The shaded tone in the background gives it a bit more interest than the plain paper has. Shading first also provided a hint of texture for the branches.

In others, the experiment was a bit disappointing. I didn’t do any blending after shading the tone, so it shows the texture of the paper a bit too much. I did use the back of the Canson Mi-Teintes, which is the smoother side, but it could still have used a little bit of blending with a paper stump or brush. I’ll have to try that the next time.

I also don’t care for the way the white highlights look when applied over the shading. They’re a little bit muddy in my opinion.

Nevertheless, it’s a decent sketch. And any experiment should show you something about the way your pencils work on paper. In that respect, this sketch was successful.

Sketch #3

This sketch is the only one I did from life, while looking at the subject a short distance away. What is it? three or four runners on a morning glory vine.

I used only three pencils, one Prismacolor gray (the pencil is so short, all I could see of the name was 70%), and Derwent Drawing Ivory Black and Chinese White.

The first step was drawing the vines with the gray pencil. Then I added the highlights with white and a few darker shadows with black.

September Sketching News

This looks sort of plain and I wouldn’t have drawn it except that the vines waving in the breeze continued to attract my attention. I thought they were worthy of a quick sketch before I stopped for the day.

That’s my Sketching News for this Month

Since the weather is beginning to cool down, I’m hoping to get outside and do a bit more sketching from life.

In fact, I issued a friendly challenge in the September issue of CP Magic!, in which I’m encouraging you to get outside and do some life studies this month.

If you do, and if you get a drawing that you like, send it to me. I’d like to do a plein air life drawing gallery in the October issue of the magazine. If you’re interested in participating, drop me an email.

Sign up for Carrie’s free weekly newsletter and be among the first to know when she publishes new articles.


  1. Gail Jones

    Hi Carrie, I like your tree sketches and the branch. I like the richer colors on the second tree especially and I like the pop of the Chinese white. Am glad you are enjoying yourself with your sketching. I always find for myself that if I can get in even a little bit of art, that my day feels brighter and everything else seems to flow better.

    1. Gail,

      I agree with you that I do better on those days when I can do a little drawing. Fortunately, drawing is not the rock on which I stand!

      I’m hoping to get more drawing time this month, even if it is sketching outside a few days. We’ll see what comes of that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *