An Hour of (Somewhat) Therapeutic Sketching

The day before yesterday, I had a depressive episode (or meltdown, whatever you wish to call it) and raged for about two hours that morning. I’ve been feeling like that for days and I knew that having outbursts like that were not only unhealthy, but irritating to the other occupants of the house. I knew I had to get out and change my setting to calm down again.

So I decided to grab my sketchbook and my pencils and head outside. I settled on a park in a wealthy area of Jacksonville to relax.

I also wanted to try something called plein air sketching because I’ve never done it before. My usual method of drawing subjects has been to take a reference photo and draw from that or find photos of my subject online and combine them together into one unique artwork.

After walking around the park for a while to breathe in some fresh air and soak up some sun, I settled on sketching from the dock area. This was one of the spots I usually sat at to observe the water from the St. Johns River.

The pencils I used for the sketch were 2B, HB, 3H, and F. Right away, upon sketching, I realized that I was rusty and while I did get the perspective somewhat right, the results were starting to look flat. I tried shading in as much detail as I could, but it only helped for certain spots.

Plus, people started coming into the dock area, so that threw me off for a while. I eventually “finished” the sketch after about an hour and a half and left to go walk around some more.

Overall, I don’t like it. It looks amateur and flat, in my opinion. Looking back, I should’ve picked a simpler subject to try this method with, like an orange hanging from a branch in a tree or something similar. Maybe in the future I’ll try plein air sketching again, but for now I’m going to stick with what I know for future drawings.

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