Drawing or painting or both?

Sorry for the lapse in posts, but I’ve been focusing on creating an online course I hope to offer LIVE via Zoom in a few weeks! It will be a masterclass on perspective sketching made easy (any suggestions for a title??) that is based on an interactive lecture I gave 5 years ago at the USk symposium in Singapore. As I buy more and more equipment to pull this off, my little home office is slowly being converted to a TV studio!

Today I sat in front of my house to sketch, as I don’t feel compelled to go too far from home these days. I also haven’t sketched in a while, and I’m feeling the rusty joints. The drawing part I pretty much have down, it’s the painting where you can often see that I’m out of practice–when I’m not warmed up, I tend to overpaint.

This is the front of our 1911 Craftsman house in Seattle. I realized about 3/4 the way through that I’m currently stuck somewhere between making it a drawing or a painting. I typically like the architectural feel of the drawings with minimal color, so I’m going to blame my attempts to be more painterly on none other than Shari Blaukopf. I look at her beautiful work and I think I need to use more color. Ha! Don’t we all wish we could paint like Shari?

Here is a bit of the process for today. One advantage of sketching at home is that I can run into the house and scan the progress images! Below is the finished line, the underpainting of warms and cools, the addition of the sky dropped into wet paper, and the final sketch.

I actually love the image with the sky, as I’m always a little sad once I cover up my line work! It has a balance that I rather like. I also like how the fence came out. The house itself, well I’m still working on getting those darn values right…

35 thoughts on “Drawing or painting or both?

  1. Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you for showing the steps and process.
    Love the end result, but then again I am a big fan of your artwork.
    Very interested to know further re your zoom class.
    Not sure how that would work given I’m in Sydney.
    Stay well.
    Danka 😊


    1. Hi Danka, thank you so much for the kind words! I will plan a class at a time that works for Australia! My friends Rooi in Sydney and Angela in Melbourne have been helping me with the class, so for sure I’ll have Aussie hours! Stay tune!


  2. Sooooo looking forward to that class. Just hoping it will be at a time that I won’t look as tired as I could probably feel!!! John Cogley from Daniel Smith has a talk which translates to 7am here in eastern Oz. I’m hopeful! XXX


  3. It doesn’t matter drawing or painting (blame JH) because what you have there is simple gorgeous. Line works colour works! Can’t wait for zoom class


  4. Stephanie, love your sketching and painting. You have developed a great eye for proportion not to mention your perspective skills. I sympathize with you as I seem to have nearly daily gilt that I have not done a sketch of some kind let alone paint. I would be interested in your TV studio set up as an art non-profit I am associated with is trying to put together learning videos. Regardless of your gap, you seem to have boundless energy. thanks.


    1. Hi Fred, thank you so much for your message. I suppose we shouldn’t feel guilty about not sketching during these crazy times, but I do!
      As far as my set up, I have bought a lot of equipment but probably won’t use it all at first. Slowly refining what works. I did just buy a second monitor so I can manage a Zoom class more easily. I will eventually figure it out and will be happy to share.
      More soon,


  5. Love the sketch and seeing the process. A Zoom class sounds great, but so difficult to schedule for everyone. Will it be recorded?


    1. HI Jeannie, thank you! I will be offering the class at different times, so hopefully one will work. I don’t have plans to record it at this point, as I hear the recordings of Zoom classes are not that good. Maybe eventually once I figure out all the logistics!


  6. Hi, Stephanie. Interested in your class. Took your Bluprint classes and really enjoyed them. I refer to you as the “Queen of Perspective to my own students. Class title? How about “Gaining Perspective [through Sketching]?”


    1. Hi Bill, Ha, I love the idea of being the Queen of pretty much anything, but especially the Queen of Perspective!!!! Clever title for the class, I will give it some thought. Last night I realized I should just use the name of the book, Understanding Perspective…but I’m still searching!
      Thanks so much,


  7. Hello Stephanie,
    Your process leaves me with what I hope to achieve in my watercolor drawing/painting. It leaves you with “that’s what I feel about this place/subject”. I am recently retired and have chosen pen pencil and watercolor. You have helped me improve! Big time!
    Thank you, Pj


  8. How about Easy-Peasy Perspective? Anyway, nice post, I always love seeing process! I tend to lean toward the drawing end of things myself, and usually find it intimidating as well, when I get to adding the color – the potential of messing up a perfectly good drawing! Tried your approach of leaving bits of white/paper showing in your painting to add “sparkle” and light and I like the effect, but my execution wasn’t quite there. I’d love to see a post on how you approach that method. Great work, thanks!


  9. A little late to your post, the intensity of colour here gives some emotional punch – I understood when I saw it was your home, beautiful. Such a different mood to your light and breezy travel sketches. Maybe for your next course name…Getting Perspective


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