You see things differently in person than you do in a photo.
Have you ever been awed by a landscape, snapped a photo to capture the memory, and then when you get home that same photo just doesn’t do your memory justice – it hasn’t captured what you remember seeing?
That’s because photos tend to flatten the image – and in my experience, they ‘squash’ it vertically too.
Try it for yourself.
Look at a view, then take a photo of it with your phone, and notice how much more you can see in person.
The photos below are of a view I pass almost daily, and last May I finally had some time to stop and sketch it.
And I’m so glad I did.
You can see it took four photos to ‘see’ the view I wanted to sketch, and none of them are particularly remarkable.
But the sketch can capture it all.
It’s a pleasant sketch. It captures what I see. And I’ve had a bit of practice, so my lines are confident and varied.
But you know what? When you look at my sketch YOU’RE only seeing my memory on my page.
The real value of this sketch is my memory IN MY HEAD.
Because I got to sit and study this view. Study the shapes of the cattle and their shadows. The round trees and the city behind. The undulations of the paddock. The fencelines and crops.
Look at how much more space I have given the paddock in my sketch, compared to the photos. That space is truly what my eyes saw. The proportions felt different to what you see in the photos.
And every time I drive past it now, I know this view so much more intimately. And appreciate it more deeply.
But sketching on location is something very special.
I encourage you to practice at home, and then go out into the world and see what you can see… and sketch!
For the next two weekends I’ll be sketching the views at Pechey Distillery as part of the InStudio Art Trail.
Pechey is 30 mins north of Toowoomba and I’ll have a display of my precious sketchbooks and some paintings.
I’ll have my beanies, brand new Birthday Calendars and maybe some 2024 Wall Calendars too.
There are two ticketed Sketching Workshops and the Sunday one is almost full:
Session 1 – Sunday 6 August, noon til 2pm
Session 2 – Saturday 12 August, noon til 2pm