Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Plein Air" Sketching in Winter

Today was bright and sunny and a perfect day for sketching. Renowned Urban Sketcher Shari Blaukopf has a great blog featuring her wonderful watercolor sketches,  She said she often sketches from her car, especially in winter which in her home city of Montreal is even colder than Madison.  Here's one of her blog articles discussing how she paints watercolor sketches from the front seat of her car:  The palette she is using is the Mijello Fusion Airtight Watercolor Palette which is available from Dick Blick for around $15.  (I use mine for gouache along with Masterson's Sta-Wet Painter's Pal sponge and paper combo which is easy to custom fit to this palette. It keeps gouache from drying out even on hot summer days.) And here's a link for helpful hints for winter sketching from Shari and some other Urban Sketcher correspondents:

Today I stopped off at Brittingham Boat House on the way home from downtown for a couple quick sketches.  The temp was in the 30's but the wind off the Monona Bay felt pretty chilly.  I managed to find a place out of the wind long enough to do 2 sketches and then retreated to my car to finish them with watercolor.  My new Paintbox works great for in car painting. It was handmade by Craig Young in the UK and I love it!  Solid brash with a dark green high gloss finish.  It is a pleasure to use.  There is a thumb ring on the back and it balances perfectly on my hand if I want to stand up and paint at an easel in the field.
Ice Fishing on Monona Bay

I'd love to see some more sketchers post some plein air work this month, too.   Sketching from the car definitely counts as plein air in our winter climate!  Hope to see you next Sunday at the Chocolaterian.  Happy New Year to USK Madison!!


  1. Great ice fishing scenes. I lived in Minnesota and know about this.

    1. Thanks, Marcia. I am hoping to sketch another one of our lakes this week when the weather will be VERY much warmer there will be sailboats, etc and no ice fishing!