Thursday, September 10, 2015

Have you ever tried this with a sketch?

Superimposing sketch on scene - on the terrace at Chartwellwith Crypotomeria Japonica (Japanese Cedar) in the background
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils
Have you ever tried superimposing your sketch on the scene that you are drawing? Below I've written my explanation of how I did this. It's not difficult but you can make it easier to do....

I normally sketch across a double page spread of my Moleskine to provide an 8" x 10" image. However yesterday, after dropping off my drawings for hanging at the Florum exhibition in Sevenoaks (opens on Saturday 12th September), we went to Chartwell.

Sat on the terrace I pondered as to what to draw while "he who must not be bored while I sketch" read the City pages. That's when I realised that I had brought out the sketchbook I finished last Saturday! (Have you ever done that?)

I was reduced to searching through it for half pages which I'd not used.

Given that Chartwell is a "big view" place I was somewhat perplexed as to what to draw - and then decided to draw HWMNBB against the house and the very large Japanese Cedar (Crypotomeria Japonica) in the background.

Then decided to have a go at the trick where you superimpose your sketch over what you are drawing.  The trick is twofold:
  • when you start the sketch make sure you have a horizontal and/or vertical lines in the sketch which you can line up against the scene - in my case the horizontal line was the top line of the tree shadow and the vertical line was the outside edge of the arm
  • then use one hand to position the sketch over the scene and line up your lines in the sketch with the lines in the scene.
  • finally use another hand to take the photo. This is when you realise a third hand might be useful! It means you must use a camera or phone which you can get level and click with one hand.

I nearly got it right. If the sketchbook had been level I would have got it almost spot on!

HWMNBB says he doesn't look like that at all - and I have to confess something went very wrong with the mouth and jawline! Top half is not bad!


  1. Great trick -going to try it. Just finished you book "drawing365" Love it. It has become my favorite reference book. Thank You.

  2. Oh - that's so nice of you to say so Edie. Thank you!


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