Working in Layers, Quarantine Day #35

It’s handy building up a drawing in layers! I did the first layers of this sketch over a week ago, then this morning picked it up again to add more. Can you guess what big shape I started with? No, not the wall opening in front of me, but the entire wall itself…the Shape of this Space is defined by the shape of that entire back wall. VP is directly in front of me, as I’m sitting looking straight ahead. Had I started with that square opening, I would have had to “grow” the sketch, and capturing proportions and size would have been much more difficult. Color comes in the next layer, starting with a underpainting layer of the spaces through the wall openings so that those areas recede in space.

At some point I realized that I had started the sketch too low on my paper, but what the heck, I was already committed. So to make lemonade from a lemon, I decided to add notes to the empty space at the top of the page. I thought maybe some day, the notes that identify a bit of what’s what would be helpful to our kids…

I hope some of you caught the interview with Brenda Murray of Studio 56 on Saturday. I’ll write up a post about it soon. Thanks to all who tuned in! It was recorded and will be posted to the Studio 56 YouTube page.

I’ll also be showing sketches this Sunday, April 26 at 9am Seattle time as part of the Urban Sketchers series, USk Talks. Soooooo honored to get to participate! Hope to see you this Sunday on the Urban Sketcher’s Instagram live stories for a round the world trip from your couch!

I love this part!!

8 thoughts on “Working in Layers, Quarantine Day #35

  1. This is wonderful. I have never sketched, but wanted to learn how to do it. I came across your Blog in my search. As I am new, I don’t know what Studio 56 is about, but I am also looking for online courses on sketching. Look forward to seeing how your drawing continues to develop.


    1. Thank you and welcome!! I have actually filmed two online courses that are now available through A whole group of Urban Sketcher instructors filmed classes a few years back, I really recommend these online courses! You can purchase them individually (they are often on sale) or get the subscription service. Check out the classes of me (Perspective for Sketchers and The Essentials of Sketching Architecture), Shari Blaukopf, Marc Taro Holmes, James Richards, Suhita Shirodkar, Steven Reddy, and Paul Heaston for starters! I hope you will start sketching, it so incredibly rewarding…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I will look at the site. Right now with quarantining it’s a good time to start; although, funds are tight because of it. However, I appreciate the lead. It sounds like there are a lot of great artists there.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephanie,
    Are your line drawings generally graphite, or ink? I tried drawing a complex interior of a cathedral (I was inspired by your sketch of the Suzzallo Reading Room), and even using a 0,3mm thick nib (Pitt Pen S) the sketch looked too heavy and busy. I couldn’t achieve the lightness in my sketch that you did. Thanks!


  3. HI Lisa, kudos to you for sketching an interior of a cathedral!!!!!! And yes, I have the same problem with ink, for me, it ends up looking flat and cartoony. I use a .5 mechanical pencil with @BH or B lead (for detailed work, B works better). I can get nice thick dark lines or nice light barely visible lines. I LOVE PENCILS!!!


  4. You are a brilliantly generous person ( and your artwork is ok too😜)!
    Love seeing how you put it all together and I’m hoping to be able to wake up this Sunday in time to catch you ‘live’. Much love x


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