The dread of sketching en plein air

Posted: June 21, 2015 in process
Tags: , , , ,

We’ve all probably experienced a dread of going out and about with a sketchbook and chancing that people will see us.  I can think of three of my ‘super fears’ immediately.

1 They will think that I believe I’m good, or even ‘an artist’, but not say so, so I won’t be able to correct them. That’s unjust.

2 They will look down their noses and tell me how I could be doing it better. That’s humiliating.

3 I will not actually manage to produce anything of any standard. That’s soul-destroying, not even remotely funny.

Actually, I went to York with two friends recently, specifically to sketch. And do you know what? No one took the slightest bit of notice of us. That’s mortifying. That’s also ridiculous – we were right in their path and they didn’t see us. It’s also hugely liberating. I can do it! Now I just need to work at getting my sketching up to scratch. Here’s a collage of some I did that day. Badly photographed but proof that I faced my fear and dared.

York plein air sketching

Many thanks to friends from the online tuition site who joined me. And lessons on Craftsy that gave me confidence too. We gather resources from many places to help us on our way, don’t we!

  1. certainline says:

    Hi, you’re right to just do it. The idea terrified me for a while, then I tried sketching from my car, then sketching in foreign countries where I couldn’t speak the language if anyone spoke to me! In fact, if you look involved enough people leave you alone to get on with it, I find. It’s quite fun when one gets over that initial fear. Good luck with future outdoor drawings!


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